A space heater is sometimes viewed as a potentially dangerous appliance. Certainly, if they are not handled with care, they can be hazards. Space heaters are responsible for at least 18,000 residential fires every year. They may also be a source of poisonous fumes.
When handled properly, space heaters can help homeowners save on utility bills. They can also increase your comfort by warming up cold spots in your house. The key to using them is operating them safely.
Space heaters may either be fuel-powered or electric. Either type calls for special care.
Electric Space Heaters
Electric space heaters may be more expensive to use than combustion types, but the fact that they are unvented means they are safer to use. However, even though they do not cause indoor air problems, they may be a source of burns or fire hazards.
One of the safest types of electric heaters is the kind that incorporates a heat transfer liquid, such as oil, heated by an electric element. Some of the heat from the transfer fluid is stored, so that the heater cycles less and provides a heat source that is more constant.
With electric heaters, follow these safety guidelines
- Never use an auxiliary power cord, or the heater could overheat and cause a fire.
- Do not operate the electric heater near a source of water.
Combustion Space Heaters
Combustion-type heaters are usually fueled by propane, kerosene or natural gas. Though more economical to use than electric heaters, they can lower indoor air quality to dangerous levels. Some guidelines for using fuel-powered space heaters are as follows:
- Never use a fuel-powered space heater inside unless it is properly vented.
- If you smell gas, don’t try to light the heater. Turn off the controls, open a door or window, and exit the building.
Regardless of which type of heater you use, always do the following:
- Keep the heater on the floor.
- Keep the heater off combustible surfaces.
To discuss the safety of your space heater, contact Aggressive Mechanical Contractors. We serve Monmouth County and the surrounding area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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