While most homeowners with gas heat understand the necessity of having their heaters routinely inspected, those with electric heat in their home may not think they need an inspection. Wrong! Although electric heaters don’t use gas, chemicals or flames, there are still operational and safety risks that can be avoided by routine inspections.
Types of electric heaters
Electric heaters come in two basic types: those that you plug in (space heaters) and those permanent heaters that come installed in your house such as a baseboard heater or a wall-mounted heater. Installed electric heaters are generally either baseboard heaters, wall-mounted forced air heaters or some type of ceramic or radiant heater.
The most common electric baseboard heaters and wall-mounted heaters tend to run at the hottest temperatures and are subsequently less safe than the ceramic and radiant type heaters that run at cooler temperatures. These are also generally the least expensive electric heaters to buy.
Care and maintenance of electric heaters
According to the National Fire Protection Association, over half of electrical heat fires are due to items such as curtains and furniture being too close to a heater. The other half are caused by failure to properly clean and maintain heating equipment.
Every manufacturer of electric heaters requires proper care and maintenance in order to safely operate the heater. While the requirements of each manufacturer may differ slightly, following are some basic rules of thumb for proper care and maintenance. Most of these items will be inspected when your professional technician comes out for your system’s routine maintenance.
· Inspect and clean heaters every three to six months. Your technician will typically turn the power off to the heater and use compressed air to blow dust off the heater. Keep in mind that pet fur/hair that may have accumulated in your heater can also cause a fire. So, if you do have a pet, it’s very important to have your electric heater inspected and cleaned on a routine basis.
· Keep all electrical cords, foam-filled items, drapes, bedding, and other household furnishings away from contact with the heater. It’s recommended that all items be kept a minimum of six inches from the heater.
· The baseboard heater should not be installed below electrical outlets.
· It should also not be installed against vinyl wallpaper, paperboard or a low density fiberboard surface. Additionally, vinyl drapes or blinds should not be installed above a heater.
· Ensure that the installation complies with applicable local and national electrical codes and utility requirements. This is something else that your technician will check.
· The supply voltage must be the same as the heater voltage. Your technician will check the heater nameplate and supply voltage to ensure proper use.
Call Blackall Mechanical today!
The only way to be sure that your electric heat is efficient and safe is to schedule routine inspections of your system by a professional HVAC specialist. At Blackall Mechanical, our experienced technicians will thoroughly inspect and clean your electric heater to help ensure that it’s working properly, efficiently and safely.
As your HVAC (and plumbing) specialist, Blackall is committed to unsurpassed excellence and integrity – second to none! Composed of industry professionals with over 135 years of combined experience, Blackall can handle all of your HVAC needs – from the smallest service and repair job, to the largest commercial construction project, including retrofit or equipment upgrades! For peace-of-mind all year round, call Blackall Mechanical today!
At Blackall we truly do it all – with an unmatched commitment to customer satisfaction!