Winters are often not too cold for too long in Texas, but you still may need heat. Sometimes, space heaters are useful for small rooms, but you should know some safety tips.

1. Place the Heater Correctly

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that space heaters cause 25,000 injuries and house fires yearly. A general rule is to place the heater at least three feet from furniture and combustibles such as curtains and rugs. Keep the heater on a flat surface, and never lay anything on top of it to dry items.

2. Consider Safety Features

The tip-over features prevent the heater from coming on if it’s not on a flat surface or cause them to switch off if they’re knocked over. New models come equipped with a thermostat that turns the heater on and off at a preset temperature.
The overheat function detects when the components inside the heater are overheating and shuts it off. Look for heaters that have been tested and certified by nationally recognized testing laboratories, such as UL.

3. Only Plug It Into a Wall Outlet

Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet designed to handle higher wattages, and it should be the only thing plugged in it. Drop cords and power strips cannot handle the wattage, and it may overheat the cord or strip.
Extension cords and power strips are not meant to be long-term solutions for electrical needs. The plug should fit snuggly into the wall outlet, and don’t force a plug into it.

4. Inspect the Heater Regularly

Occasionally check power cords to ensure they are not frayed, and get cords repaired or replaced. To clean the heater, turn it off, let it cool down, and then wipe it with a cloth or vacuum. If you notice any unusual noises or odors, do not run the heater, and call a professional.

5. Don’t Leave Them Unattended

Never leave the heater on if you’re not around, and unplug it when not in use. Some models have a feature that allows you to set a temperature to shut off the heater. Consider buying a smart heater if you’re afraid of forgetting to shut the unit off when you leave you home.

Following these tips should reduce your risk of fire hazards. Contact GVEC Air Conditioning & Heating at 877.466.5506 for new installations of AC/heating systems or to check indoor air quality. We can help you with heating and cooling repair, installation and maintenance in Seguin and throughout South Central Texas.

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