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While Arizona has milder winters than many other states, we still see a number of chilly days every year. Rather than turning on the central heat, you may opt to keep warm using a space heater. But is this option safe?

Like all heat sources, electric space heaters have their risks. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states that four out of every five home heating fire deaths involve stationary or portable space heaters. For your safety, follow these tips when using a space heater in your Buckeye home.

  • Know what type of space heater you have. If you’re still using an older electric resistance space heater, consider replacing it with a newer, safer ceramic or infrared space heater. Look for a model with an automatic shut-off feature in case the unit overheats or falls over. Whatever unit you choose, read the manual and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines
  • Inspect your space heater for damage. Before turning on a new space heater or using your unit for the first time in a while, check it for frayed wires, loose knobs, wobbly legs, or other signs of wear. Repair or replace your damaged heater as soon as possible.
  • Never leave a space heater running unattended. Only operate the unit while you can keep an eye on it. Letting it run unsupervised while you sleep or leave the room increases the chance of a fire hazard developing. Unplug the heater when you’re done using it for the day and let it cool before leaving the premises.
  • Give your space heater some space. The NFPA recommends leaving at least a three-foot gap between the front of the heater and nearby objects, such as curtains, blankets, and upholstery. Keep the back and sides of the unit away from combustible items as well.
  • Set your space heater on a flat, stable surface. Avoid putting the heater on furniture, countertops, or near high-traffic areas. Then, refrain from touching, moving, or placing anything on top of the unit while in operation.
  • Keep pets and kids away. Because some space heaters are hot to the touch, you should avoid using them within reach of pets or small children.
  • Never plug a space heater into an extension cord. Space heaters draw a lot of power, so pairing them with an extension cord or power strip that can’t handle the wattage could start a fire. To avoid the risk, always plug space heaters directly into a properly grounded wall outlet.

If you’ve been using a space heater lately because your furnace or heat pump is acting up, don’t put off the repair any longer. Meadow Air can perform reliable, cost-effective heating repair and maintenance to restore home comfort. We also offer ductless mini-split services if you want a safer, more efficient way to heat and cool individual rooms throughout your house. To learn more or request a free service estimate, please call us at (602) 812-0648 or contact us online today.