Heating equipment or improper use of heaters is the second most common cause of residential fires after kitchen fire accidents.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, improper use of space heaters is the primary cause of the most deadly home fire accidents recorded to date.
Statistically, around 52,000 home fire accidents are recorded each year, and among these, 44% of mishaps are caused by space heaters, and around 32% happen because of fireplaces.
The data is scary, but this does not mean you’ll have to give up on space heaters altogether. Instead, using them in the right way while keeping all the safety precautions in mind is the need of the hour.
Space heaters are small heating equipment designed to heat a small or mid-sized room. Many people use this heating source even to warm up a particular space in a big room to make the environment comfy.
But, did you know that your heater won’t function efficiently if it’s not placed in the right spot? Yes, it is true.
Placing the space heater in the right spot is extremely important for it to work effectively. Besides, improper placement will also open doors to various fire hazards.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of the right placement. In addition, we will also spotlight the various types of space heaters and the best place to put them. This article will also talk about things you need to consider before placing a space heater.
Where to Place Space Heater?
The best place to put a space heater is a flat surface with no mess around.
Different space heaters require a different environment to function efficiently. However, the most common things to keep in mind when you place heaters in a room are finding an uncluttered spot, keeping the other flammable objects away, and placing the heater on a flat surface.
Now, let’s look at some of the safest and most suitable places to put a space heater.
Choose a corner with no fabrics
Space heaters can get extremely hot, and when they come in contact with any flammable fabric or upholstery, it leads to a fire accident. So, to create a safe environment around a space heater, ensure there’s no fabric or upholstery kept nearby.
For enhanced efficiency and safety, remove the rugs, curtains, towels, etc., if any of them are lying beside or close to your space heaters.
Don’t put heaters too close to walls
Fixing a space heater in the corner of a room is quite common, but keeping the device at a reasonable distance from the wall is the one thing that calls for your attention.
For your information, space heaters need to breathe well to perform effectively. So, if you keep it too close to the wall, it won’t be able to suck the required air, which might result in the device malfunctioning. The ETA Safety Laboratory recommends that you should keep 32 inches of space vacant in front of the heater and 18 inches at the back.
The worst-case scenario when you place your heater too close to the wall will be excessive heating of the cord or plug. Overheating can lead to short circuits or can even cause a fire.
Choose an even and flat surface
Space heaters are designed to be kept on a flat surface; if you fail to do so, the electrical components inside the device might not perform efficiently. On top of that, the fact that space heaters are all equipped with heating elements makes it even more dangerous to keep the device on uneven ground.
When the space heaters are placed on a bumpy or uneven surface, their chances of tipping off multiply. And, if your heater tips off by any chance, it can lead to deadly consequences. Moreover, the situation becomes even more difficult if you have kids or pets.
So, ensure finding a flat surface position for your space heaters to let the device distribute heat evenly and safely.
Place heaters away from kitchen or bathroom
Keeping the space heater in the bathroom or kitchen is never a good idea. Space heaters are electronic devices, and if they come in contact with water, it can lead to electrocution or even cause a fire.
Furthermore, if you keep these heating units close to other devices in your kitchen, it might hamper the efficiency of your space heater.
So, to avoid such accidents, ensure to keep the heaters away from the bathroom and your kitchen.
Place your space heaters away from furniture
Furniture is a flammable object, and it can easily catch fire. Therefore, it is advised that you keep your space heater away from any piece of furniture.
Besides, you should also avoid keeping furniture items in front of the heater as this will obstruct the flow of heat and hamper the heating unit’s efficiency.
On the other hand, keeping a space heater on a piece of furniture, like a table, can lead to deadly consequences when you have pets. Pets are often curious and can easily jump off to knock down the heating device. So, to avoid such accidents, be mindful.
3 Types of Space Heaters and Where to Place Them?
The heater placement can also be altered depending on the type of space heater you use. So, let’s keep reading to find the best place to fix a space heater according to its classification.
Convection space heater placement
Convection space heaters are often referred to as forced-fan space heaters. These heating devices generate heat by running an electric current through the heating element.
Further, when the element gets hot, a fan blows air via this hot element to make the surroundings warm and comfortable.
These heaters are best for bigger, open spaces, like your living room or hallway. To enhance the efficiency of convection heaters, you should always keep them in a place where they can comfortably blow hot air toward the center of the room.
Most importantly, do not keep an obstructing object close to a convection heater, as this would hamper the device’s performance.
Infrared space heater placement
These heating devices use infrared lights to heat an area. The infrared heaters are equipped with a light bulb that generates infrared light energy, which radiates outwards to heat anything in its path.
Infrared space heaters are good for warming up a limited space as they exhibit direct heat to the subject placed in front of the heater. So, people use these devices in garages or a large drafty room where they want the heater to provide heat immediately to any surrounding object.
