Knoxville, TN residents this week are wondering where Fall went, as it seems that the East Tennessee area went from the hot, humid finale of the Indian Summer straight to the freezing temperatures closer associated with winter months. As such, countless individuals are likely digging out their space heaters from the basement or spare closet. For those individuals who supplement their HVAC system in Knoxville with a space heater, otherwise known as an electric heater, room heater, or portable heater, you should be aware of the dangers surrounding these appliances. When using space heaters properly and safely, portable heaters can be an inexpensive and energy efficient method of heating a small area of your home. However if space heater safety tips are ignored, they can represent an extremely real fire hazard or pose a threat of shocks or burns. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of the top space heater safety tips that will keep your East Tennessee family both comfortable and safe throughout the cold weather.


Luckily, space heater safety technology has progressed tremendously over the previous decade, making space heaters much safer than their predecessors. Still, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 43% of all house fires related to heating equipment are caused by space heaters. Notwithstanding, space heaters are still dangerous appliances that require respect and trepidation in their usage in order to prevent injury or disaster. Some of the dangers of space heaters are:

– electric shock hazards

– carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning

– power failure

– house fire

– skin burns in humans or pets

– death


Once more, when used according to manufacturer recommendations, space heaters can be a cold weather lifesaver. In order to keep your family, children, and pets safe while using space heaters in your home, be sure to follow the following space heater safety tips:

– ensure there is a safety zone of at least three feet on all sides of space heaters

– have a professional install your heating equipment, water heater, and stationary space heaters when recommended by manufacturer instructions

– do not use an extension cord or power strip which could overheat and cause a fire

– avoid using space heaters on “shag” or long pile carpet that can overheat and catch fire

– keep space heaters away from moisture, such as in the bathroom, which could damage or destroy the heater.

– don’t attempt to repair a malfunctioning or damaged space heater yourself

– if using a fuel heater, ensure that the correct fuel is used and that your home has CO alarms installed

– unplug space heaters before going to sleep and don’t use them when unattended


By following these tips and staying vigilant of your space heaters, you’ll be able to ensure a comfortable environment while keeping you and your loved ones safe. If you have questions or concerns about installing a stationary space heater or other expansion of your heating system, contact an HVAC technician at City Heating and Air online or at 865-938-1005. Our heating and cooling specialists have decades of heating system repair, as well as, experience with redesigning and modifying existing, inefficient heating systems.