Do you have a room heater at home? If yes, are you following all the instructions carefully?
You need to remember certain things when using a room heater. If not, it can lead to failures or electric shocks.
If you are a first-time user or have been using it for some time, we have some safety tips for you. Make sure you follow them religiously every time you use a room heater.
Let us get started with the discussion.
Safety Tips for Using your Room Heater
Although a room heater can keep you warm and convenient, it can be dangerous too. Safety always comes first. You need to take proper care and safety measures to ensure reduced or zero chances of injury while using them. Here are some useful ways to stay safe while keeping yourself warm.
Buy Certified Space Heaters
The first and foremost thing that you need to look for when purchasing a room heater is whether it is a Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certified appliance or not. All electric appliances need this certification. It is authentication that they are indeed tested and built as per the safety parameters. The manufacturers provide complete information on this certification for their products. Always check for this crucial point before making any purchase. Having a BIS-certified room heater assures a risk-free operation of the appliance.
Look for Safety Features
The next prominent thing you need to look for is the safety features of the product. Here are certain things you need to be sure of when using a room heater:
Does your room heater have the overheat protection feature? The significance of this feature is that it detects the temperature inside the room. Whenever the room becomes too hot or exceeds the required temperature, the appliance switches off automatically. This further prevents the room from overheating.
As the name says, a tip-over protection feature allows the heater to shut off instantly whenever there is a tip-over due to any reason.
Cool-touch housing is yet another safety feature your room heater should possess. This feature is prominent because it prevents accidental burns when you touch the heater’s exterior. This is very helpful when you have children or pets at home.
Keep The Space Heater At Least 3 Feet Away From Flammable Objects
When using space heaters, there are a few safety measures one should take. Here is the primary step. Maintain a distance of about three feet from the heater and the flammable objects. There is a direct relation between the space heaters and fabrics. Whenever these appliances come in direct contact with specific fabrics like clothing or curtains, upholstered furniture, etc., it may cause a fire. To avoid this, make sure you always maintain a safety zone between the heater and flammable objects or fabrics.
See to it that there is a minimum distance of about three feet on all the sides, including front, back, and surroundings, to prevent objects from catching fire.
Keep Heaters Away From Objects And People
Here is another safety tip. Try to keep the heater away from people and objects. It is essential to see that people or objects do not get in contact with the appliance when in use. Else, it may cause electric shocks and other accidental burns that can be dangerous to children, pets, and even elders. Keep it away from objects, as well, that tend to catch fire easily when they come in contact with the appliance.
Keep Heaters Away From Water
This is an important safety measure to follow. Never allow the heater to get exposed to a wet area in the bathroom or any other place in the home. Also, it is essential to keep the appliance away from any potential water leaks or splashes while operating. Whenever the heater comes in direct contact with the water, it may lead to electrocution or electric shocks to people nearby. Sometimes, it may even result in loss of life.
Another vital thing is that you should never touch it with wet hands or when you are wet. It will spike the risk of getting electrocuted.
Avoid placing objects like mugs, bowls, etc., in close proximity of the heater. This will avoid any spills and further accidents from taking place.
Do not Use an Extension Cord
Using an extension cord for a space heater is a strict no-no. We all know that the appliance demands a high power when operating. In such a case it may cause a short circuit to the extension cord or the power strip. Eventually, this will lead to a fire accident. Hence, it is always suggestible to plug the heater directly into the nearby power socket. Please note that you should not plug anything into the same outlet when the appliance is running.
Do not leave the heater unattended for long
Once done with the room heater, switch it off, unplug it from the power outlet and store it in a suitable place. Leaving it unattended for an extended period may cause a short circuit, tip over, or overheat the appliance and may even result in a fire break out. Never forget to switch off the unit after use, or before leaving the room, or going to bed.
Prolonged exposure to running heaters in the closed room may result in headaches, dizziness, nausea, weakness, etc. Moreover, let us say you forgot to switch off the appliance before going to bed. It may lead to a fire break out at night when you are asleep. This can be extremely dangerous to your entire family.
Many new models from the heaters come with advanced features like programmable timers. You can make use of this feature to let the appliance automatically turn on or off when you are busy or sleeping or occupied with some work.
Do not Use an Old Space Heater
If you are using an old space heater, then probably it is time to upgrade. Modern features available today come with advanced features, including safety measures. The auto-shut-off safety feature allows the appliance to turn off automatically whenever the unit overheats or has been running continuously for a long time. This facet facilitates the device to shut down in case of tip over, as well. If you are using a room heater for quite some time now, switch to an upgraded version to avail all the safety benefits.
