How to Maintain a Portable Heater in Winter
With the winter months just around the corner, you are getting ready to break out all of the mittens, scarves, and winter clothes. That also means that you are going to be getting a lot more use out of your portable heaters.
When you are breaking your portable heaters out of storage, the first thing that you think of probably isn’t “what’s the best way that I can take care of my portable heater this season?” On cold days, you are probably thinking “is this thing going to heat up any faster?”
Whether you use your portable space heater regularly or infrequently throughout the fall and winter months, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind so that you can maintain your heater while using it as safely as possible.
Check Your Heater Right out of Storage
If the weather is already cold where you are, you are probably anxious to plug in your heater and get it working as soon as possible. Before you set your heater down, plug it in, and turn it on, you need to be careful. Your heater might not be in the same shape that it was when you put it away for storage last year.
Where and how you stored your heater last year can greatly affect the condition that your heater is this season. If you store your heater in a garage, attic, or basement that isn’t temperature controlled, there is a chance that your heater could have incurred some damage while in storage. If your heater may have been shuffled or knocked around with other things that you have put into storage, there’s an even greater chance that you could have caused damage to some essential components and elements on your heater.
How do you stay safe in this situation and make sure that your heater is in good enough shape to use?
Take a quick look over your heater to make sure that it
- Doesn’t have any major dents or dings
- The power cord isn’t damaged or frayed (see more below)
- That the switch seems to be working properly
When you have given your space heater a once-over to check for any damage or issues, you are one step closer to plugging it in and getting warm.
Be Aware of Your Power Cord
The power cord is one of the most important components of any space heater. To create the kind of radiant heat that space heaters do, they need to have a power supply to do that.
As we mentioned earlier, there is always a chance that your space heater could have incurred some damage while in storage, especially if it was being shuffled around with a lot of other objects while it was in storage. After you pull your heater out of storage, you want to make sure that your cord isn’t damaged or frayed. Using a damaged cord can lead to serious issues and malfunctions that could put you, your family, and your furniture at risk. If you have any visible damage done to your power cord, make sure that you talk to an expert and get it serviced as soon as possible.
It isn’t uncommon for power cords to have issues, even if they don’t have any visible damage. The first time you plug in your space heater out of storage, make sure that you keep an eye out on the cable and the power outlet that your space heater is plugged into. If you notice that the cable or the power outlet that the heater is plugged into starts to get hot, shut off your space heater immediately.
Be sure that you don’t run your space heaters power cord under any rugs, carpeting, or mats. This can not only quickly become a fire hazard, but the insulation from household floor-coverings like these can cause damage to the cord in a fairly brief period of time.
Check the Space Around Your Heater
For the purpose of maintenance and safety, you always want to make sure that you are aware of the space around your heater. Every year, there are thousands of households that experience preventable house fires that are caused by heaters that weren’t placed in a safe area of the house.
Space heaters put out a lot of heat and use a lot of power. That can make them and other objects around them highly flammable. As a good rule of thumb, be sure that your space heater is away from
- Any type of blankets
- Couches and sofas
- Chairs that are made out of fabric
- Fabric throw pillows
- Flammable liquids
- Thin fabric rugs, mats, or floor coverings
Anything that may catch fire easily. We also recommend keeping them away from the walls of your house. Place your heater near the middle of a walkway or open room to minimize your risk of a fire.
Don’t Leave Your Heater on and Unattended
Have you ever left your space for an extended period of time while your space heater is running?
How about letting your heater run overnight while you were sleeping?
If so, you were running a pretty sizable risk. Space heaters can make your life nice, warm, and comfortable, but leaving them attended always means that you are running a risk of something bad happening. To minimize the chances of your space heater causing a fire, you should never leave your space heater unattended for long periods of time. One little spark or a small malfunction of your heater could easily lead to a fire.
Have more questions about heating your space this winter? Contact our experts at Preferred Climate Solutions today.