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Sustainability at Oak Ridge National Laboratory > Questions, Comments, Ideas > Questions > Posts > Portable space ceramic heaters
Portable space ceramic heaters
Eduardo D'Azevedo asks:

I find the offices in Bldg 6012 are pretty cool.

Is it more efficient to use portable space ceramic heaters or (further) turn up the thermostat?

Are there safety concerns about using portable space ceramic heaters in our offices?


Response provided by Hurtis Hodges, Director,  Facilities Management Division:

Although electric space heaters are effective at meeting the need for a single room, they are the most expensive and least overall efficient form of heating especially for multiple spaces such as in the office building that you mentioned. There are many factors to consider for keeping the space from getting or feeling too cool.

  • Eliminate drafts such as those caused by leaving vestibule doors opened
  • Close window blinds at night
  • Take advantage of the sun during the day, especially on the south side, by opening blinds
  • Wear appropriately layered, warming clothes in the winter

Additionally, it is important to make sure that the controls and air conditioning system are functioning properly for occupant comfort.

There are safety concerns about using portable space heater in your offices. Thermal overload and tip over are just  two of the concerns. More information can be found in the SBMS subject area for Fire Protection, Prevention & Control, Heat-Producing Appliances in the Electrical Space Heaters section

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