A list of tips and safety measures to make the most of your home heating this winter.

"Baby, it's cold outside..." isn't that how the Christmas song goes? Well, it is cold! And it's the time of year where homeowners decide to turn on their heat/furnace. The upside, having an HVAC system in your home helps consistently heat and cool your entire house. The down side, it can potentially be rather expensive depending on where you live and how often you run your system. That's where space heaters can be a big help! They can be a cost-effective way to heat a specific room in your house without sacrificing heat in rooms visited less often. While space heaters are convenient, they can also be a safety hazard if not taken care of correctly. With the help of Sylvane.com here are some safety tips you should take into consideration if you're thinking about buying one (or more) for your home or apartment. 

Where Do I Put It?

According to Sylvane.com, space heaters should be placed at least three feet away from furniture, windows, bedding, clothing and rugs. Basically, anything that's flammable should be kept away from where you place your heater. You should also make sure any space heater is placed on a hard (and level) surface. Make sure you understand the owner's manual and how to operate your heater too. And by all means, don't place anything on top of your heater (that means no trying to dry clothing with it). OK, let's move on!

Safety. Safety? Safety!

Most space heaters usually come with a safety manual that will show you the best practices on how to get the most out of your new purchase. They'll also show you what not to do (as to not catch anything on fire). Make sure you read this manual and understand ALL the safety features that come with your model. According to Sylvane.com, precautions such as Overheat protection, Tip-Over protection and Cool-Housing are all things you should look for.

  • Overheat protection - will detect when internal parts of your space heater become too hot. If any are detected, it will automatically shut off to prevent any overheating. 
  • Tip-Over protection - any heater with this function will automatically turn off if it's turned over for any reason. Like a family pet, or toddler running through the house and accidentally knocking it over. 
  • Cool-Touch Housing - allows your heater to remain cool to the touch externally. Again, for the same reason of pets or curious toddlers who want to know where that awesome heat is coming from. 

For a full list of space heaters with these protections you can visit: Here for overheat protection. Or Here for tip-over protection. If you're unsure about which one will work best for your space, consult an HVAC Advocate to help choose the right fit. 

Plug It In!

Another safety tip everyone should know about space heaters is where you plug it in. Most heaters have electrical cords that should be plugged directly into a wall outlet with sufficient power. Don't use an extension cord. This will prevent any power shortages, overheating and electrical injuries. Also, don't share an outlet with other appliances or devices. Make sure your space heater has a dedicated outlet just for it (yep, high maintenance). 

Unplug it! (And other maintenance)

Taking care of your new (or older) space heater is just as important as how you us it. Sylvane.com suggests you frequently inspect your heater and clean it to make sure it's working properly. Like all electrical devices, if left unchecked it will deteriorate faster. When your space heater is not in use, make sure it's completely shut off and unplugged from the wall outlet. If you've used it and then turned it off, let your heater cool (unplugged) before you move, clean or readjust it. It's also a good idea to wipe it down to minimize the allergens dispersed in your space while it's turned on.  

Water Is Not Your Friend

Lastly, keep your space heater away from all water! Unless you have one that's specifically designed for damp areas (they do exist) keep them out of the bathroom and away from all areas where water is used frequently and humid spaces like an unfinished basement. Also, try not to touch your heater if you are wet. This only increases the chances of an electrical charge, finding its way to you. If you are looking for a space heater equipped to handle wet areas, reach out to an HVAC Advocate to see what the best options are. 

That's it! A quick rundown of safety tips for space heaters. How to use them, where to place them and what not to do. It's important to also understand all space heaters are different and may require different maintenance. If you have any questions about where to find the best deals or various options visit MyHVACAdvocate.com to get started with an expert.