What heaters are safe to leave on overnight?

The space heater is a popular choice for heating up a room or space. But should you leave it on all night? The answer to this question depends on the type of space heater, and what other precautions have been taken. Read below for more information about space heaters and safety concerns when using them overnight!

What heaters are safe to leave on overnight

There are many options for space heaters. Each type is different, depending on what heating element it uses to generate heat and what is the heater’s power source. The power source for the heater can be electricity, gas, propane, and kerosene.

However we’ll talk about each type in detail below, you should know that electric heaters are the safest type to use in your room to heat it during cold nights. They do not emit open flames; however, they may pose some fire risk if knocked over onto clothing, bedding, or any other flammable material.

The risk of fire is not the only reason why you should not leave the space heater on overnight.

You may also want to read:

8 Best Heaters for Large Rooms

10 Best Infrared Heaters to Keep You Warm this Winter

Three Reasons why Space Heaters Should Not Be Left On Overnight

1. Space Heaters May Cause Fires

Space heaters can set fire to your place of living, so it is important not to leave it on overnight.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is the second top reason for home fires during winter.

They are the most widely used home heating appliances. This explains why space heaters are leading in fires and deaths.

U.S. The Consumer Product Safety Commission of the United States reported that over 25,000 house fires were started each year by space heaters. Space heaters are partially linked to over 300 cases of death and more than 6000 people suffering from burn-related injuries who visit emergency rooms each year.

Space heater fires almost always start when an object is accidentally heated or tipped over. You should also be aware that old units can malfunction or overheat and create fire in your wiring, especially if they have outdated breakers and fuse.

It’s possible to avoid most of these accidents if you pay attention and practice safe usage of your space heater. Anyways, it’s not worth the risk.

The best practice is to heat your bedroom for at least two hours before you go to sleep. The warmth that accumulates in a room will often be enough to keep it warm throughout the night. It is important to turn off your space heater and unplug it before you fall asleep.

2. Some Space Heaters May Emit Carbon Monoxide

Unvented space heaters that run using combustion method (gas) must not be used indoors. They can emit carbon monoxide into your home.

  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is an extremely toxic gas that is formed when combustion is not complete. The gas can cause death, or permanent organ and brain damage.

Space heaters that burn propane as fuel could cause serious harm to your indoor air quality or even your health and life if they are not vented or when the combustion isn’t fully completed.  The risk of CO poisoning is increased if you use your space heater during the night.

CO poisoning is a silent killer. There will be no warnings. It can lead to death within hours.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is something you shouldn’t ignore. Common side effects to watch out for include dizziness and nausea, shortness of breath, weakness, vomiting, blurred eyes, headache, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.

Take a deep breath of fresh air and go outside immediately if you have these symptoms. If you feel the symptoms improving, take a deep breath and enjoy the fresh air. Turn off the space heater to let your home cool down.

The only non-ventilated space heater you may use at home would be an electric space heater. They’re more expensive and still may cause fire hazards, however, they don’t emit harmful gases.

3. Some Space Heaters Dry Skin

This is the most frequent problem with using the space heater. The air that is blown out from the heater, or the blower, is able to dry out the natural moisture in the indoor air. The dry air can cause roughness and dryness of your skin. If you suffer from delicate skin then this can cause irritation and redness, or cause inflammation. Additionally, if you have an infant, dry air may cause further harm to your infant’s nose and sensitive skin. The extreme dryness may cause babies’ skin rashes as well as nose bleeding. 

Here are some tips you must follow in order to make effective use of your space heater:

  • Put a humidifier in your bedroom. There many powerful and nice-looking models in all price ranges.
  • If you don’t have a humidifier, simply put a bowl of water in your room when using the space heater. It acts as a humidifier and helps to maintain the air moisture levels at a near-normal level.
  • Keep the heater at a medium temperature level so that you don’t heat the room too much. To determine the ideal temperature for your set-up go through your user manual and follow the guidelines.
  • It is important to ensure that your heater is inspected and serviced by the manufacturer once per every two years at a minimum. This will assure that the tubes, the coils and bands are operating properly.
  • Ensure that you open the windows and doors in your room regularly to create natural air circulation. This will allow you to remove the pollutants and keep the room clean in a natural way.
  • Dress to keep warm and don’t rely on a heater only. This will allow your body adapt to the seasons and increase your immunity to function according to the season, thereby saving your body from seasonal attacks of flu and cold.

What space heaters are safe to leave on overnight?

Let’s now discuss what exact types of modern space heaters are safe to leave on overnight.

Is an electric space heater safe to leave on overnight?

Although electric space heaters are the safest type of space heaters for long-run use, it is not recommended to leave them working unattended or while you sleep.

