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Stay Warm 2: Electric Space Heaters, More Gifts for Seniors and the Disabled

Updated on December 15, 2010

Seniors often find a regular room temperature to be chilly. My father's solution was to keep the entire house at 78°. He was comfortable but the rest of us were roasting.

He passed several years ago and now my mother is at the stage where she finds the air cold when the temperature in the house goes under 76°. This time, instead of heating the entire house, we are trying a different strategy.

As her bedroom is on the first floor, we've hung heavy curtains over all the windows in her bedroom and i bought her a remote-controlled tower space heater.

My dog Pepper sitting in front of the space heater.
My dog Pepper sitting in front of the space heater. | Source

She turns it on when she first wakes up and is cold. It warms the room very quickly so the air is toasty when she actually gets out of bed. She also uses it for naps in the afternoon and watching TV in the evening.

With the remote control, is not necessary for her to get out of her chair/bed to adjust the heat. As an added bonus, the dogs never leave her side. All three of them stretch out on the heated floor mat (See my first hub on Staying Warm: Gifts for Seniors and the Disabled.) which is positioned near the short tower heater.

I can keep the house at a reasonable temperature that produces reasonable heating bills. Her ceramic heater uses very little electricity because she runs it intermittently.

Occasionally, we use the oil heaters. They heat up very quickly and provide a room full of heat even on low. They are, however, very hot to the touch and should be used with care.

Consumer Reports recommends you consider the following when using an electric space heater:

  • They should never be left unattended.
  • Keep them well away from paper and other combustibles.
  • Heaters with thermostats will use less energy as they can be set to shut off at a certain temperature.
  • Electric heaters are generally safer than those using liquid fuel.
  • Look for a UL or EGL label certifying the heater meets minimum safety standards.
  • Don't use them in a wet area.
  • Don't hide the electrical cord under a carpet or rug. If you do, the electrical cord can be rubbed and crushed which could lead to a short or fire.

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