Furthermore, these heaters also generate a lot of light, which makes them unsuitable for any place that needs to be kept dark.
The best place to keep an infrared heater is close to the object to be heated. So, keep these heaters close to yourself to get the maximum heat.
Oil-filled heater placement
As the name suggests, oil-filled heaters use filler material to generate heat. These heaters are best for heating small to medium-sized rooms as they do not have a fan.
The best place to keep an oil-filled heater is an uncluttered corner of the room. Oil-filled heaters usually get too hot on the outside. So, to avoid accidents like burning, you should keep them away from the reach of children, pets, and other flammable objects. Choose a corner that’s hard to reach and is not messy.
Things to Consider When Placing a Space Heater?
There are five important factors that you should consider before placing a space heater. Keep reading to know more.
The struggle to figure out the best place to put a space heater is real. Knowing the challenges that you must be facing, we have lined down a few parameters that will help you pick the safest spot. Let’s know the factors that you need to consider.
- Area size
- Distance from nearby objects
- Water or moisture sources around the heater
- Position of flammable objects
- Other heat sources
Let’s understand the relevance of these factors in detail.
To decide the best place for a space heater, you must first consider the area size of the place where the heater is to be used. Heating a smaller area is easier and quicker than an expanded room.
So, if you are using a space heater in your office cabin or your small-sized bedroom, then you can keep the heater at any spot, provided it is uncluttered. In a large room, keeping the space heater near the most-used spot is advised. Again, keeping the heater away from other objects in the room is crucial. So, the size of the room matters in enhancing the efficiency of a space heating unit.
Distance from nearby objects
Not just because of the safety point of view, but also to enhance the efficiency of a heating device, it is important to remove the obstructions lying in between.
Similarly, when using a space heater, you should place it at a corner where there’s no obstruction between you and the heating device.
Obstructions like a piece of furniture or a stack of books will block the airflow or heat flow that will not make you feel warmer. So, place a space heater in a spot that is clear and free from other objects lying in the room.
Water or moisture sources around the heater
Keeping the space heater away from moisture or water sources is vital from a safety point of view.
Water and electricity can never be a good combination. Therefore, to avoid risks like electrocution, or fire hazard, you should ensure to place your heater away from water sources.
Many people use space heaters in the bathroom, and the manufacturers advertise their products as safe for use in the bathroom.
But, considering the fire accident data coming from different cities, it is good to avoid using space heaters in the bathroom. Even if you are doing so, you must be excessively alert and prepared to deal with the consequences.
Position of flammable objects
Keeping the space heater away from flammable objects is paramount. These objects include curtains, rugs, soft toys, papers, magazines, furniture, etc. As a thumb rule, you should follow the 3-feet distance criterion to keep yourself and your family safe.
As already explained above, according to the ETA Safety Laboratory, the distance between the space heater and other flammable objects should be 36 inches in front and 18 inches at the back. So, pick a spot that is uncluttered and free from mess.
Most importantly, do not let your kids or pet get around the heater, as this can also result in a fire accident.
Other heat sources
Keeping two heat sources beside each other or close is never a good idea. For instance, if you use your space heater in the kitchen and try to keep it on the kitchen top beside your oven or toaster, you’ll probably end up in a dangerous situation.
Two heat sources kept beside each other might cause excessive heat, which can also result in one of them malfunctioning. So again, maintaining proper distance is the key.
Is it Better to Put a Space Heater on the Floor or up High?
It is best to keep the space heaters on the floor.
From a safety point of view, space heaters should always be placed on the ground with a flat surface. Leaving the heaters on solid ground reduces the chances of them tipping off, which elongates the life of the electronic device and also prevents fire accidents.
How High Should Heaters Be?
Space heaters should be mounted at a minimum of 10 cm above the ground.
Although, the best place to keep a portable space heater is on even ground. Heat rises, and keeping the heating unit on the ground makes the environment warmer. However, if you are placing it above the ground, keep it a minimum of 10 cm high.
Why Should Heaters be Placed on the Floor?
A space heater uses convection currents to make the area around it hot. Heat tends to rise, and when you place it on the ground, it makes the air of the room warmer.
The cold air present in the room gets down to get the heat from the heating unit, and as this air warms up, it moves upwards to make the atmosphere comfortable.
On the other hand, if you fix a space heater at a height, the cold air below the heater won’t get the required heat to warm up, preventing the room from heating.
These are the technicalities involved in finding the right place to put space heaters in a room.
Space heaters can efficiently make your home feel warm and comfortable, provided you use this heating unit the right way.
Hoping the information mentioned above will clear your doubts, we advise you always to be alert while using a space heater in your home. Safety comes first. Happy winters.