Consumer Reports: Top space heaters
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Space heaters are great at warming up those chilly or drafty spots around the house. Of course you’ll want one that not only heats well, but also does it safely. That’s where Consumer Reports comes in, with recommendations on the best heater, plus tips to keep your family safe when using them.
When it’s chilly, a space heater can provide a little extra warmth but they can also be dangerous--statistics show space heaters are involved in one-third of all home heating fires so safety matters.
“We run a series of safety tests to identify heaters that may pose a burn risk. The safest space heaters shut off automatically if they become too hot or if they’re knocked over,” said Paul Hope with Consumer Reports.
Does the heater have the potential to ignite flammable fabrics? A test checks for that and assigns a POOR rating if the heater ignites cotton fabrics on its hottest setting. CR says choosing the right space heater for your home comes down to what you want your space heater to do.
“You need to consider whether you’re just trying to warm yourself up or whether you’re trying to heat an entire room. Our tests show that not all models can do both,” said Hope.
A mannequin is equipped with four temperature sensors to record and measure how well a heater can spot heat. And in this chamber, testers assess how well a heater can warm up a standard sized room.
A Vornado scores excellent for spot heating and passes CR’s safety tests with flying colors. If you want to heat a whole room and yourself, this Comfort Zone delivers. It earns an excellent rating in CR’s fire safety test however it is hotter to the touch compared to other models. Still, it’s a CR Best Buy for $50.
If you have kids or pets and you’re concerned about hotter surfaces, CR says a Lasko Bladeless Tower is a good alternative for one-hundred dollars. It does well at safely heating a whole room, as well as spot heating.
And a few safety tips: Never use extension cords with portable space heaters, and keep your heater on the floor, at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
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