Winters can get extremely uncomfortable, especially when you are sensitive to cold winds and freezing weather conditions. Many homes have a centralized heating system, which not just increases the temperature inside your home, but also multiplies the numbers on your power bill.
The centralized heating system is undoubtedly the best means to stay toasty on a chilled day. However, not all households can afford to get a centralized heater installed. And that’s when the space heaters come to rescue. Space heaters are heating units that are compact, easy to carry, easy to use and a comparatively economical source of heating.
Space heaters are cost-effective as they help you save a lot of money on energy bills. But unfortunately, they can be excessively dangerous, too. Yes, using space heating systems requires you to stay alert. Besides, there are a lot of precautions that you should follow while using these units. This write-up will discuss how to make the most out of space heater and the safety tips that demand your attention.
7 Ways to Use Space Heaters Efficiently
The efficiency of a space heater can be determined by the time it takes to heat the surrounding area. Different people use these heating devices differently, which is why the efficiency of the same model might vary from household to household.
All space heaters are sold with a rule book that ensures optimum safety and maximum efficiency. Therefore, going by the rule is important. So, keep reading to know the different ways to use space heaters efficiently.
Plug your space heater in the wall socket
Manufacturers advise that you should not use extension cords, surge protectors, plug timers, or anything that is not a wall outlet. This is important from both safety and efficiency point of view as the added layers of any electric connection increase the chances of overheating or overloading the circuit.
As a result, the heat starts to build up, which can lead to a fire or device malfunctioning. Furthermore, keeping the heater at a recommended distance from the wall, which is 18 inches, is also important. Keeping the heater too close to the wall increases the chances of overheating as the device fails to get enough air.
On the other hand, when you use an extension cord, you waste a lot of power. The longer the cord of the device, the more power wastage. So, avoid using extension cords altogether as this not only opens doors to fire hazards but also reduces the efficiency of the heating unit.
Never leave your space heater on when unattended
Keeping an eye on the space heater is of utmost importance. According to National Fire Protection Association, leaving the space heater unattended or not using it properly is one of the major causes of home fire accidents. Besides, it also consumes a lot of energy which reflects in your energy bills.
To boost the efficiency of a space heater, it is important to give the device a break every 2-3 hours. Continuous use of any heating device will hamper its efficiency. Therefore, switch it off for half an hour every couple of hours to maximize efficiency.
Keep the heater away from kids, pets, and flammable objects
The CPSE explains the 3-foot rule, making the instruction quite easy to understand. This means you should maintain a minimum of a 3-foot distance between the heater and other objects.
Kids and pets are often too curious to touch things that look different from their routine sights. As a result, they might bump into the device and knock it down, hampering the efficiency of the heating unit.
Any damage or breakage will result in a disturbance in the heating element and other electronics equipped with the device, disturbing its functioning.
On the other hand, when the device comes in contact with flammable objects like curtains, towels, papers, rugs, carpets, etc., it can lead to fire accidents. A fire can cause harm to people present in the home while burning the device.
So, as a rule of thumb, keep the heater at a minimum distance of 3 feet from any other object in the room.
Choose the right power as per your room size
The most important aspect of maximizing a space heater’s efficiency is choosing the right power according to the size of the room. For instance, if you choose a heater with a smaller power to heat a big room, the device won’t be efficient enough.
According to experts, you should take 10 watts of power per square foot area. So, if your room measures 100 sq ft, the heater should be of a minimum of 10×100, i.e., 1000 watts.
Choosing the right power is crucial; that is why they say you should buy a heater according to the room in which you want to place it.
Choose a device with safety features
The heaters with safety features perform better. They prevent fire accidents and warm a room in minimum time. So, before you take the final call, choose heaters with the following features;
- Automatic shut-off– Enabled to shut off the device as soon as it gets knocked off accidentally.
- Cool-to-the-touch: This feature keeps the heater’s outer body cool, preventing burns if someone accidentally touches it.
- Overheat protection switch: This switch works as a sensor to detect the temperature of the heater’s internal components. The heater shuts off automatically when the element reaches an unsafe temperature.
- Certifications: NTRL (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory), such as ETL-Intertek, CSA, and UL certifications, ensure safety and efficiency. Furthermore, before purchasing the heater, make sure to reach the customer’s review to know about the unit’s performance.
Routinely inspect the device
Like any other electronic device, space heaters should also be inspected and maintained from time to time. When you inspect a device regularly, you manage to find the fault or damage as soon as it happens. This helps you elongate the life of the device and make it work efficiently.
So, routinely inspect the device for damage to get it fixed as soon as it happens. Minor damages like dust accumulation in the air filter, breaking of the heating element or other electronic components in the device will hamper its efficiency.
Follow the manufacturer’s usage instruction
Reading instructions takes time and is one of the most boring things to do. But believe it, reading instructions is extremely important. Most of the time, you’ll find pointers that explain all the necessary information in detail.
If you follow these instructions religiously, your heater will definitely last longer and perform better.
Space heaters are designed to keep you warm while reducing the burden of electricity bills. These devices are easy to use but demand a lot of attention. Therefore, you should never keep a space heater unattended, as this puts you at dangerous risks.
On top of that, overuse of any heating unit hampers its efficiency, which gets reflected in the device’s performance. The instructions mentioned above will protect your device from degrading and you from potential fire hazards.