How Long Can You Leave a Space Heater on?

Space heaters!!! Yes, the most popular and convenient heating technology that uses considerably higher worldwide, especially in the winter season. According to recent research (EPA), the average American home uses 42 percent of its energy for space heating. So the main concern could be the best power-efficient space heaters for large rooms or small rooms. But the question is how long you can leave a space heater on or unattended. Is it safe to leave a space heater on all night? In this article, we’ll clarify your all queries, provide you tips to make your space heater use safer, and recommend you the safest space heaters for your family.

It’s not about how long you can, it’s all about how long you should leave a space heater on.

The straight answer is you can leave a space heater or fan heater on all night or all day long if your space heater is the best-inbuilt quality and comes up with modern safety features. But it doesn’t make sense to leave your space heater unattended, does it? It may occur any unwanted occurrence and it’s a considerable reason for getting your electricity bill uplifting.

What Happens If You Leave A Space Heater On Too Long?

You know, heaters are high in demand, especially a space heater is one of the most useful home appliances in winter to keep your room warm. But you have to be more conscious while using it. What can happen if you leave space heaters unattended? It’s not a good idea to keep your heaters on for an extended period of time. They can be harmful to your health in addition to being dangerous and setting off a fire.

Make sure to switch the heater off if you’re ready to leave it unattended or if you’re about to go to bed because leaving a space heater on for an extended period of time increases the chance of an electrical fire in your home. Well, let’s see what can be happened if you leave a space heater on all day or overnight.

The Threat of Fire

Yes, if you left your space heater on all day or overnight, it can the risk of fire. You know, space heaters come in a wide variety of styles and models. They can be any size—tall, short, free-standing, mounted on the wall, etc.

Risk of fire for defective socket
Fire from the Defective Plug

How do space heaters cause fires? For example, you have a tall, independent space heater. In that instance, leaving it unattended will dramatically raise the chance of a fire occurring because it might easily tip over, land on the carpet or next to other easily combustible objects, and start a fire. Moreover, a faulty space heater is also responsible to increase the chance of fire risk.

How Many House Fires Are Caused By Space Heaters?

The second most frequent reason for house fires in America is space heater fires. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the usage of space heaters contributes to 25,000 home fires annually. Source

The majority of home heating fire deaths (86%) included stationary or portable space heaters, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Source

Shock Risk

Leaving your space heater on can occur shock hazards. Like all electronics, a space heater poses a shock risk when it is improperly plugged in. If it is destroyed or the wires are damaged, it also poses a shock hazard. This electrical problem might result in a power outage or possibly shock someone.


Careless use of space heaters is also responsible for burn injuries. Do you know incorrect heater use results in 6,000 burn injuries and 300 fatalities annually? If you have kids or pets with a space heater, you run the danger of them getting burned. One touch is all it takes to wind up in the ER or at the vet.

Others have coverings that warm up as they heat up, while some space heaters have a cooler exterior. Because it shields against any potential burns, the exterior’s coldness is a crucial component. 

Health Hazard

Heater-produced air is dry by nature. Health risks are associated with breathing dry air. It can harm your respiratory system and bring on conditions including sinusitis, bronchitis, asthma, and nosebleeds. Dehydration is also a result of the body’s fluids running out, the skin losing moisture, and the eyes beginning to itch.

Gas heaters can be particularly dangerous because your sense of smell is not reliable while you are asleep. You won’t know if there is a gas leak throughout the night, and you could become carbon monoxide poisoned. 

Can you get carbon monoxide poisoning from a space heater?

The recent CPSC report says that each year, portable generators in the U.S. cause an average of 85 consumer deaths as it creates CO poisoning and fire. Depending on the type of space heater you use, you could develop carbon monoxide poisoning. Since they don’t burn fuel to produce heat, electric space heaters won’t emit carbon monoxide.

Lower the Heater’s Life Expectancy

How long does a space heater last? With regular use, a typical space heater will last you 12 to 18 years. It has been a long time. While some inexpensive space heaters only last a day or two, others last for months or even years. Everything is based on quality.

