Using a portable electric heater is a great and effective way of heating up an area that you cant get conventional heating to, especially those areas that often get colder in the evening.
As years have gone by electric heaters have become a lot more affordable, portable, and efficient.
But, can electric heaters cause carbon monoxide poisoning? The answer is no, electric heaters do not pose a risk when it comes to carbon monoxide poisoning. But portable electric heaters do have other health and safety implications that we need to take into account when purchasing.
If you are thinking of getting a portable electric heater read on to find out the pros and cons of getting a portable electric heater.
Can electric heaters make you sick?
Some people have complained that when using their electric heater, they have started to feel sick and dizzy. You need not worry as this is due to the heat given off and not any actual gases or fumes from your electric heater.
When an electric heater is used, it can very easily dry the air out and can make people feel slightly ill, luckily there are some remedies for this.
- Try to have good airflow in the areas that you are using your electric heater, if indoors open a window or door allowing good airflow.
- Place a bowl of water in the room or area that you are trying to warm up, remember to not place any liquids near your electric heater.
- Try not to leave the heater on too long, only use when needed this should help to not dry the air out.
- If your heater has a thermostat on it, set it to an acceptable heat. This will turn the heater off when the room or area has got to the optimal temperature.
- Never sleep with an electric heater on, electric heaters can be a fire hazard.
Can electric heaters give you headaches?
As mentioned previously any form of heat can dry out a room, removing all moisture from the air.
When the air is dry this can cause some people to get dehydrated and with this comes headaches. If you find that you are suffering from headaches due to the use of an electric heater you should immediately stop using your heater and get an engineer to take a look at your heater and service it.
You should also consider speaking to a medical professional regarding your headaches
What kind of heaters produce carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas that is highly toxic, and when breathed in stops blood cells from being able to absorb oxygen.
Heaters that burn fuel like gasoline, kerosene, wood, and chippings all produce carbon monoxide.
The allure of getting such heaters is that they generally look nicer and can create an immediate heat that can warm up a large area. Also, fuel heaters are the ultimate portable heater.
The problem with getting one of these fuel-burning heaters is the fact that they cannot be used indoors unless they have a specialist chimney attached that directs the poisonous gases to the outdoors.
An electric heater does not produce any harmful, toxic fumes or gases and can be used in any situation that is dry and has power.
How dangerous are electric heaters?
When it comes to heaters, electric heaters are generally the least dangerous but can still cause some serious damage or harm if not used in the correct manner.
Electric heaters should never be left unattended, especially when being used around children or pets. The heater can become extremely hot and if touched can cause extreme burns.
Most electric heaters have a tip-over cut-off, this is a safety feature wherein which the heater has a sensor that detects whether the heater is stood upright or has been laid flat if the heater has been laid down or knocked over the heater will not power on.
This feature should never be taken for granted and your heater should always remain in its intended upright position.
When using your heater outdoors remember to never use it if there is any chance of rain or mist in the air, moisture can be very damaging to an electric heater and can be an electrocution hazard.
When plugging in your heater, make sure never to use an extension cable that doesn’t have a trip-switch fitted, and always make sure the flex is covered to stop any trips or falls.
You should consult your heaters handbook for the appropriate safety tips for using your electric heater and to gauge how much electricity they will use.
How should I store an electric heater?
During summer months you might decide that you don’t require your electric heater so storing it might be a good idea.
Electric heaters should be stored in a dry area, preferably within the box that the heater originally came in.
Check your heater for lugs underneath or to the rear, these are used to flex around to enable safe and efficient storage.
When storing your heater now would be a good time to check for any damages, if you have any frayed wiring you should take your heater to a trained electrician who can replace the wire and repair any other damage that you may have.
Never try to repair your heater yourself, if you have any concerns you should seek out professional help or ring the helpline that was provided in your manufacturer’s booklet.
Never use a faulty heater, and never cover one up whilst it is in use. A heater should be put in an area that is free from any obstacles and away from anything that is flammable.
Electric heaters are a fantastic way of transforming an uncomfortable area into a place that you can relax and enjoy, providing you have a power supply.
When using your electric heater you can be confident in knowing that you will not need to worry about getting carbon monoxide poisoning but remember to keep hydrated and allow good airflow, which makes some models a great option for overnight heating.
Also remember, like all-electric products you need to take into account that they have some particular hazards and the safety tips outlined in your booklet and on this webpage should be followed to ensure an accident-free use.