Heating & Cooling

What Heaters Are Safe to Leave On Overnight?

space heater lg

When it comes to your family’s safety, you will do the most research possible. Space heaters are no exception to this rule.

It is not usually safe to leave older space heaters in a room unattended due to causing fire hazards. However, modern space heaters have many safety features, making them suitable for going alone.

If you want to leave your heater overnight, it should have all the safety features available. The essential elements are tip-over protection and overheating protection. These features turn off the heater if something goes wrong automatically.

Space heaters have a terrible reputation for causing fires, but they won’t cause any problems if you use them correctly. There are safety measures that everyone has to follow, and if you do that, you can leave them unattended.

What Heaters Can You Leave Unattended?

Because most modern space radiators have safety features programmed to detect dangerous operating temperatures, they can be left unsupervised for quite a long time.

If the temperature reaches unsafe levels, an overheat protection that shuts the heater off is one feature. A tip-over defense that turns off the heater when someone accidentally knocks it down.

Different types of space heaters use other heating options. Each heater has an individual operating system, and, in many cases, it is best to read the manufacturer’s manual and follow their instructions.

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1. Oil-filled Heaters

One of the most popular space heaters is an oil-based space heater. Oil-based space heaters warm the surrounding air using thermal convection and radiant heating, pulling in cool air and pushing it out through the oil-filled fins.

They stand on four legs, which makes them sturdier and prevents them from tipping over easily.

You don’t have to worry about them running unattended as long as they are in the correct, safe place and the thermostat is working correctly. Avoid placing them next to flammable items or near your bed.

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2. Ceramic Heaters

One of the most common types of space heater is a ceramic heater. Contrary to their name, they are not made of ceramics but use heat to warm up a ceramic plate.

The ceramic heater has an internal fan that disperses the heat through the room from that heated plate. Even though the ceramic plate warms up, it is not hot enough to cause a fire.

Because only the plate gets hot, leaving them on overnight and unattended is safe. The entire unit remains cold, and it will not cause damage to anyone in the room. The heaters will also have added safety features, one of them being an overheating protection device.

infrared heaters lg

3. Infrared Heaters

Infrared space heaters are an excellent option to keep any room warm and safe. This heating method will help save energy while still providing enough heat to your most-used rooms. They are one of the cheapest types you can buy and are safe to use.

Infrared heaters are safe to leave unattended since they heat the air instead of directly heating the object. However, when buying an infrared heater, it’s still important to take precautions.

The exterior of these heaters can be hot to touch, so you want to ensure that the heater you select has all the safety features, such as a cooling exterior.

While it is not something that we will suggest, you may leave your space heater unattended. It’s best if you switch on the heater when it’s indispensable and turn it off when it hits the ideal temperature unless the room is freezing and you’re busy working.

Safety Precautions When Leaving Heaters Unattended

First, make sure that the space heater is in excellent condition. Take note of your electrical cords and if dings, dents, or any other defects are present. Depending on the type of space heater, they may cause an electric shock, fire, or carbon monoxide gas leak.

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1. Keep Flammables Away From Your Heater

Keep flammable materials away from space heaters. We recommend that you maintain a diameter of 3 feet or more around your space heater.

The heater should not be within reach of piles of paper, plants, blankets, or bedding. Also, make sure that the space heater is away from your bed.

Do not put the space heater next to your bed, no matter how much you want to be closer to the warm air.

2. Purchase Tip-over & Overheat Protections

Buy heaters with tip-over and overheat safety functions. These protection features will help you safely use the space heater. A tip-over switch will ensure that if someone tips over the heater, it automatically shuts off.

Simultaneously, the overheat protection will automatically detect and shut off the heater when the temperature reaches unsafe readings.

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3. Plug Your Heater Into An Outlet

Directly plug your space heater into the outlet. Relying on an extension cord isn’t safe. The likelihood of an extension overheating or causing electrical shock or fire damage is high, and it would be wise to avoid this. If you have to install an extension cord, ensure it’s correctly rated and sized for your space heater.