If you still plan to use the electric space heater overnight or unattended, remember to take the following safety actions to reduce the risk of fire:

  • your space heater must have tip-over protection. The automatic tip-over switch turns off the heater once it is tipped over. This function is always preferable in heaters, especially if you have pets and small kids at home that may bump into the heater accidentally.
  • overheating protection is also a must. It will prevent the space heater from heating up and can help to stop heat concentration which could cause a fire.

You can leave the heater running all night if your heater has one of these two features. It is important to remember that you shouldn’t program the thermostat to raise temperatures too high to ensure safety.

You also need to think about where you locate the heater in the room. Do not place the space heater close to any flammable materials, like fabric or other wooden stuff. The surface should be flat.

Again, it is best to turn the heater off when you are not in the room. If you still want to use a heater overnight, then consider buying a wall-mounted heater. They are the safest among all electric heaters.

Are Oil Heaters Safe to Leave On For Overnight?

Oil-filled heaters are considered to be relatively safe for night work, as long as all safety precautions are taken correctly. They are:

  • chose the right place for the oil filled heater: no flammable materials around, flat stable surface, no moisture leakages around.
  • the oil heater must have a thermostat and automatic tip-over protection .
  • No extension cords and plug-in strips.

Oil heaters do not dry the indoor air and your skin as much as other types of space heaters.

Are ceramic space heaters safe to leave on overnight?

Ceramic heaters use the convection method to heat your space. They are a great solution for warming up a small and individual rooms during cold winter days and nights. Unfortunately, ceramic space heaters are also not protected from accidents.

Ceramic space heaters have a ceramic plate inside, which gets really hot when the heater is on, but the heating element is covered with a plastic casing that is always cold to touch. Therefore, a ceramic space heater may be considered safe for overnight use, but there is always a risk of malfunction and a short circuit.

Are infrared heaters safe to leave on overnight?

As most of the electric space heaters, infrared space heaters can be safe for overnight use as long as all safety measures are taken. Make sure you place the infrared heater on a flat surface far from combustible materials and do not cover the infrared heater with anything. Make sure the infrared space heater has all safety features, as tip over protection.

I would recommend setting the heater’s timer to switch off automatically after a couple of hours. This will make your room warmer and safe.

Is it safe to leave gas heaters and propane tanks overnight?

No, it is totally a bad idea for vented propane heaters to be left on overnight. Propane heaters need good ventilation. Gas heaters may emit CO gas that can end up very bad for you and your health. Read about carbon monoxide above.

Is it safe to leave a space heater plugged in?

Is it safe to leave a space heater on? It is dangerous to have a space heater plugged in, and it can cause electric shock or fire, especially if there aren’t adequate safety features.

Heating equipment is the number two reason of home fires in America. It is important to ensure that your heater is not left on unattended, or plugged in while you’re away. You can also plug your heater directly into a wall outlet, rather than using an extension cord or power strip.

If the temperature in your room is below freezing, and you are busy with other tasks, you can turn the heater on when you need it and then turn it off when you reach the desired temperature.

Safety recommendations

Read this paragraph carefully and consider these precautions if you plan to have your space heater running all night.

Although safety features have improved recently, the general recommendation is NOT to run a space heater unattended or while you sleep. You and your family will stay safe if you follow this simple recommendation.

Unfortunately, the freezing air can make the night unbearable and a space heater can become the only solution.

Please make sure, that you follow these general recommendations before you leva your space heater on overnight.

  • Make sure that your heater is in good condition. You should inspect your electric cords for any dents or dings. They can cause an electric shock, fire or carbon monoxide gas leaking depending on which type of space heater you use.
  • Space heaters should be kept far of flammable materials. A space heater should be kept at least 3 feet from any other objects. The unit should not have access to stacks of papers, curtains, blankets, or bedding.
  • Tip-over and overheat protection are must-have safety features in modern space heaters. These features will take some of your stress out. The unit will shut off automatically if it is tipped over by a tip-over switch. Overheat protection will automatically shut down if the unit get to unsafe operating temperatures.
  • Plug in your space heater directly to the socket. When using an electric heater, it is not safe to rely upon an extension cord. An extension cord can overheat or cause electrical shock injuries or fires, so it should not be used. Make sure your extension cord is appropriately rated for the space heater you are using.
  • Smoke alarms and CO detectors should be installed on all levels of your home. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, make sure you place the detectors outside sleeping areas. They must be in good condition and functioning properly.


First of all, never use electric space heaters as your primary heat source. Space heater accidents and fire-related hazards are most likely to occur when your heater is used improperly. To minimize any damage, it is recommended that you take all necessary precautions.

Leave a Comment