Cost Of Living: Electric Heaters May Save You Money, But They Come With A Fire Risk
As the cost of living continues to increase people are looking for alternative ways to save money. One way people are doing this is by switching to electric heaters.
While this may save you some money in the short term, there are fire risks associated with electric heaters that you should be aware of.
If you're considering making the switch to an electric heater, here are a few things you should know.
Electric heaters are one of the leading causes of house fires. In fact, over the last 5 years, they're responsible for more than 800 house.
While this may seem like a lot, it's actually a small percentage of the overall number of house fires. However, the risk is still there and you should be aware of it.
There's been a massive increase in these portable machines that basically heat one room.
In essence, it's much cheaper to heat one room at a time rather than your whole house. And people are seeing the savings.
So what's the problem?
Well, electric heaters can pose a fire risk if they're not used properly. For example, if you leave them on for too long or if they're placed too close to flammable objects.
Another problem is that people often don't have them serviced properly. This means that the risk of a fire breaking out is much higher.
This has come to the attention of Electrical Safety First which is a charity that works to prevent electrical accidents.
They've said that people need to be aware of the risks associated with electric heaters and take steps to reduce them.
It's actually the fan heaters that pose the biggest risk. This is because they have exposed elements that can get extremely hot. If these come into contact with something flammable, they could easily catch fire.
So what can you do to reduce the risk?
Some of their tips include:
- Don't leave them on for too long.
- Don't put them near flammable objects.
- Get them serviced regularly.
"Heating your home should never come at the expense of your own safety. While portable heaters can be useful to heat a small space, they can pose a real risk to your home and your life if mistakes are made when using them," said Lesley Rudd, chief executive of Electrical Safety First.
"With the significant number of people set to turn to these appliances this winter, it is vital we use them safely."
What Are The Best Ways to Stay Warm Safely?
Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air
The funny thing is, very few people think of using a humidifier during the winter months. But, what you're trying to do is raise the indoor humidity level. This is because the air inside your home is much drier in the winter.
Dry air actually makes it feel colder than it really is. That's because it causes your skin to lose moisture, making you feel cold.
The cool thing is, you won't need to keep increasing the level of your thermostat to make up for the dry air.
Get an Oil Filled Radiator
Even though these aren't the greenest option, they're still a good way to stay warm. The thing is, they don't use as much energy as some of the other options on this list.
How do they work?
Oil filled radiators work by heating the oil inside them. This oil then radiates heat outwards, warming up the surrounding area.
One of the best things about these is that they're very safe. The risk of fire is very low as there's no exposed element.
They're also quite efficient as they don't lose heat as quickly as some of the other options.
The best we could find was the MONHOUSE Oil Filled Radiator (not affiliated).
This powerful 11 fin radiator heater can crank out up to 2500W of heating power, enough to keep your whole room warm and cozy on even the coldest of days.
And because it uses convection heat technology, it's more energy efficient than traditional space heaters, so you'll save money on your energy bill too.
Plus, with an adjustable thermostat and programmable timer function, you can easily customise the heat output to suit your needs.
Maintain the temperature
By "maintaining the temperature" I mean, don't let the temperature in your home drop too low.
I know it's tempting to turn the thermostat down, but studies have shown that by keeping a consistent temperature, you'll actually save money in the long run.
That's because it takes less energy to maintain a consistent temperature than it does to heat up a cold house.
Wear layers of clothing
Yeah I know, totally obvious, but the mistake people make is by putting on a thick wooly jumper instead of several layers of thinner clothing.
The thing is, by wearing several layers of clothing, you can actually trap heat better.
This is because the air that gets trapped between the layers helps to insulate you from the cold.
And, if you do start to feel too warm, you can always take a layer off.
Wear layers of socks
Another one that might seem quite obvious, but wearing layers of socks actually helps to keep your feet warm.
The thing is, our feet are one of the first places that start to feel the cold. So, by wearing two or three pairs of socks, you can actually make a big difference.
And, if you're going to be wearing boots, make sure they're well-insulated too.
Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
It's always a good idea to stay hydrated anyway. However, it's even more important during the winter months.
The thing is, when you're dehydrated, your body actually has to work harder to stay warm. So, by drinking plenty of fluids, you're actually helping your body to stay warm.
And, if you're going to be drinking alcohol, make sure you drink plenty of water too. This is because alcohol can actually make you feel colder by causing your blood vessels to dilate.
Wear thermal underwear to bed
I was in two minds about whether to include this one or not. However, I decided to include it as it's definitely a way to stay warm.
Wearing thermal underwear to bed actually helps to trap heat in. This is because the material is designed to hold heat in, keeping you nice and warm all night long.
You won't be making the best fashion statement in the world, but you'll definitely be warm!
Use a hot water bottle
Ahhh, yes! An oldie, but goodie.
Using a hot water bottle is a great way to stay warm. The thing is, they actually help to regulate your body temperature.
So, if you're feeling cold, a hot water bottle can actually help to warm you up. And, if you're feeling too warm, you can always put it on the other side of the bed.
So there you have it, some of the best ways to stay warm this winter without breaking the bank. By using some or all of these tips, you can actually save quite a bit of money on your energy bills.