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4. Install Smoke Alarms & CO2 Detectors

Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO2) detectors on every floor of your house. To guard against carbon monoxide poisoning, place these detectors outside sleeping areas and inside each bedroom. Make sure that they’re working and in good shape.

5. Plug Your Heater Fully In The Socket

Make sure that you plug the heater correctly into the socket. If the plug is halfway in the socket, circuits could break, and it can cause damage to the heater.

Also, check the cord of the heater. If it’s damaged, broken, or you notice it is hot, you should not use it.

6. Nothing Goes On The Heater

Please do not place the heater on the furniture or cover it with anything. These actions may increase the risk of fire. Also, don’t place the heater in areas and doorways with high foot traffic. In such places, the heater can risk tripping and burning.

What Are The Dangers Of Leaving Heaters Unattended?

Space heaters can cause significant danger when left unattended, also includes leaving the space heater on when you sleep. When you’re sleeping, you will not be aware of the heater’s malfunctions.

Space heaters hold a great deal of heat and can dry the air. It raises the chances of nearby objects catching on fire. Additionally, space heaters spontaneously catch fire if they malfunction or have frayed wiring.

You would be able to notice smoke coming from a space heater while you are up. However, when you’re sleeping, you’re not likely to realize that your heater is malfunctioning, or it may be too late if you do.

Safest Heaters To Leave On Overnight

Dyson Hot+Cool AM09 Tower Bladeless Fan Heater - White/Silver (Renewed)
$449.99 $349.95
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This Dyson heater has many features and capabilities that match its price tag. In one, it has equally comfortable cooling or heating, a fan heater, and a cooling solution in whatever space you place it in.

This device is much safer to use than the traditional fans while looking modern, elegant, and sophisticated. Even when higher temperatures are flowing out, it never gets so hot to be painful to touch.

It will also automatically turn itself off if it gets knocked over for whatever reason, making it safe to use around children and pets.

It is a compact heater, and you can move it everywhere. It is best placed on the floor, although some people opt to put it on a desk.

It is remote-controlled, but all the buttons are available on the unit itself, so you don’t have to worry if you misplace the remote.

It has a digital thermostat that can read the room’s temperature and set it. If the thermostat reads that you set too high a temperature, it will maintain the heating mode, not waste energy.

The powerful fan, which will heat the entire room quickly, can work on a wide range, but it also has a focus option, which will heat just the targeted object. It has all the standard safety features, tip-over protection, and an automatic overheating shut-off.

The most significant advantage is that you can use it all year round. You do not have to store it away in the summertime, as you can use it as a cooling fan. This heating and cooling combo comes at a hefty price, but you get what you pay for.   

Safest Space Heater - Top Pick
Vornado TAVH10 Electric Space Heater with Adjustable Thermostat, Auto Climate Control, & Remote
$149.99 $115.70

The Vornado TAVH10 Electric Space Heater with Adjustable Thermostat is a great way to keep your home warm and comfortable all winter. This space heater uses specially tuned airflow called "Vortex Action" to quickly and gently circulate heat throughout the entire room.

You can easily adjust the temperature using the LCD screen and touch-sensitive controls and choose between the 2 heat settings (plus a Fan Only option).

The TAVH10 electric space heater features a 5-year warranty and satisfaction guarantee.

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This portable space heater is tiny but still very modern and powerful, plus it has a traditional, classic look. It is effortless to transport this heater, as it has a built-in handle on the back where anyone can easily lift it.

This heater’s body is very cool to touch and has an overheat safety, which automatically shuts itself off when the temperature gets to unhealthy levels. It also has a shut-off system if someone tipped the heater over to prevent fire hazards.

The heater is efficient to use, providing three heating settings. It has a low setting, which runs on 750 Watts, a medium setting of 1125 Watts, and a high setting of 1500 Watts.

It also has a cycling mode, where it will turn itself off if the correct temperature is reached. The heater is also very quiet so that you won’t hear these changes and will heat your room correctly.

