A space heater is exactly what its name suggests; a heating device for heating up spaces. Sometimes, it is more focused on people and objects than on the surrounding air in the room.
As a supplementary heater, the space heater- whether convection or radiation- packs a huge amount of power, making people wonder if it can actually work with an extension cord.
We keep getting that question and have decided to address it with this post. Read on to learn more.
Can you use an extension cord with a space heater?
The short and simple answer is No. You should not use an extension cord with your space heater. It is best to plug it directly in a wall outlet and be sure not to plug anything else into the same outlet.
Using an extension cord for your space heater can be hazardous. The space heater is such a sensitive appliance and you must be careful how you power it.
At least 1,100 home fires in the United States are caused by space heaters each year, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
In fact, the National Fire Protection Association says space heaters account for almost 43% of all home heating related fires and 85% of resulting deaths.
This statistic factors in other items like fireplaces and water heaters. This is why fire and safety authorities warn that you should not take the risk, as extension cords are not designed to handle the amount of current load that a space heater draws.
4 Reasons why you should not use an extension cord with a space heater
Using an extension cord with a space heater is more or less like lighting a cigarette at a gas station. Well, maybe the analogy is quite extreme, but you’ll be putting your home in danger of fire.
Here are 4 important reasons why you should never consider it:
1. The Current is too high for extension cords
This is, perhaps, the primary reason why you should resist the temptation. If there is no wall outlet nearby, you can delay the installation until you fix one.
A regular space heater draws as much as 1,500 watts and between 13 and 15 amps of electricity; that current is too high for your extension cord to handle. Your cable will burn if there is any slight fluctuation.
2. Extension cords will push up currents
The voltage drop caused by resistance in the extension cord is often compensated by an increased power supply. Voltage multiplied by current equals power, and this would mean higher currents which can cause a fire.
In case you still haven’t got the memo; an extension cord and a space heater are two things you should never put together.
3. Efficiency is reduced by your extension cord
With smaller heating devices like a space heater, the goal is to get sufficient heat at lower energy costs.
An extension cord, especially long ones, boosts the resistance and reduces voltage, causing supply to increase, leading to a higher power supply and higher energy costs.
This is because the power source constantly needs to send the amount of power the device is demanding at every given time.
4. Clumsy cables can trip members of your household
Using an extension cord means adding more length to your space heater wiring. If not properly installed, this can obstruct the paths in your home and cause people to trip.
This is very likely if you have kids and pets in your home. Not only can it harm your loved ones, but it may also cause the space heater to tip over.
Can you use heavy duty extension cords with space heaters?
Like we said before, it is better not to use an extension cord at all. Rather, plug the device directly in the wall socket.
However, there are some cases where a heavy-duty extension cord could work with a space heater. You just need to be sure that the cord has a higher amperage than the device.
For instance, if your space heater pulls as much as 15 amps, you’ll need an extension cord that can take more than that. A 14, 12, or 10-gauge cord should do the magic.
Even with such amperage, you still need to watch it. Just be sure it is a quality product from a reputable buyer.
Top 3 Space Heaters with Long Power Cord
1. Brightown Portable Electric Space Heater [Best Price]
This electric convection space heater is a market leader for so many reasons.
Suitable heater for dorm rooms and spaces up to 200 square feet, the durable heating device packs as much as 1,500 watts.
It has two heat settings; low at 750W and high at 1,500W, giving you the freedom to determine how much heat you desire per time.
One of its most attractive advantages is its long 6ft power cord which means you have some freedom to locate the device feet away from the wall socket without having to risk using an extension cord.
The safety features on this product are top-notch, including an overheat protection feature and tip-over protection which automatically shuts it down when tipped over. The ceramic room heater from Brightown is equipped with flame retardant material, to prevent fire hazards.
2. Andily Space Electric Heater [Value for Money]
This is another 6-ft long power corded space heater that is portable, efficient and truly functional.
It has a high heat capacity of 1,500 watts, can be used at 750 watts for low heat, and also features a summer cooling fan feature.
The ceramic, fan-and-forced-air design makes it a truly desirable product.
With its long power cord, you don’t have to worry about getting any extra power cord (which is not safe), as you can locate the device up to 6 feet away from the power source. It offers quiet, fast and long-lasting heating for multiple uses.
What’s more, there are safety features that ensure using this device will not cause harm to you and your little ones.
From the overheat safety shutoff, tip-over shut off and the Power ON Indicator light, to the fact that it is ETL listed, there’s truly not much to worry about.
3. Trustech Space Heater [Best Features]
The Trustech Space heater offers superior heating in as little as 3 seconds after the power button is turned On.
Great for home and office use, in spaces up to 200 sq feet, the heater draws as much as 1,500 watts of electricity.
The thermostat is easily adjustable with double temperature modes, using knobs at the top.
It is powered by corded electricity, with the cord extending to almost 7 feet. This device is portable and light with a carry handle that makes it easy to move around. Its operation is ultra-quiet and gives you peace of mind.
Because your kids and pets will always run around, you have to watch out for safety features that this product offers, including tip-over protection and auto shut off when it overheats.
Its superior PTC ceramic heating technology is also one of a kind, offering you efficiency and control in one button.
A quick recap; never use extension cords with space heaters, except you want to burn your house or office to the floor. If you’re concerned about the length of the power cord, these three products reviewed above have cords that are at least 6 feet long, so you can enjoy your device without stress.
You can leave a comment below if you need further answers, or check back again for further updates on other appliances and how you can get real value for your investments.