Can You Get Sick From Electric Heaters?

The electric space heater is a popular heating device the world over. Using an electric heater is just one of many ways to keep yourself warm in the winter.

However, if you find yourself feeling unwell after using one, there may be a cause for concern.

Many people wonder if they can get sick from electric heaters and whether electric heaters are safe to use in small rooms or close to flammable items like bedding or furniture.

Electric heaters work by drying out the air around you and by actually stripping moisture from your skin and the air. This can be a major reason why some people may feel sick after using an electric heater for an extended period.

A lot of people use electric heaters without any problems. However, a few people have registered complaints about it.

Can electric heaters cause health problems?

Electric space heaters do not emit fumes or smoke but they will make your home dry and give rise to certain symptoms which include: –

  • Dry skin
  • Headaches
  • Dry eyes
  • Sinus congestion
  • Irritated throats and mouths

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s possible that your electric heater is causing these problems. You should consider lowering the temperature on your electric heater or using it for shorter periods.

Keeping your family safe!

Safety incidents have taught me that everyone should have a home safety kit to ensure family members can escape a fire quickly and safely. Here is the Safety Kit that I recommend, in the event of a fire or other emergency.

How do electric heaters affect air quality?

Air quality in your home is important when you are trying to stay healthy. Most people don’t realize that the air quality in their homes can have a negative impact on their health.

Electric space heaters are popular because they are small and inexpensive to operate. They are also do not emit any toxic fumes into your home. When you use an electric heater, your house becomes very dry because it pulls moisture out of the air during the heating process.

No actual gases or fumes are given off when you use your electric heater. However, the heating process does remove moisture from the air.

The moisture level in a room with an electric heater can drop by as much as 30% which may lead to some health problems if you have pre-existing respiratory issues. 

Let’s look in more detail at how electric heaters can cause issues if used constantly in the home.

Dry Skin

When it comes to heating the air in your home, electric heaters can cause dry skin especially for those with sensitive skin.

If you already have dry skin, then you’ll know that it can be uncomfortable and painful to live with. Itchy patches make it hard to sleep at night and clothes often stick uncomfortably to our bodies during the day.

Dry air from an electric heater can make things even worse by reducing humidity levels in your home, which leads to greater discomfort.

To remedy this problem, you should open your windows at intervals (preferably multiple times a day) so that the air in the room can be replenished with moisture.

You can also try building up humidity levels in your home. Try using a humidifier, which helps moisturize the air in your room and can even help alleviate symptoms of a dry throat and nose.

Headaches

Electric heaters are the perfect solution to stay warm during winter. But, did you know that they can also cause headaches? 

The burning smell of an electric heater may be too strong for some people and this can lead to a headache. If your electric heater is giving off an odor or if it just doesn’t seem right, then it might be time to clean out the unit.

Brush away dust on coils with a vacuum cleaner attachment and mop up any spilled liquids before turning on the power again.

This will prevent unpleasant smells from coming out of the heater as well as prevent overheating which could result in fires or worse.

The burning smell is usually due to fluff and dust collecting on the heater’s coils. Once the dust is gone, you should be able to enjoy your electric heater without getting a headache.

Dry Eyes

While there are a few factors that can cause dry eyes, such as air-conditioning or flu, many people don’t know that they can also get them from using electric heaters.

This is because the heat from the heater dries out your eyes and makes you more prone to getting dry eye syndrome. Luckily, this problem doesn’t have to be permanent.

There are ways to combat it so that it doesn’t affect your life or your home’s comfort level. Use a humidifier in each room to add moisture back into the air. This will ease the dryness in your eyes and keep it from drying out.

You can also use eye drops to ease the dryness and help prevent any serious damage to your eyes.

Alternatively, you can use a damp towel to dab your eyes and clear away any dryness that’s causing discomfort.

You can also try and avoid sitting right next to the heater, as the air can be dry and suffocating.

Sinus Congestion

The heat from an electric heater can cause the moisture in your nose and throat to dry out.

It is more likely that this will happen if you’re already sensitive to allergies or have chronic nasal issues such as sinusitis. This is because the heat will make you more vulnerable to irritants like dust.

Sinus congestion is an uncomfortable feeling that often accompanies the common cold or other respiratory illnesses. There are many potential causes of sinus pressure, such as allergies and inflammation.

To help avoid these symptoms altogether, try opening a window while using an electric heater and make sure that the room is well ventilated. Also, make sure that you’re wearing a face mask when cleaning around the house to avoid making your sinus issues worse.

Asthma And Allergies

Every winter, many people suffer from asthma or breathing problems.

Many people are wondering if they can get asthma from an electric heater. The short answer is no, you cannot get asthma from an electric heater unless there is some other trigger for your asthma such as allergies or smoke.

For safety reasons, if you’re prone to developing asthma-like symptoms when using an electric heater, avoid prolonged contact with the device and try other ways of heating your home instead.

Underfloor heating is a good option for homes with people who live with allergies or asthma.

If you’re concerned about your symptoms and electric heater use, talk to a doctor about possible triggers for your symptoms. 

What can you do?

If you feel that you have some of these symptoms and you can attribute it to your electric heater, there are a number of things you can do to fix the problem.

Move your electric heater

First, try to move your electric heater away from you and avoid using it for long periods of time.

