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Why your room heaters may be doing more harm than good!

We give you four reasons why heaters are not good for you.

Written by Debjani Arora |Updated : March 20, 2015 6:29 PM IST

While air conditioners remain switched off during winters, room heaters are used extensively to beat the chill. Being an easy, inexpensive and convenient way to keep warm, it isn't a healthy way of living when it is cold.

Here are four reasons why you need to switch off the heater for benefit:

#1 It depletes the moisture content in the air: This is the most common problem of using a room heater. The air that is sent out through the heater or the blower, dries up natural moisture in the air, inside the room. This dry air, devoid of any moisture, leads to dryness and roughness in your skin. If you have sensitive skin, this could also lead to itching and redness or give rise to infection. Moreover, if you have a baby, this could lead to even more damage to your baby s sensitive skin and nasal passage. Extreme dryness in infants and babies, due to overuse of a heater, could lead to skin rashes and nose bleeds. Here are few tips to keep common winter diseases at bay.

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#2 It increases toxic levels in the house: There are various kinds of room heaters that are available in the market unvented and vent-free heaters. The vent-free heaters come with an in-built chimney that helps in ventilation and keeps the room clean, initiating fresh flow of air. While unvented heaters release pollutants like carbon monoxide, in the house, which could lead to brain and organ damage in infants. Increased pollutant in an enclosed room isn't healthy for adults either, it poses a threat to asthmatics and could give rise to other respiratory diseases. However, it hasn't been proven that the vent-free variety doesn t release pollutants. Here are tips to prevent allergic cold and cough during winters.

#3 It could cause accidental burns: The heaters that come enclosed in a non-metallic case can heat the outer surface when used for too long. If touched accidentally, this could cause burns that could be very severe, especially for the elderly and infants. Also, avoid keeping your lenses or spectacles near the heater as this could alter their molecular composition and result in corneal tissue burn or damage, when you use them later.

#4 It could result in temperature fluctuations: Keeping your heater at a higher temperature could result in fluctuations when you walk out of the room. The reason being, your body might take time to acclimatise to the temperature outside the room. This fluctuating temperature could make it difficult for your immune system to cope and could lead to seasonal cold and flu. In case of infants, overheating could lead to a condition called hyperthermia, which could be fatal. Here are top 10 winter tips for you to follow.

Here are few tips you should follow to make correct use of the heater:

  • Keep a bowl of water placed in the corner of your room while using the heater. This will work like a vaporiser and keep the moisture levels in the air in check.
  • Always keep the heater in a reasonable temperature so you don't overheat the room. To know what is the best suited temperature for your setting, check your user-manual and follow the instructions.
  • Make sure that your heater is checked and serviced by the manufacturers at least twice a year. This will ensure that the tubes, coils and the bands are functioning well so that they don't emit more carbon monoxide into the room.
  • Ensure that you open the doors and windows of your room to initiate natural ventilation. This way, you can get rid of the pollutant and clean the room naturally.
  • Dress appropriately to beat the winter chills and don't depend on a heater solely. This will help your body to adjust to the season and your immunity to work accordingly, to save you from seasonal bouts of cold and flu.
  • Install the room-heater out of reach of the elderly and infants.

Image source: Getty images

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