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First Choice Heating & Cooling Blog

When Your Heater Isn’t Working, Don’t Try to Rely on Space Heaters Rather Than Repairs!

space-heater-electricWhen the winter arrives in Michigan, central heaters in homes across the state come on to keep people warm. You can’t afford to go without some kind of heating system for your home if you want to make it through the winter. Unfortunately, we can tell you plenty of stories about people who tried to patch together a “cheap” solution to home heating when their furnace or other central heater went out. 

The most common “fix” for heat when a central heating system fails is to use space heaters. These can work as a temporary solution … and by temporary we mean “until our HVAC technicians arrive.” When you need heating repair in Brighton, MI, please don’t delay with calling for the service. Trying to get by with space heaters for a stretch can end up disastrous.

What’s wrong with space heaters?

Again, as a stopgap measure during a heating emergency, space heaters can get the job done. When the heater goes out, call our technicians, put on warm layers of clothing, plug in the space heater, and then hold tight until we get there to fix the central heating system. 

But using space heaters as a longer-term solution for home heating isn’t a solution at all, as we’ll explain.

Leaving a broken heater without repairs can be dangerous

We’ll start with your central heating system. You probably have a gas furnace to heat your home, since they’re the most common heating system type in the area. When a gas furnace breaks down, it can potentially become hazardous—in fact, the reason the furnace shut down in the first place may be due to a safety failure. We recommend you turn off the gas to the furnace when it malfunctions and then call for professional repairs immediately. Unrepaired can be unsafe!

Space heaters can create their own dangers

You’ve probably heard this important piece of advice about space heaters: do not leave them running while unattended. This warning is usually printed on the box for a space heater and all its safety information. According to the NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association), space heaters cause 43% of home heating fires and 85% of home heating fire-related deaths each year, and the most common cause of these fires is a heater that was left running in an empty room. People are often careless about where they place space heaters and put them near flammable objects like towels or curtains.

Space heaters are also dangerous to have around children and pets, and they draw on so much electricity that they can easily overload circuits and create additional fire hazards. 

Space heaters aren’t efficient or convenient

Leaving aside the big concern about their safety, space heaters are poor replacements for central heat. They run off immense amounts of electricity that will raise your bills, and they have limited scope. For even a medium-sized house, you’d need four space heaters to keep people comfortable in the occupied rooms, and the more space heaters you have, the higher the risk of one of them causing a fire. It’s not worth it, not when you can have our professionals get your central heating system working again. 

First Choice Heating & Cooling serves Fenton, Linden, Holly, and the Surrounding Areas. If your home had a voice … it would call First Choice!

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