For example, a space heater lasts 14 years and considering both winter and summer, the average usage is 1 hour per day. Then that space heater runs for 5110 hours in total. If you used the space heater 24/7, then it would last only 212 days which is less than 1 year.

So if you want more life for your space heater, you need to use it more sincerely. Besides, the cost of the electricity bill could be a considerable headache sometimes if you just left your space heater unattended.

How Long Can You Leave A Space Heater On?

Modern space heater technology makes it possible to operate them for extended periods of time. A high-end heater can be left on for at least 10 hours without causing any problems.

Contemporary space heaters include a number of built-in safety mechanisms that significantly increase their dependability. The overheat prevention feature is the most crucial component of reliability. A space heater’s overheating protection shuts it off when it gets too hot.

Theoretically, any good space heater can run continuously without any harm. You can leave a space heater on as long as you are in the same space. Modern space heaters contain built-in safety features that lower the risk of fire, such as a thermostat that controls temperature, tip-over protection, and overheat protection.

Likewise, the same answer to the query how long can you leave a fan heater on? If your fan heater is built with modern technology, you can leave your fan heater on overnight without any risk although you should be more careful.

Is It Safe To Leave A Space Heater On All Night or All Day?

It’s a common query nowadays, is it safe to leave a space heater on all night or is it safe to run a space heater 24/7? Yes, a modern, high-quality space heater can be used continuously. It should be constructed of fireproof material and include a number of safety elements to avert disaster. As a result, even when your space heater runs for extended periods of time, all day, or overnight, there is never a risk of it overheating and starting a fire.

Although it’s safe to leave a space heater on overnight, it should never be left alone for an extended period of time. Space heaters should never be left unattended, not even for a minute. Due to the increased risk of fire and burns, and health hazards, which result in nosebleeds and dry skin, you should avoid leaving them overnight.

On the other hand, by purchasing a humidifier to keep your room at the proper humidity level, you may solve these issues. You shouldn’t keep your space heater on overnight or unattended, even if you purchase a humidifier. Still, there is a considerable risk of fire and burns. Most fire safety experts advise before going to bed heating the room for two to three hours before turning it off.

Can You Use A Space Heater On A Carpeted Floor?

The answer is no. Although many families do it, it’s not a wise idea to place space heaters on carpets. Every year, fires are started by carpet fibers that become entangled in space heaters. It is ideal to maintain your space heater on tile, wood, or another surface devoid of fibers. It should, of course, be a flat surface.

Carpeted floor is not safe for space heater
Avoid Carpeted Floor to Place Space heater

Can You Use A Space Heater Near Your Bed?

You shouldn’t keep your heater on near your bed. Despite your desire for warmth, space heaters should never be placed next to a bed. Materials from your mattress may catch fire if they are left too close to the heater, much like carpet fibers may.

According to Association for National Fire Protection, heating equipment placed too close to combustibles such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses, or bedding was the main cause of home heating fire deaths (54%).

The greatest location for a space heater in a bedroom is directly across from the bed. This should ideally be an uncluttered corner.

Should Space Heaters Be Unplugged When Not In Use?

There really isn’t any need to have a space heater plugged in if it isn’t in use. Even when an electrical device is off, leaving it plugged in will raise your energy costs. Standby power, or the amount of electricity used by items when they are switched off or in standby mode, is the term used to describe this occurrence. Although we might not realize it, standby power is a significant problem. 

According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (a division of the U.S. Department of Energy), it contributes 5 to 10 percent of home energy use and costs the typical U.S. household $100 annually.

So, you should unplug your space heater when not in use which will protect you from any unwanted occurrence and save your dollar as well.

On the other hand, plugging the power cable into a timer might be a good idea if you don’t want to leave your space heater on all the time but also don’t want to manually turn it off. You must, however, watch that the power limitations of the timer are not exceeded by the space heater.

When You Should Always Turn Off Your Space Heater?

We already discussed how long you can leave a space heater on and whether it is safe or not to leave a space heater on overnight. You know, the modern space heater is safer but there is something else that is the awareness. 

