Are Propane Space Heaters Safe To Use Inside?
If you’re preparing for an unpredictable winter, you may be looking at space heaters to stay warm. But is it safe to use them? The short answer is yes, but only certain ones and only if used correctly. Read on to find out how you can safely keep your family warm this winter.
How To Safely Operate An Indoor Space Heater
Even when using a heater specifically rated for indoor use, you must follow certain guidelines to stay safe. Every heater comes with instructions from the manufacturer on safe usage, so be sure to follow those guidelines every time. Aside from those, here are our tips for safe operation:
- Only use indoor space heaters inside. Never use an outdoor space heater (such as a torpedo heater or tank-mounted heater) inside. Outdoor units release levels of carbon monoxide that are unsafe for indoor spaces. Even in emergencies, outdoor units should not be used in enclosed spaces.
- Purchase a unit that is appropriate for your space. As a quick rule of thumb, the BTU output of the heater should only be up to 2x the cubic volume of your room. Ask a local propane company for help figuring this out.
- Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe usage.
- Choose an indoor space heater that includes an ODS (Oxygen Depletion Sensor), which will shut the unit off in case of low oxygen levels.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector anywhere you plan to use a space heater and test it regularly.
- Only use in well-ventilated rooms and only near a window or vent to allow airflow.
- Never leave heaters running unattended or while you are sleeping.
- Keep the heater on a flat, non-flammable surface such as concrete or brick and three feet away from clothing or fabric.
Know If Your Heater is Vented Or Unvented
A crucial safety distinction is how your space heater vents exhaust. A vented heater pushes exhaust into a vent pipe that goes outside. In contrast, an unvented heater does not have an exhaust vent. The exhaust enters the room with an unvented heater, and the oxygen depletion sensors (ODS) on the unit help keep you safe. Your heater’s ODS will immediately stop gas flow to the burner if the oxygen levels in the room drop below safe levels. Therefore, getting your space heaters serviced annually is essential for safe use. Remember: by law, you cannot use unvented space heaters as your primary heat source in North Carolina.
Which Rooms Are Safest For Space Heaters
A propane space heater allows you to take advantage of unused living space in your home, even in the dead of winter. Many customers enjoy them in garages, recreation rooms, cabins, workshops, enclosed porches and additions. This way, you can keep the space warm and cozy while using it without going through the expense of insulating the room or adding piping from your home’s central heating system.
Propane Heaters Provide Emergency Heat When The Power Goes Out
Propane space heaters are great for many reasons, but most importantly, they can provide emergency heat if the power goes out. Compared to costly backup generators, a new space heater is an economical way to gain peace of mind that your family will stay warm during our next big storm.
Need A New Space Heater? Trust Euliss
Euliss is the locally-owned propane company with real, local staff. If you want to keep your family safe with propane space heaters, get in touch. We’ll help you choose the perfect units for your home!