With temperatures finally dipping into the 30's, the River Valley area is looking at our first frost of the season in the coming days. That means folks will be pulling out the sweaters, jackets, and SPACE heaters.
We're Air Care Systems by Price, Inc. and we do central heat and air installation and repair, so why are we talking about SPACE heaters? Because we care about our customers, friends, and neighbors. That's why we try to blog about more than just-- "Hey! We want you to buy a new heat and air system from us!" Let's face it, once you have one in your home you sure don't want to have to buy another one for a long time. Maintenance and upkeep are always going to be an on-going thing (just like changing the oil in your car, you need to have your unit serviced and change your filters regularly), but what else is important to our clientele? Safety is a premiere topic no matter what kind of business you're in, so let's talk about some practical advice to help keep you and yours safe over the chilly months to come.
Space heaters come in a wide range of sizes with lots of options, so choose wisely if you're looking to make a new purchase. Check to see that it's certified by a reliable agency, such as Underwriter's Laboratory (UL™) or ETL (Interlek). It should have safety features such as automatic shut-off if it gets tipped over, a touch sensor (if the grill gets touched), and an ODS (oxygen depletion sensor). Make sure the model you choose is rated to heat the amount of space you plan to use it in. If you buy a model that's too small for the job you have for it, you'll be paying more instead of saving on those energy bills.
You can find electric, gas, and propane models, so how do you decide which one's right for your intended area? Electric models are no good if the power's off. Propane is heavier than air and can be hard to dissipate if there's a problem, so a carbon monoxide detector is a MUST if you're using gas or propane models.
Never plug into an extension cord and NEVER EVER run that extension cord underneath a rug or in an area that may be wet (such as the bathroom). Make sure you plug directly into any outlet and you don't have the heater sitting on anything combustible. According to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters are responsible for thousands of home structure fires (over 57,000 in 2010 alone) and hundreds of deaths each year.
If you're pulling out an old unit that's seen better days, please be especially careful when using them. Many older models have few (if any) safety features to prevent injury or fire. Never leave these unattended or running all night while you sleep. We don't want you to become a statistic in next year's reports. It's better, and healthier, to sleep in a cool room than one that's too warm. Pile on the covers and turn that old dinosaur off while you're sleeping.
Mobile homes pose their own special issues because they require specially designed heating equipment and only electric or vented fuel-fired heaters should be used. Please--take time to do some research before you make a purchase to ensure that you're getting the safest possible alternative for your home. Space heaters can be a blessing. We just don't want them to become a curse...
As always, we're here if you need us. Just give us a call at (479) 777-2331--even if it's just a question about space heaters.