Now, even if your space heater is sturdy and equipped with all the necessary safety precautions, you shouldn’t always leave it on. The majority of space heater mishaps occur while no one is home. Even while space heaters are often safe to use over extended periods of time, unforeseen events can nevertheless occur nearby.

For example, you accidentally left the heater on at work or at your house. If your heater is high-end with desired quality, then you don’t need to worry too much once or twice. But if you do it frequently, I would say, it could be a fire risk.

Space heaters are, first and foremost, electronic devices. Nobody can promise that they will operate error-free. Second, a space heater’s surroundings could result in a catastrophe. It’s possible that thin curtains ignite. Or a propane bottle used to refill lighters close to the space heater heats up and blows out.

Because of this, you can’t rely solely on your space heater. You must also ensure the safety of your surroundings. Never leave a space heater on while you are away from home because if something goes wrong, there must be someone who can put an end to the catastrophe.

How Can You Make Space Heater Use Safer?

Well, you have already gone through the things that you must follow to use a space heater in your home. But the thing is, you can’t maintain it properly, or your work pressure or surroundings affects it. As a result, sometimes, you forget to unplug or switch off the space heater.

In this case, some tips can be the best solution for you. If you follow those tips, you may leave your space heater on overnight. So, make your space heater use safer and keep your family safe without sacrificing warmth.

1. Keep flammable items far from the space heater

Away from the heater, keep anything flammable. Gasoline, oil, fabric, bedding, and some furniture are all flammable items. These goods need to be kept at least three feet away from the heater.

2. Keep kids and animals away

Never leave the elderly, crippled, or persons with pets alone in a room with a space heater that is not being watched. To reduce the chance that the heater will topple over, set it on a flat surface.

3. Don’t use pace heaters as dryers

Never dry your clothes with a space heater. Even drying clothing there is not recommended because it could cause a fire. Under no circumstances should you cover a space heater with any kind of fabric.

4. Heaters and water don’t mix

Keep water away from your space heater. Make sure you clean up any liquid that might spill on your space heater because electricity and liquid don’t mix, as we all know. Due to these risks, it would be advisable to avoid using space heaters in your kitchen or bathroom.

5. Connect the heater to a wall outlet

The best option is to put your space heater straight into a wall outlet. Manufacturers warn against using space heaters with extension cables, plug timers, or any other non-wall outlets.

This is because you run the risk of overloading the circuit when you put your space heater into anything other than a wall outlet.

6. Install smoke and fire detectors in your home

It’s a good idea to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. If you leave your space heater unattended, you risk not knowing right away if a fire starts. However, an alarm will let you know right away, allowing you to take action before it’s too late.

7. Check the wiring

Check the cables on your space heater before using it. It would be advisable to carry this out before each use, especially the first time. Your wires still have the potential to start a fire even if they are slightly damaged.

8. Avoid burying wires under carpeting

Never route the wires of a space heater over or beneath a rug. This ups the fire danger because a fire could start if the cord is damaged under the carpet.

9. Maintain a floor-mounted heater

Put your space heater on your desk so it may blast directly in your face. However, because they are lightweight, space heaters are prone to tipping over when jolted, which can result in burns and even fires. The space heater must always be kept on the ground.

10. Safety features and examines certificates

A tip-over safety switch, which will turn your space heater off automatically if it detects that it has tipped over, is something you should look for when purchasing a space heater that you know you’ll be left unattended. To reduce the possibility of injuries, it would be advisable to look for a heater with a cool exterior.

Be sure to always look for a testing laboratory’s seal on your heaters, such as those from Underwriters Laboratories, the Canadian Standards Association, or Intertek.

However, never use a space heater that is damaged or old. The likelihood that an older model will be a safe choice for your family decreases. A broken space heater should be thrown out right away since it poses a fire risk. Any of the more recent, contemporary heaters will be a wise investment in the long run.

Make your space heater use safer
Consider Safety to Have a Risk-Free Time

Can You Run a Space Heater Reliably For Long Periods?

