Why does an electric heater cause headaches? Once there is a mild chill in the air, the next move may be to switch on the heating system. However, the next aspect might not be chalked up to your heating system: coughing, headaches, allergies, and general discomfort. But did you know that your indoor heater might be making you sick?
Most times, we do not generally give our central heating much thought as something that could make us sick. This is why the problem is so ‘discreet’. Dust, pollen, and other allergens also get collected within the ductwork during the spring and summer. Once you turn on your heating system in the fall, they rush into your home and lungs. If you have not changed your air filters, you can breathe in mould and dust accumulated over time. Also, the basic discomfort occurs between rooms if they are not equally regulated. Let us take a look at some of the more details about the same:
How do Room Heaters work?
There are a wide variety of heaters available in the market today. As some of the same principles apply to most heaters, every make and model has certain variations. As most furnaces are powered by gas, oil, or other fossil fuels, the smaller heaters generally rely on electricity. The main component common to all electrical heaters is the electrical resistor.
Once you turn the heater on, the electrical current produced tends to heat the nichrome wire components, also known as the heating coils within the unit. Also, the Electrical energy is converted into heat as the current passes through the resistor. This is why the electric heaters are also known as the resistance heating units.
The next stage in the heating process depends on whether or not the heater comprises a built-in electric fan. If the model consists of a fan, it can help draw cold air into the heater. The air then passes over the heating elements and is pushed out into the room, similar to how simple hair dryers work. This is also called convection heating, as the warmth is transferred through the air. Convection heaters are an excellent way to warm a space instantly by causing the hot air to circulate within the room.
The air enters the unit from below if no fans are within the heater. The airflow passes across the coils, is heated, and finally finds its way out from the top of the device. This style of electric heating is also known as radiant heating, much like the conventional electric stove, along with a heating element. This is quite a good choice for small spaces and areas where you can be near the heat source when it is in use. Electric baseboards are radiant heaters that effectively introduce thermal energy into a room without changing your home’s infrastructure.
Potential Factors Contributing to Headaches
Here are some classic symptoms of how your electric or gas space heater at home can lead to sore throat and headaches.
- Dehydration. Sore throats and headaches can be due to an extreme lack of moisture contained in the air within your home and your body. Using your space heaters for an extended period could lead to drying out of your throat and nasal airways, thus making them inflamed and easily irritated. Also, the Improper sizing of the heater against the room you place it in can lead to sore throats and migraines.
- Poor indoor air quality. Sometimes, an unmaintained space heater can consist of dust and dirt buildup, triggering allergies that manifest into sore throats and headaches. The off-gassing or evaporation of various household chemicals because of the increase in temperature also leads to head pains and pharyngitis.
- Carbon monoxide fumes. In the case of Small gas heaters that produce heat by burning natural gas, propane, LPG, or butane. Carbon monoxide is a general byproduct of any combustion process and, at low levels, can lead to headaches, coughing, dizziness, sore throats, and other flu-like symptoms.
Tips for Using Room Heaters Safely
Now that you know about the causes of heater headaches and their solutions, let us take a look at some of the safety measures:
Get the Ducts Cleaned
Before it gets too cold and one might need to turn on the heat, you need to clean the ductwork. This will ensure clean, warm air from the ducts the first time you switch on the furnace for the season. You can solve several potential issues, including sneezing, coughing, allergies, and headaches, by cleaning the ducts.
Heat Your Entire Home
One might be dealing with heating only parts of your home to save on the bills. However, that can be pretty dangerous to your health. If you have bad circulation or cold hands and need to go from a cold room to a hot room and then back again, this can also cause serious health issues. Did you know that Going from a warm room to a cold room can cause the blood pressure to increase and can also reduce the blood supply to your heart? That can also lead to a heart attack, angina, or an abnormal heartbeat. However, Heating your entire house and avoiding the risks to your health.
Invest in a Humidifier
If you are dealing with dry skin, throat, and irritated sinuses, you might be dealing with too dry air. It is advised to Invest in a humidifier that will increase the moisture in the air, thus making it more comfortable to breathe. Hence, adding a humidifier also has other advantages. With the help of a humidifier, you do not have to turn on the heat, hence saving you on your energy bills.
Open the Windows
When you start to feel sick as you start the furnace, you might want to open a window to get some fresh air. You can also visit a furnace specialist to ensure you are not getting sick from all the carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide. For the best results, you can have a carbon monoxide monitor placed in your home to ensure you do not have to deal with high levels of these dangerous gasses. It is best to have an expert examine your heating system.
Upgrade Your Central Heating System
Sometimes, the old version of heating systems can have issues like faulty furnaces that can add to your sickness and pose a carbon monoxide poisoning threat. Likewise, most times, gas furnaces give out nitrogen dioxide, which can lead to asthma in the kids. Once you suspect that you have problems with your current central heating system, it might be a good time to contact a specialist to have it upgraded or replaced.
Using a HEPA Filter
Instead of using those cheaper furnace filters, investing in a permanent HEPA filter is smart to ensure clean air when you are running your furnace. This is because the HEPA filters screen out over 90 per cent of the particles in the air.
Can Room Heaters Cause Headaches?: The Conclusion
So, you see, the room heaters can cause headaches and other illnesses very well. Hence, investing in a nice brand is advised to ensure that you stay healthy and safe. Also, features and designs are as important as these, further adding to your overall experience. What has been your experience with the room heater so far? Let us know in the space below; we would love to hear from you.