We all love a cozy warm home. Right? And there’s nothing cozier than a home that’s been heated by a home heater. However, often you can be tempted to leave the device overnight. While this might seem like a great idea, it’s affected by the type of heater you’re using. So, what heaters are safe to leave on overnight?
The ideal and safest heaters you can leave overnight are oil radiators, ceramic heaters, and infrared heaters. They have a safe-to-touch surface and other safety features such as Thermostat control, overheat protection, Tip-Over auto shutoff, and safety certifications.
Leaving a heater on overnight can be dangerous. You want to make sure you use a heater-type safe to run the whole night and not cause these problems. This article will look at three types of heaters safe for use overnight and the features that make them the safest.
Why types of heaters can you leave on overnight?
We all love heaters as they can help make a room feel nice and cozy when the weather outside is really cold. However, you need to remember that heaters can be dangerous if left on overnight.
Being tired in the evening does not mean that you should fall asleep with any heater running, particularly if children or adults with disabilities are in your house or flat. What’s more, some heaters can cause health problems such as carbon poisoning, fire hazard, dry skin, and more.
According to the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), space heaters are connected to more than a thousand residential fires in the U.S every year and cause over 300 deaths.
The figures get even worse, according to National Fire Protection Association. According to their research, space heaters contribute to about 43% of home-related fires and 85% associated deaths.
And it’s because of these numbers; most people are concerned when leaving the units on overnight. Luckily, all is not lost if you want to keep your home warm as you sleep since you can consider a few safer options.
The following types of heaters can be left on overnight and pose no safety issue.
1) Ceramic Heater
A ceramic heater is an electric space heater designed to generator heat by heating a ceramic element with a positive temperature coefficient (PTC). These appliances are usually portable and are mostly used in heating small rooms. They work in principle similar to the metal-element fan heaters.
The PTC ceramic element used in ceramic heaters is semi-conductive. When you flip the switch, voltage is applied to it. And due to a quick decrease in power, the material reaches a certain temperature depending on the ceramic composition.
The heat generated is then transferred to aluminum fins next to ceramic elements. Inside the heater’s plastic casing, where the ceramic elements and aluminum fins are housed, is a fan that helps distribute the heat in the room by blowing cold air across the fins, warming it.
The plastic outer casing of a ceramic heater remains cool, and the unit comes equipped with a thermostat to regulate the heating. The combination of a fan, cold-touch plastic casing, and a thermostat makes it safe to leave it on overnight. It can get even better if you get an oscillating ceramic heater capable of distributing the heat in all directions, thus heating the room evenly.
The above type of ceramic heater is called a convective space heater. There is also a radiant ceramic heater that heats objects in the room. When it produces heat, the objects absorb it and feel warm. The working mechanism of these heaters makes them super safe to leave them on overnight.
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2) Infrared Space Heaters
An infrared space heater is a portable electric heater that emits infrared radiation to heat an object or person. Unlike other portable heaters, infrared space heaters do not use a fan to circulate air.
Infrared space heaters are a great choice for people who want quick warmth without circulating air in a room. They can also be helpful when extra warmth is needed in rooms that don’t get much sunlight during the winter months, making them an energy-efficient option compared to heating systems that rely on electricity or natural gas.
Thankfully, infrared space heaters are safe to use. They do not produce any sparks or flames, and they are cool to the touch. However, it is important to keep them away from flammable materials and ensure they are turned off when you leave the room.
Can you leave it on at night? Yes, infrared space heaters can be left on overnight. They are a safe alternative to using a heater or fireplace to stay warm at night. The exterior surface stays safe to the touch, and the heating element doesn’t need to get scorching hot.
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3) Oil Heater
An oil space heater is a device that uses electricity to heat oil enclosed on a metallic body. The heater then transfers heat to the surrounding air for heating purposes. These space heaters are usually used in homes and other similar areas due to their ability to provide a year-long warm climate.
An oil heater is an “electric radiant floor warmer.” The one good thing about this type of heater is that it provides a very even form of warmth throughout the room without having hot spots.
Oil heaters are ideal for overnight heating because they turn off automatically when the room reaches the desired temperature. This eliminates the concern of forgetting to turn off the heater, potentially leading to a fire.
What’s more, the metal casing radiating the heat doesn’t burn; you can even use it to warm your hands by touching it.
Additionally, oil space heaters are typically very quiet, making them ideal for use in bedrooms during the night. They also produce very little waste heat, making them more energy-efficient than other types of space heaters.
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What features should a heater safe to leave it on overnight have?
Even though the list of what types of heaters are safe to leave on overnight is limited to the three options above, you still need to make the unit behave the whole night. So, if you’re searching for a space heater you can use to warm your bedroom as you sleep, look for a model with the following features:
1) Thermostat control
A thermostat-equipped model lets you set a temperature and keep it at that temperature without worrying about whether the heater will overheat the room. A thermostat monitors the temperature levels and shutoff the appliance when the ideal room temperature is achieved.
2) Overheat protection
Heater with this feature sense when they’re starting to heat up too much and turn themselves off. When this happens, you can also expect to hear a beep or warning alarm that alerts people nearby that there’s been an interruption in the heating process.
3) Tip-Over Auto shutoff
A heater with a Tip-Over Auto shutoff feature will automatically shut off when it’s tipped over, which can prevent accidental fires. This safety measure is important if you fall asleep with the heater on and accidentally knock it over onto something else in the room.
4) Cool-touch housing
A cool-touch housing keeps the heater’s exterior from getting too hot to the touch, preventing accidental burns.
5) Safety certifications
All three heaters mentioned above should have some safety certification, such as UL or ETL. These certifications ensure that a product has been tested and meets certain safety standards. When looking for a safe overnight space heater, make sure only to buy models that have these safety features and certifications.
What are the dangers of leaving a heater on overnight?
Even though heaters are excellent devices that provide warmth, they can also be dangerous. Leaving them on overnight poses some risks such as:
1) Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
One of the dangers of leaving a heater on overnight is carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas emitted by many types of combustion devices, including space heaters.
If you leave a space heater running overnight, the carbon monoxide it emits can build up in your home and cause serious health problems, including death. It’s important to ensure your space heater has an adequate ventilation system to prevent carbon monoxide from building up in your home.
2) Fire Hazards
Another danger of leaving a space heater on overnight is the potential for a fire. Space heaters are one of the leading causes of house fires in the United States. Many fires start when people leave space heaters on while they are asleep.
To reduce the risk of a fire, make sure your space heater is in a safe location and no flammable materials nearby. It’s also important to keep children and pets away from space heaters.
3) Electrical Hazards
Leaving a space heater on overnight can also create electrical hazards. Space heaters use a lot of electricity, and if they are left on for an extended period, they can overload your home’s electrical system. This can cause a power outage or even start a fire.
It’s important to make sure your space heater is properly plugged into an outlet and that the outlet is not overloaded. You should also unplug your space heater when you’re not using it to help prevent electrical hazards.
Is it OK to leave a heater on overnight?
No. Unless it’s a chilly night. Leaving a heater on overnight creates a potential safety risk and can also cause health problems such as dry skin and nasal passages. Unless you plan to use an oil, ceramic, or infrared heater with tip-over shutoff, thermostat control, overheat protection, and safety certifications, don’t run it overnight.