Why is my Space Heater Blowing Cold Air?

Ted Curley
Journeymen wiremen at US Electric-International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)

Hello, I'm Ted Curley, a licensed electrician with a wealth of experience in the electrical field. I've launched this platform to share my extensive knowledge and insights with you. My journey in the electrical field spans over a decade, during which I have cultivated a deep understanding and expertise in...Read more

Ted Curley
Journeymen wiremen at US Electric-International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)

Hello, I'm Ted Curley, a licensed electrician with a wealth of experience in the electrical field. I've launched this platform to share my extensive knowledge and insights with you. My journey in the electrical field spans over a decade, during which I have cultivated a deep understanding and expertise in...Read more

As the temperature drops, you rely on your space heater to keep you warm and cozy. But what happens when your space heater starts blowing cold air instead of the comforting warmth you crave? Don't panic! There are several reasons why this might be happening, and in this comprehensive guide, we will explore the possible causes and provide troubleshooting steps to fix the issue. So let's dive in and get your space heater back to blowing hot air!

Here are 5 Basic Reasons why a Space Heater Blows Cold Air

  1. The Thermostat Set Below Room Temperature
  2. Clogged Air Intake
  3. Clogged Air Outlet
  4. Loose Wiring
  5. Broken Heating Element
1

Thermostat Set Below Room Temperature

One of the most common reasons for a space heater blowing cold air is simply that the thermostat is set below the room temperature. It may seem obvious, but sometimes we overlook the simplest explanations. Double-check the thermostat setting and ensure that it is higher than the current room temperature. Adjust the thermostat to a higher temperature and give the heating element some time to reach the operating temperature. This simple fix may be all you need to get your space heater blowing hot air again.

If you find that the thermostat is not responding or clicking as you adjust the temperature, it could indicate a broken thermostat. In such cases, replacing the thermostat may be necessary. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions or contact their customer support for guidance on replacing the thermostat.

2

Clogged Air Intake

Another common culprit behind a space heater blowing cold air is a clogged air intake. Over time, dust and debris can accumulate on the air vents, obstructing the airflow and affecting the performance of the heating element. To check for a clogged air intake, inspect the sides of your heater for any visible blockages. Larger particles can be dislodged using a toothpick, but for dust buildup, a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment can be more effective.

Carefully run the vacuum cleaner over the air vents to remove any accumulated dust. Ensure that you clean both sides of the heater thoroughly. By clearing the air intake, you allow the heater to draw in fresh air, improving its efficiency and preventing cold air from being blown out.

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For a more in-depth explanation, feel free to check out the post on how to clean a space heater.

3

Clogged Air Outlet

Similar to the air intake, the air outlet grille on your space heater can also become clogged with debris or dust. Although the gaps in the grille are larger than those on the sides, a dirt buildup can still hinder the airflow and result in cold air being blown out. To check for a clogged air outlet, visually inspect the grille and look for any obstructions.

If you notice any blockages, use your vacuum cleaner to remove the dust and debris gently. Ensure that you cover the entire surface of the air outlet grille to clear any potential obstructions. By keeping the air outlet clean, you allow the heated air to flow freely, ensuring that your space heater blows hot air as intended.

4

Loose Wiring

Space heaters, especially portable ones, are prone to being moved around and accidentally dropped. These movements can cause the internal wiring to become loose or even disconnected, resulting in the heater blowing cold air. If you suspect loose wiring, it is important to take appropriate precautions by turning off the power and unplugging the heater before proceeding with any inspection.

Inspect the heater for any visible signs of loose connections. Check the supply connections inside the heater, as well as any junction boxes or wall thermostat connections. If you discover any loose wires, carefully tighten them using the appropriate tools. However, it is important to note that not all space heaters are designed to be taken apart by the owner. In such cases, it is advisable to seek professional assistance or contact the manufacturer for further guidance.

5

Broken Heating Element

The heating element is a vital component of your space heater, responsible for converting electrical energy into heat. Over time, the heating element can degrade or even break, leading to your space heater blowing cold air. If you suspect a broken heating element, there are a few signs to look out for.

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One indication of a broken heating element is a lack of warmth even when the thermostat is set correctly and there are no visible obstructions. Additionally, if you hear any unusual noises or rattling when gently shaking the heater, it may indicate a loose or dislodged heating element.

Unfortunately, repairing a broken heating element is not a DIY task. It is best to contact a licensed electrician or consider replacing the entire space heater. If your space heater is still under warranty, refer to the manufacturer's instructions for warranty coverage and replacement options. For out-of-warranty heaters, it may be more cost-effective to purchase a new one rather than attempt a repair.

Keep The Receipts

While troubleshooting and attempting to fix your space heater, it's essential to keep track of your receipts and warranty information. Small portable fan heaters, in particular, can be prone to malfunctioning within a few years of use. By keeping your receipts in a safe place, you can easily reference them if needed.

If your space heater fails to blow hot air and you have exhausted all troubleshooting options, it may be time to consider returning the product. If you purchased your heater from a physical store, check the return policy and return it to the retailer for a replacement. If you purchased the heater online, reach out to the online retailer's customer support and inquire about their return or refund policy. In some cases, the retailer may choose to refund your money due to the low cost of these small heaters.

Is It Worth Getting A Small Electric Fan Heater Repaired?

Once your space heater is out of warranty, you may question whether it is worth the cost and effort to get it repaired professionally. In some cases, the cost of repair can exceed the price of a new heater, particularly for small and inexpensive models. Consider the age of your space heater, the extent of the damage, and the cost of repairs before making a decision.

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If your space heater is relatively new and the damage is minor, it may be worth exploring repair options. Consult with a reputable repair service or contact the manufacturer for recommendations. However, if the repairs are extensive or the cost is prohibitive, it may be more practical to invest in a new space heater that meets your needs.

Conclusion

When your space heater starts blowing cold air, it can be frustrating and uncomfortable. However, by following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this guide, you can identify the cause of the issue and take appropriate measures to fix it. Whether it's adjusting the thermostat, clearing air intakes and outlets, checking for loose wiring, or considering a repair or replacement, you now have the knowledge to tackle the problem head-on.

Remember to always prioritize safety when working with electrical appliances. Turn off the power and unplug your space heater before inspecting or attempting any repairs. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with any step, it is best to seek professional assistance. With proper care and maintenance, your space heater will continue to provide you with the warmth and comfort you desire during the chilly winter months. Stay cozy!

Ted CurleyJourneymen wiremen at US Electric-International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)

Hello, I'm Ted Curley, a licensed electrician with a wealth of experience in the electrical field. I've launched this platform to share my extensive knowledge and insights with you. My journey in the electrical field spans over a decade, during which I have cultivated a deep understanding and expertise in various roles. Let me take you through my journey and my passion for electricity and space heaters. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line at ted.curley@tedreviews.com

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