Can you trust a space heater to run reliably for long periods? Yes, you can run a space heater for long periods if your space heater is capable of it like it’s built with modern technology, has safety features including the thermostat, overheat protection, etc., and is standard certified. 

But space heaters should only be left on when you feel comfortable doing so. Turn it off as soon as you start to worry. It’s often preferable to appear overconfident than to worry a little too much.

Although you can leave your space heater on as long as you want, is it make sense? Anything can happen and as it’s related to your family and house, then undoubtedly, it’s a wise decision to be more careful even if you are running the best quality space heater in the market.

One more thing is, you shouldn’t leave your space heater on while you are not at home or your workplace. It cuts a considerable amount of electricity bills too. If you ask, how much electricity bill does a space heater cost? The amount of power a space heater draws from a wall outlet determines how much electricity it will cost. Your monthly cost for an average 1500W electric space heater is $43.20, or 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. You would spend $129.60 a month running a typical space heater 24/7.

Candles heating for winter
Candles for Room Heating in Winter

Well, if you are really concerned about the electricity costs although you require to keep your room warm overnight, you can go for an alternative way. Then what is it? What is the cheapest way to keep your room warm in winter all night? Candles are the cheapest way and the perfect alternative to space heaters. Know how many candles you need to heat a room in winter and you can also get more heat from candles by following a technique.

On the other hand, it might sound traditional but it’s the most time-worthy way to keep your whole house or family warm with the best wood and coal-burning stoves. Moreover, the new and modern portable wood stoves are also convenient for indoor use, camping and cooking.

What Kind Of Automatic Shutoff Functions Can Space Heaters Have?

Do most space heaters turn off automatically? Depending on the heater, this may change. Most affordable space heaters do not have an automatic off feature. Some space heaters may not have an automated shutoff feature. This function can save your life, thus it’s worth spending a little bit more for it on certain more expensive devices. 

Despite the fact that many space heaters include an automatic shutoff feature, you shouldn’t rely on it to keep you safe. The modes of automatic shutoff functions might vary greatly. These activities include

Timed Shutoff

With the Timed Shutoff feature, you may set a timer for how long a space heater will emit air. The heater will shut off after your designated goal time has passed.

Overheat sensor

A model featuring an overheat sensor will automatically shut off if temperatures approach overheating.

Tip-Over Sensors

With the use of sensors, this feature determines whether your space heater has been tipped over. The sensors will activate its automatic shutoff feature if it is not positioned correctly.

Can you leave a space heater unattended if it has an automatic shutoff feature? It is crucial that your heater has an immediate shutoff option because space heaters are a major contributing factor to house fires. It’s advisable to at least be inside the house while the space heater is operating, even though you don’t have to be in the same room as it. In this manner, if a problem occurs, you will be there.

Additionally, keep in mind that space heaters can consume a lot of electricity. So, you should turn it off when not in use to prevent your electricity cost from increasing.

Features to Look For While Buying the Safest Space Heater

Your top priority when purchasing a space heater should be the safety of you, your family, and your home. There are a lot of heaters on the market, but you should always pick one with the qualities listed below:

Programmable Thermostat

An automated thermostat is yet another incredible feature included with space heaters. This makes it possible for them to only switch when the temperature drops below a set threshold, allowing you to conserve energy and use heaters sparingly. Besides, you can also keep track of your room temperature with the best indoor and outdoor thermometers to get accurate temperature and humidity. 

Tip-Over Protection

When it is tilted past a specific angle, the heater is turned off. If you have kids or pets at home, this will aid in lowering the risk of fire and shock.

Shut-Off Automatically

Auto shut-off is a feature that is similar to the automatic thermostat. This function lowers the risk of fire by turning off the heater when the room temperature exceeds a certain threshold.

Certifications for Safety

Ideally, you should purchase an appliance that has been approved by Underwriters Laboratories, Intertek, or the Canadian Standards Association. You don’t need to be concerned about the heater being a risk because this indicates that the appliance has passed the safety standard test. Underwriters Laboratories uses the UL 1278 and UL 1042 standards for portable and fixed baseboard electric heaters, respectively.


