Space heaters are a convenient way to warm a small space. While space heaters should never be used as a home’s primary source of heat, they can provide supplemental heat in cool areas.

Choosing a Product

When shopping for space heaters, check to see that the heater meets independent criteria for quality and functionality as demonstrated by certification to NSF Protocol P412: Space Heaters for Home Use. Heaters certified under this protocol have been verified to meet strict standards for product design, construction, materials and operation. As part of its Home Product Certification Program, NSF also verifies product marketing and label claims as well as compliance with other regulatory requirements. Space heaters certified to this protocol are eligible to display the NSF Certified for Home Use mark.

In addition to looking for certification, read the label to confirm you are purchasing a heater that is designed for interior home use and that doesn’t require any special venting. Most space heaters on the market today intended for home are electric, which also includes quartz, liquid filled, ceramic and fan forced space heaters.

Using a Space Heater

Before using a space heater for the first time, review the unit’s operations manual to make sure you understand how to safely operate the appliance. Make sure to carefully remove all packaging materials before use to avoid the chance of fire.

Select an appropriate location for your space heater away from areas with frequent foot traffic and combustible materials. Only use space heaters as a supplemental source of heat and avoid using extension cords unless absolutely necessary. Don’t use space heaters in bathrooms or other damp areas unless specifically rated for use in wet areas.

Cleaning a Space Heater

Check your owner’s manual for recommended cleaning instructions and always unplug the heater and let it cool before attempting to clean.