How to Use Electric Space Heaters to Keep Your Home Cozy—And Safe

A woman sitting beside a space heater, feeling the warmth as she places her hand near the comforting heat source.

Anyone in the greater Baltimore area knows how unpredictable the weather can be, especially during the “in-between” seasons of spring and fall. Electric space heaters are a good option for providing additional warmth for homes without central heating or for those who don’t like having to switch the central HVAC back and forth between heating and cooling constantly.

In addition to helping bridge the gap between seasons, electric space heaters can also provide supplemental heat to parts of the home where central ducting doesn't reach or doesn't reach as well. This includes garage workshops, basements and enclosed patios or sunrooms. And just because those spaces aren't perfectly climate-climate controlled shouldn't keep you from enjoying them!

Safe Space Heaters

Modern space heaters also cost less and heat more efficiently and effectively than ever, so many homeowners in the Mid-Atlantic like to keep them on hand. If you’re new to the area or just want to boost the coziness levels in your home, you may have questions such as, “Are electric space heaters safe?” and, “What’s the best way to use a space heater without running up my BGE bill?” Keep reading for those answers and more.

Heat Your Space Safely With These 3 Key Tips

It would help if you always put safety first when utilizing any supplemental heat source, whether it’s a fireplace, pellet stove, or electric space heater. Where there’s heat, there could be fire, so please heed these three easy tips when using an electric space heater in your Baltimore residence:

  1. Avoid flammable materials. Keep the electric space heater several feet from any material that could catch fire, such as curtains, bedding, clothing, blankets, loose papers and containers holding flammable substances (such as those found in a garage or shed).
  2. Keep an eye on it. Never operate an electric space heater unattended. Benefits of following this tip are twofold: It ensures that you’re only getting the space as warm as it needs to be for your comfort, and it ensures that your home and its occupants—especially small children and pet-stay safe while the space heater is turned on.
  3. Go with what the pros know. Be sure to follow all of the heater’s instructions provided by the manufacturer. While many operate similarly, the components and power levels can vary quite a bit among brands and models, and electric space heaters are not one-size-fits-all appliances.

Bonus tip: Always plug your space heater’s power cord directly into a properly grounded power outlet, and never into an extension cord or power strip. (Not sure what a properly grounded outlet looks like and unsure if your outlet is properly grounded? Contact us and we will help you out.

Heater Safety & Maximum Comfort

dog laying down next to space heater

It can cost a lot to keep a home comfortable inside, and some Baltimore residents prefer to use electric space heaters rather than turning up the central heat to warm the whole home by a degree or two. However, using electric space heaters can actually cost more than adjusting the thermostat if the heaters are not programmed and used smartly.

To avoid this, select an electric space heater with an automatic shutoff. This is a safety feature (related to tip No. 2 above) and an efficiency feature. Most modern space heaters use about 1,500 watts of power, similar to a hairdryer or coffee maker, so operating a heater for hours can get pricey if you’re not prudent about it.

Using Automatic Shutoff

Using the automatic shutoff feature will keep the temperature in your space at just the right level, while preventing overheating and fire risk from prolonged use. Today’s more sophisticated space heaters are programmable as well, so you can set them to run only for a specific amount of time, or you can tell them to shut off when the room reaches the temperature you want. The most advanced models on the market also have built-in thermostats so they’ll turn back on again if the temperature drops below your set level.

Consult An Electrician

No matter which space heater setup you choose or how you combine them with your home’s current source(s) of warmth, we recommend consulting a trusted electrician in the Baltimore area before you turn up the heat. An experienced professional from Milton Electric can audit your home's energy usage, ensure your space heater is placed correctly and plugged in safely, and answer any other questions about efficiently—and safely—keeping your home cozy year-round.

Contact us today at 410-276-3420 with our friendly team or request an appointment. We respond quickly and pride ourselves on providing honest and on-time service to everyone. We look forward to hearing from you!

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At Milton Electric, we have the skills to handle various electrical tasks, from installing ceiling fans to wiring new homes. With our expertise and years of experience, we are committed to delivering top-notch electrical services that meet your needs and exceed your expectations. Trust us to get the job done right.

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