Repair Tips for a Space Heater

Tyler Lacoma

Space heaters are portable heaters that you can move from room to room as needed. Some require available wall outlets while others run on a gas fuel or other fuel source. These are small heaters that, unlike furnaces, are designed for spot heating in a small area.

They are more simple systems, but things can go wrong with space heater and they may require repairs over time. If you are well acquainted with your space heater system you can try to identify and manage the issue, but if you are not sure, call a professional to take a look.

Clean It

Many space heater problems stem from dirty heater components. For instance, if your heater is creating an unpleasant smell, then dirt and grime have become trapped in the cabin space of the heater, the empty area in the base of the heater that you can unscrew and clean out. Dirt can also collect on nozzles if you use a gas fuel, decreasing gas flow. Likewise, dirt on heating elements and ceramic plates will also decrease heat quality.

Check Power

If your heater is not working at all, check your power connections. With time and frequent moving, the power cord for the heater can become internally frayed or disconnected, leading to power problems. The wires that channel current to electrical heating elements can also fail. If your heater seems to produce heat but not spread it, check the power to the motor that turns your heater fan, too.


Most space heaters have small thermostats that judge how much heat the unit is creating. These thermostats can manage heat flow based on user specifications or stop the heater if the temperature rises too high. Thermostat sensors can also fail -- if your heater is not responding to controls or shuts off easily, then the thermostat may need to be replaced.

Check Elements

In electrical space heaters, the current heats up an element that generates heat through electrical resistance. This element is coated with a ceramic material to protect it, but over time the coating can wear down and problems can develop. Check your element closely for signs of damage, cracks or color changes. If you see these, then stop using the heater and contact a professional for further repairs.