Space heaters can help you to heat your home for a lower cost than running the more expensive natural gas or oil heat that many homes have. However, these heaters have a reputation for being dangerous and have started many house fires when not used properly. Over the years, changes have been made to these heaters to make them safer for use so you can save money on your energy bills without risking losing your home in the process.
The safety features present on space heaters have changed over the years to help avoid the accidents that often result in fires. One of the most important safety features on this type of heater is tip control. Even though many of these heaters have wide, stable bases, they can still be knocked over, especially if you have pets or your children running around. Many of space heaters now have mechanisms installed that sense when the unit is no longer upright. When the sensor determines that the heater has tipped or fallen over, it automatically shuts off so it won't start a fire. Some heaters also have sensors that can tell when the front or back of the unit is blocked so it can shut off. Tipping over and covering the heater with clothes or blankets are the top reasons these heaters cause fires.
In the past, all space heaters ran constantly. In many cases, they only had two options: on and off. Today, though, many heaters allow you to set a temperature, though often through a dial, not specific numbers like you can with a home heating unit. However, this temperature setting allows the heater to cycle on and off on its own. When the heater doesn't run constantly, it also doesn't become too hot, reducing the risks of overheating. Some heaters also double as fans, so you can use the same unit for your heating and cooling needs.
In addition to the ability to cycle on and off to prevent overheating, many space heaters also offer cooler operation. The outsides of the heaters don't typically become hot to the touch, making these heaters safer for use if you have children or pets in the home. The casing of the heaters is positioned so that the heater coils inside don't make the exterior of the heater hot as well. The fan inside the heater simply blows air over the heated coils to spread warm air through the room. The openings are also typically covered with a screen so little fingers can't reach inside and touch the heated coils.
Space heaters may have a reputation for being unsafe to use in your home; however, with the advances in the way the heaters are made, they are now safer to operate. They come with many safety features, including automatic shut-off and a better design to allow for cooler operation. You can also set the termostat on some heaters so they don't operate constantly, further saving you money and creating more even heating.