Unsafe Ways to Heat Your Apartment

living room with lots of burning candles

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If the heat in your apartment isn't working properly during a cold spell, you might feel tempted to raise the indoor temperature using other means. But before you get creative, take a moment to become aware of the dangers of some alternative heating options. Not every method to generate heat is safe, and some might not even be that effective.

Here are some options for heating your apartment to avoid, as they have the potential to cause significant harm to you and your home.

Running the Shower

Say your heat isn't working well, but your water still runs very hot. This might lead you to consider running your shower at the hottest setting and leaving the bathroom door open with the goal of having the hot bathroom air circulate through your apartment.

While it seems like it could work, the amount of heat generated really will only end up warming the bathroom and the area just outside it. The heat source is the hot water coming from the shower faucet, not the steam it generates. So the farther away you get from the faucet, the colder the space will be.

Moreover, running water excessively and creating a lot of condensation can lead to a mold or mildew problem, especially if the moisture settles into porous surfaces, such as wood. Not to mention it wastes a lot of water, which is both environmentally unfriendly and expensive. Consequently, it's not an effective solution to your heating problem. As soon as you turn off the water, any heat it did generate will dissipate quickly.

Turning on the Oven

Because an oven is a heat source, you might be tempted to try using it to heat your apartment, too. This is a bad idea for a few reasons.

First, there's a risk of injury involved with a hot oven. If you leave the door open on a hot oven hoping the heat will escape and warm the room, you might accidentally bump into the hot surface and burn yourself. For this reason, it's always recommended to keep a hot oven closed around children and pets. In addition, if you have a gas oven and don't use it properly, there is the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning from the fumes.

Furthermore, standing right next to a hot oven can make you feel toasty. But there's no effective way to get that hot air circulating through the rest of your apartment. As it's neither realistic nor totally safe to spend all of your time standing next to a hot oven, this is a method to skip when trying to heat your apartment.

Lighting Candles

Candles can add some accent lighting along with ambiance and possibly aroma to your space. But you shouldn't rely on candles to heat your apartment.

For starters, while the flames do generate a bit of heat, it almost certainly won't be enough to make you feel warmer if your apartment heat isn't working properly. Even if you light a lot of candles, they still won't have the power to warm a space like a wood-burning fireplace often can.

Candles also pose a high fire risk. Every additional candle you light increases the chances that a candle will tip over, spark, or otherwise ignite an even larger fire in your apartment. Plus, hot wax can drip and become a burn hazard to you as well as to your furnishings. So save just a few candles for creating a cozy vibe rather than serving as actual heat generators.