side effects of electric heater

Side Effects of Electric Heaters- The Good, Bad, and Dangerous

Most people are apprehensive of using an electric space heater because of the obvious things that could go wrong.

  And most people make it a point to be extra cautious with a space heater also.

I say most, because most of us probably know somebody that’s making an unwise decision with a space heater right this minute.

And I know that is true because of the insane statistics about house fires that have been caused by space heaters.


According to Safety Health and Security Associates

From 2013 to 2015 there was an estimated $45,900 heating fires and 30% of those were caused by space heaters.

But electric space heaters are actually a very needed and useful appliance when you know how to use it right.

What are the side effects of an electric heater?



Advantages of electric room heater


1.  Warmth.

The ability to keep warm is not a small thing. And some situations,  an electric space heater can be the difference between staying warm and developing some serious issues.

Staying too cold for too long can result in problems like:

a. Hypothermia

When your body gets too cold, it can lose heat faster then it can make it.
You can eventually end up with Hypothermia.

Hypothermia is defined as a potentially dangerous drop in body temperature caused by prolonged exposure to cold.

It can cause shivering and fatigue, a loss of coordination and confusion.

If allowed to continue, it can cause a loss of consciousness. And eventual death.

b. Frostbite

Frostbite can happen when you walk around with cold feet and cold hands all the time.
Getting used to your feet being cold and your hands being cold may seem inevitable in some circumstances but it can eventually be dangerous.

c. Trench foot

Trench foot gets its name because of the soldiers and world war I that got stuck in the trenches with wet feet and no way to dry them or keep them warm.

d. Chilblains

Chilblains is a condition that can cause inflammation, blisters, and redness with itching.

The cause of Chilblains is is repeat exposure to cold air.

2.  Supplemental heat

When your home has cold areas that the regular heating system just does not suffice, an electric space heater is an excellent way to supplement heat in those areas.

3.  Convenience

Another side effect of using a space heater is how easy it is to produce warm air in your room.

Unlike other types of heat that require extensive ductwork and wiring, electric space heaters are ready to go right out of the box.

4.  Cheaper

Electric space heaters do not cost nearly as much to run as the central heat and air and they don’t require the typical filter changes come with HVAC s.

And the price for 1 or even a few electric spaces is what’s cheaper than outfitting your home with central heat.

And if you don’t need heat through the whole house, you simply run the space heater where you need to heat.

The bad side effects of Electric Heater

Disadvantages of a space heater


1.  Limited heat

An electric space heater will not heat an entire room with the same efficiency as a gas heater or central heat.

2.  Take longer

Electric space heaters do not heat up a room nearly as fast ducted central heat.

And sometimes of electric heaters like oil heaters take even longer.

The positive side of oil heaters is they also take a longer time to cool down which means less energy to run them.

3.  Fire risk

Electric space heaters tend to get very hot. So hot that anything combustible around them is in risk of catching on fire.
The number one reason space heaters catch fire is they are too close to items that can be set ablaze easily.

4.  Power Hogs

Though it is true that running a space heater is much cheaper than Central heating and Air, that does not negate the fact that nearly 100% of all electric space heaters use 1500 watts on high.

That is also the number one reason that space heaters cause the breaker to trip faster than just about any other appliance.

At 1500 w, just adding one more appliance to a circuit will trip the breaker. 

And the cost of running a space heater on high will average around $7 a day depending on what state you live in.

5.  Toasted Skin Syndrome

Toasted Skin syndrome is a condition that can affect your legs when you sit too close to a space heater for too long of a time. Even sitting in the vicinity of a space heater for an extended amount of time can cause toasted Skin syndrome.

The symptoms of it are discoloration of the skin, burning, and itching.


There are good and bad side effects to using an electric space heater.

The good effects include warmth.

Not to be understated. Without a way to keep warm, we human beings can be in a world of hurt.

Electric space heaters provide an excellent service by doing exactly what they are made for. Providing heat.

When you stay too cold too long, many issues can arise including hypothermia, and frostbite.

Electric heaters can also help lower the cost of the bill by supplementing the heat in your house so that you do not have to run the whole house heater the whole time.

And unlike other types of indoor heat like chimneys, it is much easier and convenient to plug in a space heater than build a fire or install a whole house system.

But of course there are some downsides to using an electric space heater.

The number one downside is the risk of  a house fire.

People running space heaters too close to combustible items that can ignite are the number one reason of fires caused by space heaters.

Space heaters, though in comparison to using the whole house system may not appear to be, but they can be very expensive to run.

The typical wattage of a space heater is 1500 watts on high which can result in your bill being as much as $7 higher per day while you’re in the season.

And there is just no getting around the fact that electric space heaters offer limited heat compared to centralized heat and take much longer to warm a room.

Published by

Dennis Reed

Dennis Reed Owner and Author @