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Warm up to energy effi ciency.


Space Heater Reality Are they too good to be true?





If something sounds too good to be true, it prob- ably is.” That saying rings especially true when it comes to most claims about space heaters that


indicate they can dramatically cut your heating and cooling costs. Many people turn to space heaters— both electric models and those powered by kerosene or even wood— as a convenient source of warmth in winter months, believing that they’ll actually save on their electric bill. 0140900306


Space heaters only warm a small area. You may


save some money if you turn down the thermostat (sometimes to as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit), set the space heater in a room with people in it, and then close off that room from the rest of the house. But space heaters cannot come close to replacing energy-effi cient central heating or weatherization improvements. And often times when space heaters are placed in a low-profi le area such as a water well house for warmth during freezing temperatures, we forget about them when the temperatures rise or until a noticeably high electric bill arrives. So while it’s technically possible to cut your heating bill using space heaters, for most people, it’s impractical.


“When it comes to saving energy, there are no


magic solutions,” asserts Brian Sloboda, senior program manager for energy effi ciency at the Cooperative Research Network, the research arm of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. “Anyone promising to slash your utility bill by double digits is stretching the truth to the breaking point. Buying ENERGY STAR-rated appliances, unplugging battery chargers and other ‘vampire’ electronics, and sealing air leaks around windows and doors are some of the best ways to save money and energy.” 0162400101


The bottom line: there’s no substitute for good


old-fashioned energy effi ciency measures like weather stripping around doors, caulking around windows, adding insulation to your attic, plugging leaks in ductwork, and regularly cleaning or replacing furnace fi lters.


Sources: ConsumerAff airs.com, Cooperative Research Network, Consumer Reports


2 | November 2013 Did You Know? “


The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that more than 25,000 residential fi res every year are associated with space heaters. More than 300 people die in these fi res. In addition, an estimated 6,000 people annually receive hospital emergency care for burn injuries connected with space heaters.


” Learn to live with these space heater safety tips.


• Keep the heater at least 3 feet from fl ammable items such as curtains, furniture, or bedspreads.


• Select a space heater with a guard around the heating element.


• When buying a heater, choose one that has been tested and certifi ed by a nationally recognized testing institution such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).


• Buy a heater that can handle the area that you want to heat. • Read and follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions. • Keep children and pets away from space heaters. • Never leave a space heater unattended. • Never go to sleep with a space heater on. • Never use or store fl ammable liquids near a space heater.


• Do not use a heater in a bathroom–it’s a high-moisture area that could cause damage.


• Keep heaters away from water to prevent electrocution. • Do not use an extension cord with a space heater. • Do not use the heater to dry clothes.


• Be sure the heater’s plug fi ts snugly in an outlet. The cord and plug may feel warm when operating since the unit draws so much power, but they should not feel hot. If they do, unplug the heater and have a qualifi ed repair person check for problems.


• Do not attempt to repair a broken heater yourself. It should be checked and repaired by a qualifi ed appliance service center.


Source: The Consumer Product Safety Commission


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