It’s still pretty chilly here in the Midwest. While we patiently wait for the spring weather to set in, we’re trying to run the central heat less. Our energy bills for the past few months have been OUTRAGEOUSLY high, but what can you do when it’s OUTRAGEOUSLY cold outside? This winter has simply been the worst and I will continue to protest until it goes away.
On the days where it’s unbearably cold downstairs, we hang out upstairs. In Science class we all learned that heat rises, making our upstairs living space naturally warmer. Our office is one of the warmest rooms in our home so it has become our second living room. Since we recently spruced it up a bit, it’s a pretty pleasant space to be in. The boys are in and out with their toys while Greg and I work.
Depending on weather conditions, our office can be a bit chilly. To knock the chill out of the room, we run our ceramic portable heater. Ceramic heaters have ceramic plates and aluminum baffles inside. The ceramic is heated as electricity passes through. The heat is then absorbed by the aluminum and a fan blows the hot air into the room. This process makes ceramic heaters more energy efficient and safer than many other heaters.
Space Heater Safety Tips
When using a portable “space” heater, I encourage taking the following safety precautions:
Only purchase newer model heaters that carry the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) label. Buy a unit with a tip-over safety switch, which automatically shuts off the heater if the unit is tipped over.
Choose a thermostatically controlled heater, because they are more energy efficient and won’t overheat a room.
Do not purchase over-sized heaters. Follow the general sizing table (usually on the box or product description) for the room you wish to heat.
Place space heaters on a level, hard and nonflammable surface, keeping them at least three feet from bedding, drapes, furniture, and other flammable materials. Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
Never leave a space heater unattended or fall asleep with a space heater on.
Electric heaters should be plugged directly into the wall outlet. If an extension cord is necessary, use the shortest possible heavy-duty cord of 14-gauge wire or larger. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding use of extension cords.
With these simple efforts, you can conserve energy during the winter without sacrificing warmth. Next week, I will be sharing easy ways you can conserve water in your home. Stay tuned!
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