After a set amount of time, this feature turns the heater off. It is helpful if you were asleep or preoccupied and forgot to turn on the heating.


People who are dependent on heaters and do not want to go into trouble because of them are fond of this function. You may easily control the heater from a distance if it has a remote control. So you don’t have to leave the warmth and comfort of the bed to turn on or off your heater.

Which Space Heaters Are The Safest to Leave on Overnight?

Yes, you’ll get numerous space heaters in the market, but which space heater is the safest? The answer is simple. The space heaters which have safety features are the safest space heater. However, the safest type of space heater is an oil-filled radiator heater.

Here, the safest space heater will be recommended which is built quality is high-end, and has all the safety features so that it can be run as long as you want without any risk. But it’s highly recommended not to leave your space heater unattended.

In addition to this, the safety tips and the ways you should follow to make your space heater safer are discussed in this article already. So go through them once again only for you.

You know there are several types of space heaters are available. Are all of them safe? No way. Let’s see which type of space heaters are so fas so good based on safety.

Oil-filled Heaters

Despite being among the safest space heaters, many people are hesitant to get it because they think they must replenish it. However, oil-filled space heaters have a sealed shell, so neither oil nor lubricant may enter or exit the device. There is no evaporation of the thermal oil. If you think it might be broken, you shouldn’t leave it close to a bed or unattended.

Ceramic Heaters

  • Convection

Convective heaters function by heating the aluminum with electricity before transferring the heat from the ceramic material. They heat the space by using the air already present. The majority of them have fans to help spread the heat more evenly.

  • Radiant

The heat produced by radiant heaters lasts significantly longer. That’s because this heater only heats the things surrounding it, not the air itself. Those things heated up as a result of absorbing the heat. Since they don’t warm the air, they don’t need a fan, making them significantly quieter.

Ceramic heaters can be left unattended because they are often hot on the inside but frigid outside. If your child or animal touches it, it won’t get burned.

Infrared Heaters

Infrared heaters don’t heat the air as other heaters do; instead, they heat the things around them. Because they don’t dry out the air or reduce the amount of oxygen in the room, they are also healthier for you than other heaters.

Because infrared heaters only heat the objects they are placed near, not the entire room, you will save money by using them. This implies that when working, you can place an infrared heater close to your desk.

The most secure space heater to use when unattended is this one. However, because the heater’s exterior can grow hot, it would be advisable to keep it out of the reach of kids and pets.

Propane Heaters

To heat, a space, propane heaters are used. Since they run on propane rather than electricity, they are relatively portable. In addition to producing heat at the greatest temperature, this sort of heater is less expensive to operate than electric heaters.

Never leave a propane heater unattended. They increase the risk of fire while producing carbon monoxide.

Our Recommendation (Warm Up with Great Care)

Our recommended safest space heaters that you can buy for your home but maintain the safety tips.

Fan Heater
Dyson Hot+Cool AM09
Dyson Hot+Cool AM09 tower bladeless safest fan heater
Check Price
Oil-Filled Radiant Heater
De’Longhi TRD40615E
DeLonghi TRD40615E oil filled radiant heater safest
Check Price

Well, then which space heater could be run overnight? De’Longhi TRD40615E oil-filled radiant heater and Dyson Hot+Cool AM09 tower bladeless fan heater are the safest space heater you can use overnight although you should be more careful.

In winter, likewise, the space heater, and the water heater is one of the most useful appliances for regular use. Do you have already got a new one or still thinking to replace your existing water heater with a modern one? Find out the most popular brands of tankless water heaters including EcoSmart water heaters, Rinnai water heaters, and Rheem water heaters in the USA.

Don’t forget to consider the power-efficient electric water heaters to save your electricity. You can try also the propane tankless water heater. If you look for the best water heater for hard water, and water heaters for the bathroom, then it’s high time to get it as winter is already in.

Sum up

Now you can answer the question of how long you can leave a space heater on, can’t you? Don’t forget, safety first. So it’s important to choose the safest space heater as well as ensure your awareness of using a space heater to make it safer for you and your family.

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