For "empty nesters," there are rooms in the house that are not used
on a daily basis, but many forced-air furnace manufacturers will
tell you it isn't good for your furnace to shut off air vents in an
unused room. At the same time it seems wasteful to keep an unused
room at 72 degrees.
One answer for this might be to turn the
thermostat down and use space heaters in rooms that are in use.
However, even with today's technology, space heaters can pose
certain dangers and should be used with care.
Here are some statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration
regarding fires related to space heaters:
Portable Heater Fire Statistics
An estimated 900 portable heater fires in residential
buildings are reported to U.S. fire departments each year
and cause 70 deaths, 150 injuries and $53 million in
Only 2 percent of heating fires in homes involve portable
heaters, however, portable heaters are involved in 45
percent of all fatal home heating fires.
Portable heater fires in homes peak in January (26
52 percent of home portable heater fires occur because
they are too close to items that can burn.
38 percent of home portable heater fires originate in
bedrooms. In these fires, bedding, such as blankets, sheets
and comforters, is the leading item first ignited by
portable heaters at 25 percent.
--U.S. Fire Administration
Now, awareness aside, space heaters used with appropriate
measures of caution can be a wonderful addition to your home.
One of the nice things about space heaters today is that they are
more compact, more attractive and can actually add to the overall
décor of the home.
For example, many electric units are available that look like
fireplaces. These can be placed along walls and made to look like
they are a permanent part of the home. In addition, they don't
necessarily have to be stored away in the summer months. They can
remain in their designated spot and continue to add character to the
In Lincoln, National Rent to Own carries a couple of different
styles of these all-electric fireplaces that will fit into any
For those who are limited in space or who like a more modern look
in their décor, store manager Roger Matson said he offers two
designs of fireplace heaters that are also entertainment centers.
The wood cases for these items are lower to the floor, with ample
space on top for a large flat-screen television, and shelving on the
sides for electronics associated with the television or sound
Another style available at the store is a full-sized wood
fireplace with a nice mantel that would provide plenty of space for
family photos or other decorative items. These fireplace heaters
would fit perfectly into many of the traditional-style homes in the
A nice feature of these units is that they can be used with or
without the heat, so the "fire" can be used year-round if one