Portable space heating units are small and energy-efficient, often costing less than running oil or gas heat.

Keeping a home warm (safely) with a space heater

December 29th, 2015 by admin

Portable space heating units are small and energy-efficient, often costing less than running oil or gas heat.

As it gets colder, people find themselves firing up the furnace to keep their homes cozy. Yet even with home heating systems on full blast, it can be sometimes difficult to warm rooms or areas set away from vents.

That is where careful positioning of a portable space heater can come in handy. These units are small and energy-efficient, often costing less than running oil or gas heat. Yet they can also be dangerous if not used correctly: the National Fire Prevention Association reports that portable heaters accounted for one-third of home heating fires, with half of the fires occurring during the winter months of December, January and February.

To keep your home warm — and, more importantly, safe — during the winter months, follow these tips for using portable space heaters:

  • Research before you buy. Look for a heater that's been tested and certified for safety. Some will have an automatic shut off if the unit overheats or tips over.
  • Don't overload your home circuits. Plug your portable heater into a wall outlet that can handle the wattage, and ensure the plug fits tightly. 
  • Keep everything away from the direct heat. Keep at least a 3 foot perimeter unobstructed from from anything flammable. Keep children and pets away as well.
  • Keep cords uncovered. A frayed or damaged cord can start an electrical fire.
  • Monitor for excess heat. Check frequently that heater plug or cord, wall outlet or faceplate remains cool. If they seem to heat up, discontinue use immediately and seek repairs.
  • Set heater thermostat. A heater with thermostat controls will turn off automatically when the room achieves the temperature you want, saving you money on electricity. 
  • Never leave a heater unattended. Before leaving a room or going to bed, be sure to turn off your heater and unplug it.

For more tips on keeping your home safe as well as low rates on home & auto insurance, contact Fundy Mutual today.