If you want to buy a space heater or already own one, you must have wondered whether can you sleep with a space heater on or not. This is very important when the nights are frigid, especially in winter and you want your bedroom to be cozy and warm all night.
In order to achieve that, we need to let our indoor space heater run all night or only for a few hours while we sleep. But, the main concern is, is it dangerous to leave the space heater to work while we sleep. It is known that the best models of space heaters come with many safety features that are able to prevent any unwanted situation that would be dangerous for us. For some models of heaters, manufacturers claim to be enough sophisticated and safe to use in our bedrooms at night while we sleep.
But is this really true or is there still a danger of some unwanted incident that in some cases while sleeping may even cause a fire. Also, we need to ask ourselves, what are our chances or are we at all capable of intervening in the event of a dangerous incident such as a fire, if it occurs while sleeping.
But, one thing you need to keep in mind about using a space heater and that is, no matter how sophisticated is the heater, it is almost impossible to predict with certainty whether there will be an unintended incident if the heater works in your bedroom while you sleep. For safety reasons, my answer to the question of whether your space heater should work while you sleep categorically is no. These are the main reasons, if you are wondering, why my answer is negative about using a space heater while you sleep.
The Main Reasons Why You Cannot Sleep with a Space Heater On
Causes of Fire
You should know that space heaters are one of the biggest causes of fires according to statistics from the National Fire Protection Association. As much as 40% of fires that occur in homes are the main causes of space heaters.
In most cases, fires occur when space heaters accidentally lose balance and fall to the floor which may cause internal damage that can cause a fire. Also, some fires occur when lightly flammable material is located near the heater while it is in use.
Many fires can be easily prevented if you are alert and timely. But the main problem is if the incident occurs while you are asleep and what are your chances of successfully minimizing the potential incident and even successfully extinguishing the fire.
It has not yet been determined whether space heaters emit a certain amount of carbon monoxide, which would be really dangerous for you while you sleep. However, in certain situations, if the heating element in the heater is damaged, a certain amount of carbon monoxide may be released into the environment.
But the most frightening thing about emitting a certain amount of carbon monoxide is that it is odorless and colorless. Even if you are awake, you will not even know about its presence in your room. The most common symptoms when inhaling carbon monoxide are weakness, dizziness, and nausea that can be a warning for its presence.
Inhaling a higher dose of carbon monoxide can lead to death. So this is very dangerous if you happen to be sleeping, in which case you are totally helpless.
The Occurrence of Dry Skin
Also, another side effect if you allow the space heater to work all night is the appearance of dry skin. Especially during winter, as a result of cold and dry air, people often have dry skin.
Using a space heater in your room and especially in the bedroom at night only helps to dry out the skin, which can lead to some health complications of the skin.
To prevent this side effect, it is advisable to use an air humidifier. But newer models of space heaters have the ability not to affect the humidity in your room at all. It’s also surprising that some of the newer models of space heaters come with a built-in air humidifier that helps maintain air humidity in your room.
Your Electricity Bills
One of the benefits of using a space heater compared to other types of heating, such as a furnace, is the ability to control your electricity consumption and thus your bills.
But, the problem is if you live in a large house with lots of rooms and if your family is large then you will need to use several room heaters in multiple rooms at night. This would drastically increase your electricity consumption, which would also increase your bills.
In this case, the most economical and safest solution for you would be to have central heating using a furnace that would be located in the basement.
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Safety Tips How to Use a Space Heater at Night
Tip 1: If you want your bedroom to be warm and cozy during the night here is what you can do. First, about two or three hours before you go to sleep, close all the windows and doors and turn on the space heater to warm the bedroom. Now, before you go to bed, you must turn off and unplug the space heater. In this way, you will avoid an unwanted accident from the space heater and at the same time, your bedroom will be warm throughout the night.
Tip 2: In order to maintain the humidity in your home, it is recommended to buy an air humidifier. The air humidifier will maintain the proper level of humidity in your bedroom while you sleep. This way, you don’t have to worry about your skin becoming dry if you use a space heater in your bedroom while you sleep.
Tip 3: It is recommended to have smoke detectors installed in your home. They will detect early signs of fire in a timely manner.
Tip 4: When using space heaters in your home, in addition to smoke detectors, it is also highly recommended to have carbon dioxide detectors installed throughout your house. This way you will be warned in a timely manner before the gas reaches the dangerous level.
Tip 5: When using a space heater, never turn on multiple devices to operate your power grid. This can lead to an overload on your home’s electrical network and cause a fire.
Tip 6: It is also important to use a three-pin plug in the three-prong outlet to prevent any fire. Never plug a space electric heater into an extension cord; most of them are not designed to handle that much usage of power.
Tip 7: Never use your space heater as a supplemental dryer. Some people have a habit to place towels, socks, shirts and other clothing close to the heater for drying. The chances are high any of these clothes to come in direct contact with the heater and cause a fire.
Tip 8: If you really want to use a space heater in your bedroom, check for the newest models that are specifically designed for use in bedrooms. Mostly recommended for bedrooms are the oil-filled space heaters.
They must have all advanced safety features such as automatic shut-off, tip-over protection, timer, and adjustable thermostat. Also, they must have any of the safety certifications such as the Underwriters Laboratory (UL), Intertek (ETL) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
Also, you can read about what are the best safety locations to place your space heater in your home.
Great Tips How to Stay Warm at Night
Water Bottles: Using water bottles is a great way to warm up if the temperature in your bedroom or any other room where you sleep is lower than desired. Their price is quite low, they are resistant to leaks. It is also the safest alternative to warming up while you sleep. Water bottles can warm you up even after a few hours of sleep, which is enough for a peaceful and safe sleep.
Warm Sheets: Using multiple layers of warm linen can warm you up a lot during your sleep. You can use them as warm blankets, flannel sheets, duvets or comforters.
Warm Hats and Socks: you can use also knitted hat and socks to keep you warm while sleep. You can sleep peacefully and comfortably if these areas of your body are warm, especially the legs that most of us have problems with cold feet during sleep.
The Location of Your Bed: In the case of single windows, they have poor insulation and become cold at night, so you need to know that you will have constant cooling in the area around the window. So it makes sense for the bed in the bedroom, if possible, to be placed away from the window.
Block All the Gaps and Cracks: Check the windows and doors in the bedroom for any cracks or gaps that would allow warm air to leak in and cool air to get inside. This way the bedroom will keep the heat for a longer time.
Electrically Heated Products: If you are in a better financial position you can even afford to invest in high quality electric heated mattress pads or electric heated blankets.
Finally, on your question, can you sleep with a space heater on, my final answer is not. By reading this article, you realized there are a lot of other safety solutions to warm up yourself in a bedroom while sleep. None of us like to sleep in a cold room, especially at night. But, space heaters are not the ideal and safe way to warm the bedrooms while we sleep at night. Most incidents occur when space heaters are used improperly and frequently.
We know that new models of space heaters come with very advanced safety features. But we still have to remember that despite using all those advanced safety features and properly using heaters according to their manuals, there is a certain chance that an accident will happen, and this is worse if you are sleeping.