It uses a vortex air circulation system without the intense heat. It also has an internal thermostat with seven different heat levels.

The design of this heater allows it to warm up and circulate that warm air around the room. It also comes with a 5-year warranty in the United States. 

Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater, 1500-Watt
$125.99
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Portable infrared space heaters have 1500 watts of power at their maximum and 1000 watts at their lowest settings. A relatively small wattage makes the heater capable of producing much heat.

It is also designed to operate with high pressure, allowing it to use lower heat. Because of its infrared heating, it works very quietly.

The heater has a finely polished surface and can fit into various home design environments. The heater has an integrated thermometer that monitors the room’s temperature at each point and displays it on the LED screen. On the unit, it has several control button choices.

The system uses infrared technology, thus heating the objects in the room and not the air itself, allowing almost 100% of the heat produced and virtually no heat transfer loss.

It can also work independently from its user with an auto mode, efficiently shuffling between low and high speeds, holding the temperature level, and keeping it in a comfortable range.

The remote-control feature is incorporated with the product’s design for greater convenience, allowing you to set it while sitting down.

This heater has many features. It comes with a timer, allowing it to turn off when you program. The exterior is cool to touch, which makes it safe to use around pets and children.

It comes with tip-over and overheating protection. The heater is sturdy and durable but easy to transport with the wheels installed on the bottom.

This heater is a comfort zone model of the heater. It is an oscillating model commonly known for its easy mobility and ability to spread heat efficiently and uniformly through a powerful fan. The oscillating mode of operation makes it 360 degrees rotatable.

The heater is equipped with an LED screen, which displays the next temperature stage in the room. The digital thermostat calculates those display values.

The heater is a ceramic space heater. It has a ceramic plate that heats up, and a powerful fan distributes the heat across the room. The heater can also run effectively on an eco-mode.

ECO-mode comes in handy when you want to save energy. Even on ECO-mode, the heater will maintain the temperature you set. It can be remote-controlled while also working on a timer.

A digital thermostat saves energy based on different factors. It will regulate the oscillation and wattage when it reaches a specific temperature.

It has automatic shut-off protection for tip-over and overheating, and it is fantastic to touch when running, making it perfect to set it up anywhere in the room without the fear of causing fires.

The Asterion space heater is similar in design to the Bovado oscillating heater, so rather than having a bulky and boxy design, they have a slim tower look. It stands on a small footprint, which makes it easier to fit any space in the room.

 Its structure also provides a rotational capacity of precisely 360 degrees, giving it a complete direct coverage area and even distribution of heat in the house—an LED monitor for displaying temperature values taken by the digital thermostat, much like the Bovado heater.

This space heater works with a maximum power wattage consumption of 1,500 watts. Still, it could help you save power by enabling eco mode in which the system works to balance a user-selected preset temperature level, preventing overheating and thus balancing power consumption.

This system’s heat generation source is a ceramic PTC heating element; of course, high PTCs are often more effective in heat generation and distribution.

The heater’s design has a cool-to-touch surface, preventing all kinds of skin burns and fire hazards, and the tip-over safety feature that turns off the heater if it gets knocked off its feet at any point.

Like its Bovado counterpart, it has an adjustable thermostat, is remote-controlled, and comes with a timer. Another great feature is an anti-dust filter, which prevents the heater from clogging. At any time, you can remove the dust filter and clean it.

Our Top Pick
Pelonis Oil-Filled Radiator Heater with Programmable Thermostat
$94.99 $75.88

Pelonis oil-filled radiators are perfect for medium to large-sized rooms and come with a range of safety features to keep you and your loved ones safe. With an automatic overheat protection system, these heaters are perfect for use by elderly people or children.

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This heater is an oil-filled portable radiator that is ideal for small to medium-sized rooms.

With self-regulating heat output, this space heater provides adequate radiant heat and an energy-saving feature that optimizes the power settings to achieve your personalized temperature. The oil never needs to be refilled or replaced.

