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Portable Heating Use and Care

Use & Care

Safe & Warm: Portable Heater Use

Extra precautions should be taken when operating portable space heaters. You can use your space heater more safely by following a few guidelines outlined by the U.S. Department of Energy: 

Let It Breathe: When using a gas-powered heater, make sure the room is properly ventilated to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Fire Safety: For electric powered heaters, make sure the model you choose has a tip-over safety switch. Operate the heater on a level surface and be sure to keep family members at a safe distance to prevent burns and knocking the heater over. Space heaters cause over 25,000 residential fires annually.1 Take precautions and stay safe.

Thermostats & Savings: Use models with built-in thermostats to save energy by not overheating the room. You’ll be more comfortable, too.

Never Too Safe: When purchasing a new model, make sure it has been inspected by Underwriter’s Laboratory (look for the UL logo on packaging) and has all the most current safety features. In addition, you will want to make sure you buy  a model that is the correct size for the  room where you plan to use it.


If you’re thinking about making efficiency improvements, the Portable Heaters Overview is a great place to get acquainted with the basics and your options, before you buy or use portable heaters for your home. Return to Heating and Cooling.

1U.S. Department of Energy. 2012. Energy Saver: Portable Heaters. Retrieved September 28, 2012, from energy.gov

This program is funded by California utility customers and administered by Southern California Edison under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.

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