Sometimes just relocating the heater for a while can solve the problem. You can place it at the opposite end of the room away from where you are sitting.

If there is a specific spot where you notice the symptoms the most, try and avoid going to that area when it’s on. If possible, avoid the heater altogether if you have a respiratory illness or asthma.

Adjust The Temperature

Next, try adjusting your heater’s temperature.

If you don’t want to go without heat, try turning the temperature down until it’s bearable for you or your family before deciding not to use the heater.

In some cases, just reducing the temperature of your electric heater may be enough to make it more comfortable for you or your family.

Using an air purifier with HEPA filter

You can also try using an air purifier with a HEPA filter around your heater if you are having trouble getting rid of the issue

If this doesn’t work, you may want to replace or clean your electric heater’s filter. A dirty filter can create health risks and also affect the efficiency of your electric heater.

Try cleaning it

Before you go out and buy an entirely new electric heater, try regular cleaning to see if it makes any difference.

You can vacuum the coils directly with the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. Make sure not to use any water when doing this to avoid shorting the electric heater wire.

Cleaning your filters will also help keep them clean and improve air quality inside your home. This is especially helpful if you use an electric heater with filters that are easy to remove and clean, like one of our top picks, Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater.

Don’t have it running all day long

Avoid having your electric heater on for too long of a period of time. It’s probably best to turn yours off once the room reaches the desired temperature instead of keeping it on constantly throughout the day.

Consider using other means to heat your home if you don’t want to stop using an electric heater.

If none of these solutions work, there may be a more serious underlying problem that needs to be addressed by a medical professional. Talk with your doctor about any respiratory problems or asthma-like symptoms you have in the winter months and how to best solve them.

Alternative Heating

If possible use another method of heating your homes such as underfloor heating or wood-burning fireplace. Also using a humidifier in each room will help increase the moisture in the air and ease dry eyes and nasal passages.

Ventilate

Lastly, make sure that your home is well ventilated and if possible, open up all of your windows to let fresh air in to combat any dryness caused by the electric heater.

For homes without central heating, try investing in an underfloor heating system. That way you can still keep warm while avoiding sinus problems

You may want to consider this option if you can’t move your electric heater out of the room, or if it’s not an option at all.

An air purifier is also a good option for homes with people who live with allergies or asthma.  

Choosing your Electric heater

Choosing an electric heater for your home can be a difficult decision. There are many different types of heaters out there, and it’s important to get the right one so that you don’t waste energy on an inefficient model.

With that in mind, here are a few things you should consider before deciding on the heater for you.

Quality Control

Only buy electric heaters that come with certifications. These certifications will show that the heater has been independently tested and proven to be safe for use.

Also, for additional reassurance, there should be a Quality Control sticker. This will indicate that the particular heater is highly unlikely to be faulty or defective.

Safety First

While all heaters are not life-threatening, make sure that an electric heater is safe to use and will not cause injuries or accidents

Look for specific safety features like overheat protection and a cool-touch exterior. This will contribute to your overall satisfaction with the product and increase the safety of your home while using it.

Auto-Shut Off

Ensure that you only go for a heater that has this feature. With an auto shut-off feature, the heater will automatically turn off when they start to overheat or even when they are accidentally tipped over.

For even more safety, look for an electric heater with a tip-over protection feature. This will ensure that the machine turns itself off when it is tilted or pulled over.

Efficiency

This is extremely important to consider if you are one of those who have had to pay significantly higher energy bills in the past couple years.

To save on energy, look for an electric heater that is more efficient than its competitors. This will allow you to use the machine just as much without worrying about overpaying on your utility bills.

Also remember to look at the electrical rating of each product and more importantly, the area of coverage that each of them offers. Generally, the higher the rating, the more expensive the model is.

Size Specifications

Make sure to look at what size specifications each of these electric heaters offer before you make your purchase. Keep in mind that different sized rooms require different heating power

For example, if you are buying an electric heater for your living room consider getting a model with a higher wattage. However, if you are buying an electric heater for your bedroom or bathroom, opt for one with a lower wattage instead.

If you have any questions about the product that you’re thinking about getting, try contacting the manufacturer directly to ask them their opinion on how much power is ideal for your specific sized room.

Design

Make sure that you choose a heater with a low centre of gravity. Try not to be influenced by heaters that are tall, light and fancy looking.

Generally, the shorter and heavier a heater is, the more stable it will be.

In addition to this, look for a good quality grip on the bottom of the machine. This will ensure that if you accidentally bump into it, it won’t tip over onto people in your home and cause injuries or accidents.

Price

This is another important factor to consider when choosing the electric heater for your household. Be sure that you don’t fork out too much money on a product if it doesn’t offer adequate heating power or safety features

Try to look for an electric heater that meets all of your needs without breaking the bank. Also, make sure the machine is still in good condition before you buy it so that you won’t have to spend money on repairs or replacements any time soon.

Comfort

Finally, look for an electric heater that will be comfortable to use in your home.

Considering the exterior temperature of each room is also important when choosing which model to purchase. For example, some rooms may require a heater with low wattage due to the low temperature in the space. However, other rooms may require a higher wattage model because of the high temperature in that area.

When you are thinking about purchasing your new electric heater, remember to take into account all of these important factors. This will ensure that your room is heated to an adequate level without causing injuries.

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