Space heaters won’t heat your whole house
Space heaters are designed for just that: to heat a small space, not an entire house. While safer than in the past, still be cautious in using them. Michael Bluejay, online energy efficiency consultant, offers these tips on space heater safety:
- Electric heaters are safer but more expensive to run than gas heaters — You’re less likely to accidentally blow up your house, and there are no combustion byproducts to worry about.
- Oil-filled radiators are safer than red, glowing heaters with a fan inside — Oil-filled heaters distribute heat throughout the unit so no one part gets super hot. They heat up more slowly than heaters with fans.
- Make sure circuit has enough capacity — A 1500-watt heater uses 12.5 of a 15-amp circuit and can heat up household wiring in the walls. Put each heater on a dedicated circuit if possible.
- Use only super-thick extension cords for heaters — cord should be 12 gauge. Note that the smaller the number, the thicker the cable. 14 gauge is worse than 12.