The heater has a screen that you can quickly program and a digital 10-hour timer and is remote-controlled, so you can turn up or adjust the heat setting from the comfort of your couch.

It has a power indicator light to know that the device is working, with the built-in safety features, so you don’t have to worry about the radiator overheating. An additional modern part is a tip-over safety switch.

The heater is made from heavy-gauge steel with a rust-free finish. It is gray and black, and it has an LED screen.

It stands on four rotatable wheels, making it easy to move and transport while still standing sturdy. You can sit next to the radiator, and it doesn’t get too hot to touch.

The radiator turns itself on and off to maintain a fixed temperature. It will heat up until the room reaches the desired temperature, at which point the heating element will stop heating, and the LED lamp will continue to flash to set the temperature. However, the heater will start heating again when the temperature falls below the set temperature.

The electric radiator heater does not have a fan, so it works quietly, without a single sound. It can efficiently warm rooms, in the living room, bedroom, and even basements.

Safest Space Heater - Top Pick
De'Longhi Full Room Radiant Heater
4.4
$179.95
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02/20/2024 09:59 pm GMT

Here is another oil-filled radiator that is perfect for leaving overnight or unattended. Oil-filled heaters, or radiators, are ideal for worry-free operating. This radiator needs very little maintenance.

It’s made from high-quality steel, meaning it won’t rust over time and is exceptionally durable. The oil reservoir it comes with does not need refilling since the heater is sealed.

Like all modern heaters, it has safety features that keep it from overheating, as it will automatically shut off. The radiator works quietly; you will sometimes only hear a soft click as it turns on and off. While the radiator will heat the room efficiently, the surface has a low temperature.

The radiator comes with an adjustable thermostat with three different heat settings. Because the heater is so silent, you can have it on while you’re sleeping, and you won’t have to worry that it will disturb your sleep.

This heater’s most significant advantage is low energy consumption to lower your heating bills. It gives you the perfect opportunity to heat just one room you’re occupying and lower the temperature of the central thermostat.

It also comes with a timer, which you can program to shut off the heater at the desired time. It can save energy using an ECO-mode, which will keep your room at the desired temperature while optimizing energy consumption. The heater is compact, making it easy to transport from one room to another.

AirNmore Comfort Deluxe Infrared Space Heater with Remote
4.5
$295.00
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The AirNmore comfort heater is exceptionally durable. It uses infrared heating that comes in two settings;

  • High setting: 1500 Watts
  • Low setting: 1000 Watts

AirNmore can radiate a room up to 1000 square feet.

This heater uses a specially built heating element, precisely made of copper, and has a good advantage in a positive temperature coefficient.

The PTC is a very different heating technology, allowing copper as a primary conductor of heat. They do not dry up the air as a result, and they do not decrease oxygen levels in the house.

The heater’s exterior is cool to touch and safe to use around children and pets. It is very sturdy and not likely to tip over. But if the heater tips over, it comes with an automatic shut-off system.

If there is a power outage, the heater remembers the last setting you put it on, and after the power returns, it automatically starts working again on the previous setting.

The heater is very easy to move, and it’s also remote-controlled. The entire body frame sits on caster wheels, built-in for fast and straightforward mobility, while also providing front-side control buttons to switch between different unit settings.

As a medium-sized space heater built with high efficiency and matching power, this device would easily fit into any room and would not create a space problem.

Final Thoughts

To summarize everything, heaters are safe to leave on if you use specific types, such as oil-filled, ceramic, and infrared space heaters. Always make sure to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of you and your household members. We hope this article has been enlightening and helpful.

Author

Hubert Miles | Licensed Home Inspector, CMI, CPI

Hubert Miles is a licensed home inspector (RBI# 2556) with more than two decades of experience in inspection and construction. Since 2008, he has been serving South Carolina through his company, Patriot Home Inspections LLC. As a Certified Master Inspector, Hubert is dedicated to providing his expertise in home inspections, repairs, maintenance, and DIY projects.