Here in Florida, the majority of the year is spent blasting the air conditioning and trying to stay indoors, away from the sweltering heat. But those short few months of cold weather are approaching – starting with our first serious chill in the next few days. Do you know how you’ll be warming your home this weekend and this winter?
With a space heater, Floridians can efficiently heat rooms in their homes whenever and wherever they need. Space heaters are especially useful when a particular room in your household is colder or draftier than others. Instead of heating the entire household, using a space heater can provide the convenience of heating whatever room(s) you want at a much lower cost.
For example, a 1500-watt space heater operating four hours a day for 30 days would use about 180 kilowatt hours of electricity. It would cost about $11 to operate the space heater for the month.
While space heaters can be useful, it is also important to use them properly to keep your family and home safe. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, about 45 percent of heating fires resulting in a fatality involved portable heaters. Make sure that if you choose to heat your home with a space heater this winter, you keep these tips in mind to stay safe:
- Always check that the space heater, its plug and cord are clean and in good condition before use.
- Keep space heaters out of high traffic areas and away from any combustible liquids or flammable items.
- Place space heaters on a level, hard, nonflammable surface and never in enclosed areas like below a desk.
- Never leave a space heater operating while unattended, even if you are sleeping.
- Do not use an extension cord or power strip with your space heater, and never run the heater’s cords underneath a rug or carpet.
- Make sure the space heater doesn’t overload your circuit breaker by ensuring that the amps are compatible. A typical circuit is on a 15-amp breaker, so a single heater that draws 12-15 amps might trip the circuit.