Kitchener Heating Services: Are Space Heaters Dangerous?

Kitchener Heating Services: Are Space Heaters Dangerous?

As winter amps up for bone-chilling nights and frigid days, space heaters are often the go-to for homeowners that have furnace issues. Whether it’s because of maintenance issues, lack of proper cleaning, or a need for replacement, inconsistently working furnaces can be both frustrating and uncomfortable all winter long. Space heaters offer a temporary fix while saving for repairs or replacements but can also be highly dangerous. Learn more about the common concerns surrounding space heaters and who to call for heating services in Kitchener

Space Heaters Should Be a Temporary Fix

Despite shared memories of grandparents or parents pulling old space heaters out of storage for the entire winter season, space heaters are not meant to serve heating needs consistently. Further, when space heaters become older, the hazards surrounding them are even more significant than before. 

There are typically two types of space heaters that people have in their residential homes and commercial buildings. For the most part, in the residential heating of homes, you will find an even mix of the two, electric and fuel-burning. Due to building codes and emissions rulings, commercial heating from space heaters is only electric. 


Electric space heaters are powered by, you guessed it, electricity. These space heaters plug into an outlet to help heat the surrounding area. 


Though primarily a thing of the past, fuel-burning space heaters still exist and are still very dangerous. Fuel-burning heaters emit more radiant heat, similar to open fire, but from fuel use. Without proper ventilation, the effects can be both hazardous and devastating. 

Space Heaters Pose Real Dangers in the Home

Though some people believe that space heaters are sometimes necessary to take the chill out of the air, a properly working furnace should be able to get the job done without adding additional hazards to your health.


Both electric and fuel-burning space heaters are renowned for starting house fires. Nearby materials can get too hot and catch on fire with the option. In electric space heaters, circuits are often overloaded and electrical fires that can spread across the home start with one single outlet. Fuel-burning space heaters can easily be knocked and spill fuel, accelerating flames. 


Carbon monoxide can be identified by using special detectors installed in the home, which are practical for the appliances but cost additional money. Fuel-burning space heaters also pose an additional threat with carbon monoxide poisoning, sometimes referred to as the silent killer, because the signs often go unnoticed until too late. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea 
  • Confusion 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blurred vision 
  • Weakness 
  • Headache 
  • Loss of consciousness 


Like any household item that poses a threat, accidents are likely to happen. Whether you turn your back for one minute and the heater topples over, or your child pours juice on top of it, causing a short, or the dog hits the flame with a tail wag and spreads fire to the curtains, you simply never know what could happen with space heaters in the home. 

Space Heaters Can’t Replace Proper Heating 

While space heaters seemingly provide a quick and straightforward solution to winter heating woes, it is only a tach to a more significant problem. As time passes, minor issues that prohibited the furnace from working properly will only grow. Soon, space heaters will not band-aid the entire home, and the furnace will still be broken. Both fuels and electricity costs rise as the winter season wears on. Rather than wasting money, begin saving or exploring financing options to address the needs of your furnace. 

For more information on scheduling an assessment of your central heating system for furnace installation, maintenance, or repair services, contact the professionals at CJ Brubacher HVAC, plumbing, and electrical services today.