Getting the best performance from your heater
Space heaters can be a great investment, heating your home efficiently and reducing typical energy use. But not all heaters are born equal, and with a few basic performance tips, you can maximize how well your unit works. Consider this advice.
Observe all safety instructions and tips
The first – and most obvious – tip for boosting your heater performance is to use it safely. Read the instruction manual front to back, keep kids and pets away from the heater, rest it only on flat surfaces, always check to make sure the cord is in good working order – don’t use extension cords, keep the unit away from water and make sure combustible items aren’t left too close to your electric space heater.
Get a unit with a timer
Not only does a timer work as a safety feature – in case you forget to shut off your heater when you leave the room – but one can also help improve your unit’s efficiency.
Clean your heater
Dust, pet hair, and other airborne particles will get pulled right into your heater as it runs. Weekly vacuuming of your heater’s vents and filter – if it has one – will keep it operating in top condition.
Pay attention to circuits and voltage
Space heaters can consume a lot of energy, and if yours is plugged into a circuit that’s already devoted to a number of other appliances, you may trip the breaker. To keep yourself from having to reset the circuit over and over again while using your heater, make sure you’re using a circuit with an appropriate wattage for your unit.
Turn down your thermostat
It’s surprising how easily some homeowners will forget to turn down their thermostats when they turn on the heater. One of the main benefits of using a space heater is that you can reduce heat to unoccupied parts of the house, so make sure you turn down your home’s thermostat to save money.
Look beyond your heater
If you really want to get the best performance out of your heater, you need to think about the surrounding home environment as well. Are your windows leaking warm air? Is your home’s insulation up to par? Are drafts getting in from under the door? Give your home a quick home energy audit to make sure that your space heater doesn’t just give off heat, but that each individual room is able to retain it.
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