Why You Should Think Twice Before Using Your Oven To Heat Your Home

Using an oven to warm up your kitchen may seem like a convenience, but it can also be dangerous. The two biggest potential dangers are the risk of a fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. To a lesser extent, leaving your oven on can also be a drain on your household energy.

Not using your oven to heat your home is one important way to prevent an oven fire. Ovens are designed to cook food, not to heat a room, so they aren't equipped with the same safety features as space heaters, which are specifically designed for indoor heating. Unlike space heaters, ovens lack elements such as automatic shut-off or thermal cut-off, making them a hazardous choice for warming up a kitchen.

The prolonged use of an oven can cause the appliance to overheat, leading to a risk of electrical fires. Older ovens, in particular, may have worn-out heating elements or faulty wiring that can spark a blaze. Additionally, the buildup of grease and food residue inside the oven can ignite, causing a fire that can spread quickly throughout the kitchen. Flammable materials nearby, such as curtains, towels, or cookbooks, can easily catch fire.

Risk of carbon monoxide poisoning

Another big danger in using an oven to warm up your kitchen is the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), carbon monoxide poisoning is responsible for more than 400 deaths in the United States each year. Everyone should have carbon monoxide sensors in their home.

When an oven is used for extended periods, it can produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly in small doses. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of incomplete combustion, so when an oven is not properly ventilated, this gas can build up in the kitchen, posing a serious health risk to anyone in the area. Prolonged exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide can cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea, while high levels can lead to unconsciousness and even death.

Leaving your oven on can also lead to a buildup of other harmful gases, such as nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter. These are more likely to emit when there is insufficient ventilation and also when the oven burners are set to high levels. These gases can exacerbate respiratory problems like asthma, and also cause a child's risk of getting asthma to increase.

Wasting money and energy

In addition to the dangers it poses, using an oven to warm up your kitchen is a wasteful and inefficient way to heat your space. Using ovens for this purpose can lead to a significant increase in your energy bills. Heating a kitchen with an electric oven costs more than using an infrared space heater, which is specifically designed to heat a room, according to All Air Systems. This is because ovens require a lot of energy to maintain high temperatures in comparison to space heaters, and the energy is not used efficiently to heat the space.

Moreover, using an oven to warm up your kitchen can also lead to heat loss, as the heat generated by the appliance can escape through drafty kitchen windows and doors, rather than being distributed evenly throughout the space. This means that you'll end up wasting energy and money, while still not achieving the level of warmth and comfort you desire.

Finally, the more you use an appliance, the more wear and tear it acquires, which can reduce its lifespan. That only costs more money in the long run when you have to do maintenance or buy a replacement, not to mention the inconvenience.