Can You Use Space Heater On A Carpet? (NEVER Do It…!)

Finding a cozy corner to escape the chill is probably all we want in icy winters. Winters can get too harsh, especially when we don’t have access to the right heating system. Homes with central heating systems feel like heaven in the snowy weather, but not all households can afford that. So, a space heater is a rescue for families who can’t access a centralized heating system.

A space heater is a portable and efficient solution to beat the winter chills, and they don’t even hit your pocket as hard as other heating systems. However, space heaters need to be dealt with a lot of precautions.

With all the benefits you enjoy using a space heater, there comes a lot of responsibility too. These heating devices can lead to fire hazards if not dealt properly. Therefore, you need to be extra careful while using this heat source.

In this write-up, we will talk about the best place to keep a space heater and whether you can use it on a carpet or not. We will also put some highlight on the safety tips that should always be on your fingertips while using space heaters at your home. So, keep reading to stay informed.  

Can You Put Space Heater On A Carpet?

Can You Put Space Heater On A Carpet

No, you cannot put a space heater on the carpet as it involves a lot of risks.

Understandably, many homes have carpeted floors, which is why ‘whether you can keep a space heater on a carpeted floor’ is one of the most-asked questions. And the answer to this question is a simple ‘No.’

You might come across many heater brands that’ll tell you that you can place their space heaters on the carpet, but doing that would put you and your family in danger of a fire hazard.

Keeping the space heater on a carpet or area rug is risky. The carpet is made of wool, which can catch fire quite easily. Wool is a flammable material, and when you keep a heater on top, the material will trap the heat resulting in the build-up of heat. This heat build-up may lead to a fire in the worst case.

Therefore, keeping safety a priority, consider keeping your space heater on a hard flat surface like wood or tile. In addition, ensure keeping the heater at least 3-foot away from other flammable objects.

What Happens If you Put A Space Heater On A Carpet?

What Happens If you Put A Space Heater On A Carpet

Space heaters are one of the most used heating equipment globally. The new modern heaters are designed with different safety measures, but they still pose some serious safety concerns.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, households should not use unvented combusting heaters because the byproducts produced from these heating devices are harmful. You will be surprised to know that the state of California has banned the use of such space heaters.

Furthermore, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states that the local fire departments dealt with an average of 52,050 fires involving heating equipment each year from 2012-2016, which was 15% of home fires reported.

The department reports that heating equipment is the second-leading cause of home fires in the U.S. and is the third leading cause of home fire deaths. The authorities cleared that more than 54% of all home heating fire deaths were caused by the fire that ignited because the heating equipment was too close to flammable objects like upholstered furniture, mattresses, clothing or bedding.

Now, let’s look at what can happen when you put a space heater on carpet


You should never keep the space heater on carpet or an area rug because the carpet will trap heat and build up, causing a fire. So, to avoid extreme circumstances, keep the heater away from carpets or rugs made of flammable material.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

We usually shut down the doors and windows when we use space heaters to prevent the cold air from entering the indoor space. And as we already discussed, putting the space heater on the carpet traps the heat that will eventually release carbon monoxide gas into the atmosphere. This poisonous gas will suffocate the environment leading to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Release of Toxic Fumes

Dry cleaners use chemical fuels to clean the carpets, and some of this fuel stays on the carpet even after cleaning. Furthermore, when you keep a space heater on a carpet, this fuel evaporates due to heat that releases into the atmosphere, causing a toxic smell.

Is It Safe To Use Space Heater On A Carpet?

Is It Safe To Use Space Heater On A Carpet

No, using a space heater on a carpeted floor is not safe.

Space heater should always be kept on a flat surface like wood or tile. Carpeted floors are not flat enough, which increases the risk of the heater tumbling down. Homes with kids and pets around are at a higher risk because controlling the movement of children and pets becomes difficult.

Using an electric heater on carpet may also result in the accumulation of toxic chemical fumes from the cleaning products used to keep carpets clean and fresh. 

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Safety Tips: Things To Know Before Using a Space Heater On A Carpet

Whether using a space heater on a carpet or not, you should always keep safety first. Hence, we have highlighted a few safety tips that you should focus on when using a space heater on a carpet or rug.

Create kids and pet-free zone

Do not let your kids or pets come near the heater. Keep them away, as children and pets are most likely to knock off the heater on the carpet.

Follow the 3-foot rule

Keep your heater away from combustible objects. Follow the 3-foot rule and keep a reasonable distance between the heating devices and other objects, including curtains, pillows, bedding, furniture, clothing, mattress, etc.

Furthermore, as advised by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, you should keep the heater away from matches, painting and cleaning materials.

Don’t keep the heater unattended

The safest way to use a space heater is to keep it monitored. Never leave your heater unattended, especially when you have kids and pets. In addition, never sleep with your heater on, as this could lead to fatal fire accidents. Always shut down the heaters before you go off to sleep or go out of your home.

Don’t use extension cords

Do not use extension cords for space heaters because they could overheat from the overload, resulting in fire. Therefore, directly plug your heaters in the wall socket and also maintain the distance between the heater’s back and the wall. Allow sufficient space for your heater to breathe, as proper ventilation behind and around the heater is essential.

Keep the heater away from moisture

Water and electricity are a dangerous combination. Therefore, putting a heater near any water source is unsafe as it can trigger an electrical fire. So, make sure to keep the heater away from moisture.

What Heater Can You Use On Carpet?

If you want to use a space heater on the carpet, choose a heating device designed to be used on carpeted floors. In addition, consider keeping a mat under the heater for enhanced safety.

Although space heaters are not supposed to be used on the carpet, even if you are doing so, you must keep a few things in mind. The safest electric heaters are the ones that come with key safety features such as;

Tip-over switch

Tip over switch is a feature that automatically switches off the heater if it accidentally tips off. If you or your pet or child knocks on the heater, the device will shut down automatically, reducing the chances of fire or any other mishap. This feature brings great help when you put your heater on a carpet.

Overheat sensor switch

The overheat sensor switch is designed to shut off the device when it reaches a certain unsafe temperature.


Most modern heaters are approved and recognized by testing laboratories. These certifications ensure safety in odd circumstances. So, choose heaters that are certified by U.L. (Underwriters Laboratories), CSA (Canadian Standards Association), and ETL (Intertek Group), which testifies optimum safety for the users.

Even after all the safety measures, if you leave your heater unattended or don’t use it appropriately, you might end up in a dangerous situation.

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Final Thoughts

Space heaters are not designed to be used on carpets or rugs. These heating devices are supposed to be kept on a solid or flat surface so that it doesn’t tips off easily.

Therefore, keeping safety should be your priority, prefer placing a heater on solid surfaces like wood or tile. In addition, always be ready and keep a fire extinguisher handy to deal with extreme conditions like fire hazards.

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