Space and mini heaters can augment your central heating system and help keep you more comfortable during another cold Indiana winter. Space heater is a generic term that basically refers to small, portable electric heaters that are designed to be placed on the floor and provide enough warmth for a very few people in immediate proximity to the unit. Mini heaters, on the other hand — also called desktop heaters — utilize ceramic or infrared heating elements and can be placed on a desk or countertop to provide close-up warmth for just one person.

As with all heating methods, use of space and mini heaters must take certain critical safety procedures into account to ensure safe and effective use. Here are some recommendations to keep you both comfortable and safe this winter:

  • Always give space heaters enough, well, space. Units should have 36 inches of clearance on all sides and should be placed on a level spot on the floor away from curtains, beds, sofas, papers, and any other flammable materials.
  • Both space and mini heaters should come equipped with certain critical safety features. The “tip over” switch shuts off power to the unit if it should fall over. Overheating protection that turns off the unit automatically if excessively high operating temperatures occur is also an important feature.
  • Never use standard extension cords or power strips with space heaters. Always plug the unit directly into the wall outlet to avoid the risk of electrical damage and/or fire.
  • Always turn off space and mini heaters before you go to bed or leave the room for any extended period.
  • When shopping for space and mini heaters, look for industry safety certification to confirm that a unit has been tested and approved for safe operation. The most common certification for these units is from the Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL).

For more about the comfort benefits — as well as the safe operation — of space and mini heaters, talk to the heating professionals at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.

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