Position Your Space Heater On A Level Surface
The next crucial step to follow is to position your space heater on a smooth and level surface. This ensures a minimized risk of it getting knocked over accidentally and falling over flammable objects.
To avoid such unwanted incidents from taking place, never place the room heater near a rug or on a table with a cloth covering over it. Refrain from placing it on the edge of the table or desk, as well. If you want to keep yourself warm is less time, try moving closer to the device instead of positioning it near your bed. This prevents any potential risks.
Do Not Block The Doorways And Exits
Again, do not place your space heater in areas that may seem like blocking the doorway or the exit. In case of any emergency, you may have the way of escape obstructing. To be on the safer side, try using a wall outlet inside when heating a particular room.
Inspect And Maintain Your Heater Regularly
Any appliance needs regular maintenance to ensure it works properly without any hindrances. You need to maintain the proper working condition of your space heater by cleaning it regularly. Also, keep inspecting the device to ensure there are no damages to it. If you notice any signs of wearing or damage in the unit or cord, contact the service centre immediately to resolve the issue at the earliest.
Follow the below instructions for cleaning the space heater:
This is all you need:
- Clean Cloth
- Firstly, switch off the appliance and unplug it from the socket.
- Allow the device to cool.
- After it cools down, wipe the exteriors of the heater using a cloth.
- You may even use a vacuum to wipe. This minimizes the spread of dust and also the allergens around your space.
Tips for Using the Room Heater Effectively
Do you want to ensure the efficient working and performance of your room heater? Here are some simple yet effective tips for using your appliance. Make sure you follow them without fail to save on your electricity bills.
Tip 1: Always choose a room heater with adjustable wattage settings
Does your room heater have a knob for adjusting the wattage settings? If not, you should probably upgrade to one with advanced and multiple settings. Newer models often come with this feature that allows you to adjust the watts as per the requirement. Let us say you are using this appliance in a small room. You can change the wattage setting to low and maintain the required insulation. This will warm your room quickly. You may say that low wattage will produce less heat. Yes, indeed. It does not matter as long as you are maintaining the right insulation. This will keep your room warm without consuming more electricity. That means you can trim down your electricity bills while staying warm for a long time.
Tip 2: Always choose a room heater that comes with an in-built thermostat
Always purchase room heaters that come with a thermostat. This is the smartest way to cut down on your electricity bills. The thermostat plays a crucial role in reducing electricity consumption. They keep the temperature in the room constant throughout. Once the room temperature reaches the desired level, it cuts off the power supply and maintains consistency all over. Additionally, if there is any drop in the room temperature level, it switches on the power supply again. This way, it turns on and off the power supply and keeps the room at the desired temperature. And the best part, it keeps your heater running without consuming more electricity.
Tip 3: Always choose a fan heater and set the temperature to the lowest
If you want to keep yourself warm during winters, a fan heater can be the best option. These appliances blow hot air that spreads across the room. You can adjust the fan settings to low and maintain the required insulation in your room. This way, you can warm up your room quickly without any surge in electricity consumption. While the fan or blower of the appliance ensures the hot air circulates throughout the room, the lower temperature setting will facilitate lower power consumption.
You can follow any of these three tips to keep your room warm and save on your power utility bills. However, make sure that your blower or heater is clean and working properly.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, it is highly not recommended to leave your space heater on when sleeping. Always remember to switch it off before going to bed. If your appliance comes with an auto shut-off feature, you may leave it so when sleeping. If your unit does not have such additional facets, it is advisable to turn it off. Also, keep your device far from flammable objects like clothes, fabrics, beds, etc.
If you think you require a heater while sleeping, we advise you to choose one that comes with an in-built timer. This will allow your appliance to turn off automatically after the stipulated time.
Since space heaters emit heat inside the room to keep it warm, it can be dangerous. Irrespective of the size, every heater produces more heat in a very short period. Whenever a curtain or a blanket, or bedding gets in contact with the appliance, it may cause a fire to break out inside the room. Unfortunately, this may spread throughout the room.
The material used inside a space heater is of less significance when compared to the safety features. If you want to know which units are the safest, consider purchasing UL-certified appliances that come with fire-preventative features. These include some of the crucial points like the overheat protection feature, automatic shut off, in-built timers, and long cords.
I hope this article gave you all the necessary tips, dos, and don’ts for using a room heater effectively and efficiently. Now that you know what to do and how to do it, you can try these useful instructions when using the appliance. Keep yourself warm while saving on your electricity bills.
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Stay home, stay healthy and stay safe!!!