Heating your home with an oven: smart idea or unsafe mistake? When the temperatures drop into the single digits and apartment dwellers are desperate for warmth, some turn to their ovens and stoves. If you search Google, you’ll find many people wondering if using an oven to heat an apartment or home is a good idea. Of course ovens weren’t created to heat a home, but the idea sounds plausible. So in the interest of public safety, we thought we’d take this time to answer the question once and for all. So, is it okay to use an oven to heat up your apartment?
No! You should never use your oven to heat your home or apartment. Not only is it an inefficient way to heat a large space, but it’s also very risky, and could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be deadly.
The Dangers of Heating Your Home With An Oven
This winter has been especially brutal, but that doesn’t mean that you should resort to unconventional methods in order to stay warm. Although many people think that leaving the oven door open to heat their house or apartment makes a lot of sense, they don’t realize all of the hidden dangers.
- Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning. If you have a gas oven, you’re putting yourself at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning if you try to use the oven for heat. Carbon monoxide is invisible, odorless, and tasteless, so you won’t be able to tell if it’s seeping into your home. Moderate levels of the gas can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fainting (it is sometimes mistaken for the flu). High levels can be fatal. When you use your appliances correctly, you don’t need to worry about carbon monoxide poisoning, but using a gas oven as a heater is not the proper way to employ the appliance.
- Unattended High Heat. Leaving an oven, which can create an abundance of heat, alone while active is very dangerous. If you have children or pets, they could be seriously burned through accidental contact with the oven. There is also a chance that something might fall into the oven or onto the stove (like a napkin or cloth) and create a fire.
- Inefficient Heating. Because it was not created to heat an apartment, it should be no surprise that an oven cannot efficiently heat up your home. Standing right beside it, you’ll feel toasty, but the air won’t be able to circulate through the apartment very well. If you’re hoping for some direct heat that only warms up a small section of your house, why not use a space heater instead? They’re inexpensive and work well for someone who lives in a small apartment and only needs heat in one area (for example, in the room that you are sitting). Check out our space heater safety tips to learn more.
Kitchen ovens were created to cook food, not to heat homes and apartments. If you want to stay warm this winter, bundle up, buy a space heater, and use central heating. And please, check out our previous posts to learn how to save money on your electric bill in the wintertime and how to save money on your electrical bill year-round in an apartment. You might also consider checking your thermostat (it might need a replacement) and reporting the heating problem to your landlord. Enjoy the residual heat that you get from your oven after cooking a hot meal, but please don’t use your oven as a space heater. Stay warm this winter, but above all, stay safe!