A space heater eats plenty of energy, but it doesn't use nearly as much as your furnace. Place one in a drafty room to supplement heat, rather than crank up your furnace, and you'll save energy and money. Here's what to look for when buying one.
Thermostat and Adjustable Power Levels
Choosing a space heater with a thermostat and adjustable power levels allows you to set the temperature and power as low as possible to comfortably heat your room and avoid energy waste.
Oscillating Blower Fan
A space heater with an oscillating blower fan warms a space quickly and efficiently. A unit with a higher heat output but no oscillating fan leaves a room feeling colder than one with a lower output and a fan.
Overheat Protection and Tip-Over Switch
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25,000 residential fires are started every year as a result of space heaters, leading to more than 300 deaths and 6,000 emergency room visits for burns. Fortunately, many new heaters come with great safety features. One is overheat protection, which automatically turns off the unit when the heat rises to high. Another is a tip-over switch, which shuts off the unit if it falls over. Some units even have infrared sensors that cut off power if anything gets too close to the heater—a handy feature for those with kids or pets.
Testing Company Approved
Always look for space heaters that have been tested and labeled by a nationally recognized and reputable testing company such as the Underwriter's Laboratories Inc. (UL). Many companies manufacture cheap imitations of popular brands, but these devices are untested and possibly dangerous.
Until next time,
The Home Know-It-All