If the sound of the furnace blowing warm air at night feels like money draining out of your pocketbook, you’re not alone. Many people rely on alternate forms of heating like electric heaters to reduce energy expenses. Space heaters are considered unsafe for use while sleeping, however, so heed the following advice to stay comfortable and still wake up in the morning.
Electric heaters, aka space heaters, are designed to keep a small area warm. The larger the unit, the larger the room it can heat, and the more energy it consumes. Portable space heaters work in one of two ways — infrared heat or convection (forced air). Convection heaters can dry out your skin if they blow directly on you.
Most government organizations argue that space heaters are unsafe. Unless they have adequate airflow on both front and back they can ignite flammable clothing or other materials. The National Fire Protection Association notes that space heaters are involved in 79 percent of fatal home heating fires. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission claims that 6,000 people visit emergency rooms each year for burns related to electric heaters.
Additionally, an electric heater may or may not save money. If you have central heating, it’s more cost-effective to use your furnace than to use several electric heaters in different rooms. Those in milder climates may save money by running a space heater temporarily in the bedroom before bedtime. Just make sure that you are not letting the rest of your house freeze, including your plumbing.
For safety, if you use a room heater, turn it off before you go to sleep. If your bedroom gets too cold later, place a hot water bottle or two under the covers 20-30 minutes before bedtime. Latest models are leak-proof, inexpensive and stay warm for several hours.
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