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Are Space Heaters Safe for Indoor Use

January 16, 2015

Are Space Heaters Safe for Indoor Use

There are a variety of spaces heaters on the market today. From vented units to unvented combustion units and unvented electric space heaters. Some are for indoors and some are for outdoors and it is very important you get one which is purposefully designed for indoor use. Unvented combustion units are not recommended for indoor use and many states have even banned the use of unvented kerosene and natural gas heaters for indoor use.

Vented units can be used for indoor use; however, there are a few precautions that need to be considered for indoor use. According to energy.gov, “Vented units are designed to be permanently located next to an outside wall, so that the flue gas vent can be installed through a ceiling or directly through the wall to the outside. Look for sealed combustion or “100% outdoor air” units, which have a duct to bring outside into the combustion chamber. Sealed combustion heaters are much safer to operate than other types of space heaters, and operate more efficiently because they do not draw in the heated air from the room and exhaust it to the outdoors.” If using one of these types of heaters, always follow the instructions according to the manufacturer’s installation guidelines.

There are some other general safety guidelines that should also be considered such as using the proper fuel, the proper amount of fuel and following the fuel instructions provided by the manufacturer. The unit must be set up properly and adjusted for the altitude in which it is being installed. Just like a furnace, a vented unit should be inspected every year.

The other option is an unvented electric space heater and it is the only unvented option that is for indoor use. This type of unit is typically more costly to operate but they do help to avoid indoor air quality issues which are of concern when using a vented unit indoors. As with all indoor space heaters, there is a burn risk and fire hazard which should be operated with extreme caution.

Another option is a convection space heater. A convection space heater is a non-radiant unit using a liquid, such as oil, which is heated by an electric element, which can then be stored, allowing for a more constant source of heat.

Any time you are purchasing an electric space heater; always follow the safety guidelines recommended by energy.gov. An electric space heater must always be directly plugged into the wall outlet. If an extension cord is required, check the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use. Any unit you buy should have a safety switch that will automatically turn the unit off if it is tipped over.

If you are in need of a heating expert, contact our certified specialists at Climate Tech Air Conditioning & Heating today. We can help you with any of your heating questions and make sure that you are getting the proper heating system for your indoor space.

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