Is it Bad to Sleep With the Heater On?

Is it Bad to Sleep With the Heater On?

Is it Bad to Sleep With the Heater On?

Let’s face it, even in summer months the nights can get chilly. If your house isn’t well insulated, then you may be inclined to leave the heating on at night. But is it safe to do so, and which form of heating is best for keeping your house warm overnight?

Obviously, the type of heating you use will depend upon the central heating system in your home – whether you use gas, solid fuel or electric heating. Here we look at the pros and cons, and the types of heating you should never rely on and leave unattended while you sleep:

Electric Heater

Portable electric heaters are extremely popular for providing heat when central heating fails, or to boost heat in cooler rooms. They’re almost 100% energy efficient, are lightweight and have a superior safety profile than their gas counterparts. The most popular types are:

  • Convector heater
  • Oil filled radiator
  • Fan heater
  • Infra-red bar heater

Portable electric heaters tend to be used to provide short-term blasts of heat, either supplementing heat in a cold room or as an emergency heat source when a central heating system fails. Some models can be expensive to run. However, newer models come with a host of features that mean they can now be used for longer periods, where once they’d have been prohibitive to use. One such feature is climate control, this means that the heater ticks over at a constant temperature and will only switch on when the ambient temperature falls below a set level, keeping running costs to a minimum and meaning they can be suitable for overnight use.

The only drawback with portable electric heaters is the size of room they can heat, so make sure you check the BTU of the model to understand it’s heating capacity. Also, given that the majority of us need peace and quiet for a good night’s sleep, you’re better off avoiding fan heaters as these tend to be noisier than convector heaters, so check reviews to make sure you’re purchasing a quiet model. Infra-red heaters are good for providing direct heat, but they’re not good for larger rooms and don’t tend to have thermostatic controls. Oil-filled radiators are particularly good for providing long-term heat, and they’re also among the cheapest to run at night.

Electric Radiator

Wall-mounted electric radiators are becoming increasingly popular, compared with traditional gas central heating systems. Not only are they the green alternative, but they’re also far safer and have supreme functionality. They provide a combination of radiated and convected heat, are slimline and their energy efficiency means that they provide instant heat. What’s more, each unit runs independently, so you can switch the radiator on in one room only, without having to heat the whole house. Electric radiators are also silent, so you won’t have annoying noise from clicking pipes. As is the case for portable electric heaters, electric radiators come with a whole host of features that make them excellent for overnight heating, including climate control, 24/7 pre-programming and even remote and smart functionality. We think you’ll agree, for all of these reasons, electric radiators are perfect for providing overnight ambient heat.

Electric Blanket

Electric blankets are an excellent choice for making sure your bed is nice and warm, which is a real luxury if your room is freezing cold! They’re relatively cheap to run, costing under 10 pence a night, and can be kept on all night. However, they’re not for everyone – and should definitely be avoided if you have a pacemaker fitted. They do also come with safety issues. Just as with any appliance they need to be regularly inspected for safety. If the fabric is worn, there are scorch marks or wires poking through the blanket, then it’s time to replace your blanket. Don’t use a blanket for longer than 10 years as it may not be safe to use, and you can get scorched or the blanket can even start a fire. Make sure your electric blanket has the UK Safety Standard mark and always follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions.

Gas Central Heating System

You can of course switch on your central heating system at night, or leave it ticking over at a set thermostatic temperature. However, while this is a safe option, it’s also incredibly expensive as you’ll be heating the entire house. Also, thermostats tend to be placed in hallways, which will always be a different temperature to your bedroom and meaning you’re optimising the temperature in an empty space in the house, in the hope that your bedroom will remain comfortably warm. Of course, you can control your radiators, but in terms of climate control this is rudimentary at best.

Portable Gas Heater
Indoor portable gas heaters run off bottled gas. Just like their electric counterparts, there are several types available, including:

  • Living flame
  • Catalytic
  • Infra-red radiant

However, for a number of reasons, portable gas heaters aren’t recommended for overnight use. Not only are you leaving a combustible heat source unattended, raising the risk of a fire taking place, but there’s also a silent danger: carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is created when a gas doesn’t burn properly; it’s silent, odourless and very dangerous to your health. At best, you’ll become light headed and nauseous, at worse it can be fatal. Needless to say, this makes it incredibly dangerous overnight. Regular servicing of your gas appliance and installing a carbon monoxide monitor can help negate the risk, but in general gas heaters aren’t recommended for overnight use.


Fossil fuels may be on the decline, but we do love a living flame. While nowadays not many bedrooms have open fires, if you’re lucky enough to live in a Victorian property then you might have a fireplace in your bedroom. It might sound romantic and cosy curling up in front of an open fire, but once again there are risks when it comes to overnight use. Not only do you risk carbon monoxide poisoning if the fireplace isn’t vented properly, but there’s a very real fire risk, as sparks can be released even from glowing embers. If you do like lighting a fire for ambience or warmth, make sure you have a fireguard handy and let the fire die out well before you turn the lights out.

How to Improve your Home’s Insulation

Of course, as well as investing in the best heating option for your home, it’s always a good idea to think about improving the insulation within your home. There are several areas you can easily look to improve, which can really reduce the amount of heat lost from your home, making sure you stay nice and warm and reducing your heating bills. These include:

Check your loft insulation – did you know that 25% of our heat can be lost through an uninsulated loft? This means that the heat you’re paying for is simply disappearing into thin air! With insulation costing less than £400 to install in the average detached house, and savings of up to £225 possible annually, it really makes sense to check the state of your loft insulation.
Look at cavity wall insulation – while this isn’t suitable for all homes, if you have cavity walls then this is the simplest way to improve energy efficiency within your property. Heat-insulating materials such as mineral fibre wool or polystyrene beads are injected into the walls, meaning your home will retain more stable heat.
Upgrade your glazing – if you have single pane, draughty windows then heaters will struggle to maintain a constant temperature within your bedroom. With double glazing, multiple panels of glass are used, maximising heat insulation and minimising noise disturbance from external sources. The sealed gap between the two panes of glass minimises heat loss, and prevents the lower outside temperature from affecting internal temperatures, meaning you can maintain a more constant overnight temperature in your bedroom.

In Summary

Although there are ways in which you can improve the insulation within your home, some houses just need a boost of warmth. As you can see, electric radiators and electric heaters, with their supreme functionality and superior safety profile are among the best heaters you can safely rely on for overnight heating. Here at Electric Heating Expert, we have the expertise to guide you to the best heating solution for your home and budget. Contact us on 01252 560770 or email Get in touch today and make sure you’re well prepared for the autumn and winter months.

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