It has a thermostat, simple controls, and safety features, such as a very effective kill switch that’ll immediately turn the heater off if it tips or begins to overheat. Note: Don’t ever plug a space heater into a power strip, extension cord, or surge protector. They need to plug straight into a wall outlet, otherwise they can malfunction and catch fire. Don’t use them near flammable things or up against objects, including walls, and make sure nothing covers them up. When you leave your home, make sure you always, always, always turn it off. There are a lot of caveats to using a space heater safely.
Indoor humidity takes a beating during the dry winter months, too, with heaters sucking up precious moisture. Indoor air can become incredibly dry during cool months. It doesn’t just crack your skin, potentially crack wood furniture, and knock stringed musical instruments out of tune. Dry air also makes it feel colder than it is. Given the same temperature, more humid air will feel warmer.
Grab yourself a Vornado EVDC300 humidifier for $80 to make your home feel warmer and a bit more comfortable. I found its claims of covering up to 750 square feet insufficient. It’s not an incredibly powerful model, so you may need more than one if your home is large or broken up into many rooms. It is very quiet, though, and I saw an adequate bump in humidity from using it in my living room. You don’t want indoor humidity much higher than 40 percent in the winter anyway. The EVDC300 uses up to 90 percent less energy than comparable humidifiers, so it’s easier on your electric bill. I had to refill the water tank about once a day, which is average for a humidifier of this size.
A few final tips: If you have a ceiling fan, don’t forget to reverse them so they gently blow warm air, which congregates at the ceiling, down into the room. And if you’ve got central HVAC or in-wall units, make sure the filters are clean. If you need help caulking or installing some of the other items in this guide, try YouTube. There are a ton of how-tos that can help.