It’s the middle of January. Many families will use extra electric heaters to help supplement the warmth in their rooms or buildings. Although electric heaters can help take the chill off, they can also create problems for the consumer.
First, any time you use electric heat you can expect your power bill to rise. To help keep this cost down, use your electric heater when you only must. Early in the morning or right before you go to bed or the best times. Once it warms up during the daylight hour’s or when you go to bed, turn it off. This will help keep your bill lower. Don’t use more than you need. By this, I mean don’t get a heater that just sucks up the juice.
There are safety factors to consider as well. Fire and electric shock or at the top of this list. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, there are over 3000 fires a year because of electric heaters. Be sure to read the warning labels and instructions before plugging anything in to an outlet.
Never leave an electric heater unattended. If you leave, turn it off and unplug it.
Do not use it with an extension cord or power strip. Extension cords will overheat and start fires.
String the cord out properly on the floor or over a carpet. Do not place it under a carpet or weight it down with anything.
Keep all combustible materials far away. This would include paper, clothes, rags, chemicals, pet bedding, pillows, etc.
Keep animals away from heaters. Cats and Dogs like to lay in front of a heater for it’s warmth.
Do not block a heaters air intake or outlet.
Unless the heater is designed for outdoor use, keep it where it won’t get wet or draw moisture.
Make sure that the plug fits perfectly into the outlet. Do not over load an outlet that is using an electric heater. Heaters use a lot of power. they should be on a plug in by themselves.
When pulling out the plug, pull it out straight and correctly. Many times a cord will heat up and tear off at the plug. this can lead to electric shocking.
Keep heaters away from children and crawling babies. Do not leave unsupervised children playing in the same room where a heater is working.
Be sure the heater is placed on a level, flat surface. this will prevent it from falling or being knocked over.
Once you turn a heater off, let it cool down before you move it. This will help prevent burns. Just because it is turned off doesn’t mean that it won’t still burn.
Do not use a damaged heater. If parts are broken on a heater, don’t try to fix it yourself and then plug it in. Have a professional attend to the damages and breaks of a heater. It may cost a little, but it the long run, it could save you money and your life.
Be sure the heater is clean before you use it. Dust and lint can grow on a heater that sits unused all year. This can start a fire or even an electrical short.
Whenever anything electric is used, use common sense with the appliance. Proper planning and care can be beneficial to all those that you love.
Electric heaters can be a good source for heat when the weather turns nasty. However, you must know, that it will cost you more financially as well. Use it only when you really need it. Take care of hit properly and it will take good care of you and your loved ones.