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Does anyone use a space heater under their desk? Is it safe? sm

Posted By: j on 2009-02-09
In Reply to:

My computer tower is also on the floor under the desk, could this make the computer itself too hot? I get so uncomfortably cold working in my lower level of my house, so I bought a space heater, but I can't get it close enough to warm my feet up, I would like it under my desk. Safe or not? Thanks in advance.

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I use a space heater, but my CPU isn't under my desk.

Mostly I need the heat to warm up my hands, so I sit my heater on my desk top blowing directly at my keyboard.  The electric blanket is an excellent idea.  I may have to look into that.

One thing to consider, when I first plugged in my space heater, my circuit couldn't handle my CPU, printer, heater, going all at once and I tripped the circuit breaker.  So, I've had to run an extension cord from another outlet on a different circuit for my heater.  My house is pretty old though and needs some wiring work.

I have a space heater under my desk but

my computer sits on a "second hand" counter (bought at an discount home supply companyfor $35) that sits on 2x4s. I bought the counter top 2 x 8 feet marked down because of marks, etc., and placed all my printer, scanner, extra computer etc., on 2x4's cut down; i.e., 1 2x4 8 foot long give 3 sides (left,right, and bottom) to securely sit everything on top. I have 3 computers, a printer, a scanner, 2 transcription machines, a calculator, and CDs and a whatchamacallit for holding bills, etc. sitting on it. It's held up for 8 years.

I have a ceramic heater under my desk and it doesn't get hot enough to travel up to the counter.

space heater
Thanks for the helpful hint.  About how much did you have to pay, and where did you buy it?  (If you don't mind telling me.)
space heater
Thanks, guys and gals, for the great info about space heaters! I'll definitely stay away from the kind that cost our fellow MT's power bill to increase! Yikes! I'll probably go with a ceramic heater, like the Lasko mentioned in these posts. It seems to be the most efficient and the most cost-saving. :)
Can you blow a hairdryer on low on it or a space heater on low? Might help. nm
I run a small space heater at my feet sm
My CPU is under the desk and I tend to swing my left leg up to rest on that. The air from the heater, if I position it right, flows up between my knees and heats my hands. I can't work this time of year without it. Warm feet=warm all over.
I use a DeLonghi oil-filled space heater that
But my feet were still cold. I found a surefire way to warm my feet on even the coldest days: I alternate between wearing my slippers (with indoor-outdoor soles on them), and my hiking boots which are my warmest footwear. I also alternate sox.

As I start to feel my feet getting too cold, I lay the alternate sox over the heater (safe when set on the low setting - plus I'm right there watching them). Then I set the pair of shoes or slippers I'm not wearing on top of the heater to warm up the soles.

After about 15-20 minutes, I put on the warm sox, followed by the now-warm shoes/slippers. Once on my feet, the thick rubber soles stay warm for quite a long time! My feet warm up right away, STAY warm, and circulation improves, thus continuing to keep the shoes warm. The hiking boots worked the best - several hours later, my feet were still toasty warm!
space heater vs furnace, a few opinions from the experts

Limit use of Electric Space Heaters
Here's a few opinions. There's one way, way, way down at the bottom, too. Hope it helps.


Limit use of freestanding or in-wall space heaters to short periods of time. Electric space heat can cost as much as 25 percent more than fossil fuel heat. Because of the high energy required, the use of extension cords with space heaters is not recommended. Also to avoid fire hazard, electric heater power cords should never be placed under a carpet or rug to be hidden from view.


Space heaters are a fairly inefficient way to convert electricity to heat. They can also run up the electric bill, and I'm not sure they're a good choice for the apartment-building lifestyle. However, if you owned a big home and controlled your own central heating, a space heater could be a good choice. If you spent your entire day, or most of it, in one room of the house (say, your satellite Grist office), you could turn off the central heat and use a space heater. And, of course, space heaters are a great option for rooms where there is no other heat source whatsoever -- certainly better than frostbite.

Space heaters run on electricity generated by burning something or splitting atoms or capturing hydropower or tapping into the energy of wind or sun (optimal but unlikely). Radiators run on water heated by burning oil or gas. Because your radiator burns fuel on site, odds are it is more efficient than your space heater. (Again, we're guessing here, since we don't know the specifics.) With electric space heaters, about two-thirds of the heating energy from the original fuel is lost during transit to your room.


Ask the Energy Guy


2004 Average

04/05 03/04 Average


313 396




Season to date



2005 2004 Average

2005 2004





1266 1027


Season to date

Q: A couple of issues ago you talked about electric space heaters. Are they less

expensive than gas?

A: Maybe. Unless you have a geothermal heat pump, electricity

is not the most economical way to heat a home. But

depending on the size of the electric space heater and how

you use it, you may be able to increase your comfort and

save a little money this winter.

There are two basic types of electric space heaters;

Convection heaters heat the air and usually have a fan

to blow warm air around. Radiant heaters warm objects.

Some people like to feel warm air move so they use a fan

driven heater. Others will use a radiant heater to avoid

drafts from moving air. The cost to operate the heater will

depend on wattage, temperature of the room, and length of time

itís on. The higher the wattage, the colder the room, and the

longer itís on - the more it will cost.

A 1500-watt heater will cost around $.10 an hour to operate.

Your much larger gas furnace may cost $.45 - $.75 an hour to

run. To be comfortable yet not spend more money the trick is to

save gas by turning down your thermostat while using the electric heater. If you just

use a portable heater for short periods, and you turn down the thermostat at the same

time, you should be fairly comfortable and save on your heating bills. Check back

next month for more on electric versus gas heating

Q. Would it be more efficient to use an electric heater for one room than to keep the whole house warm with central heating?

 A. I can see why you would think using a space heater would be an energy-saving solution, especially with higher gas and oil prices. But in Vermont, electricity is still the most expensive way to heat. A typical portable electric space heater could actually increase your energy costs by as much as $50 a month.

A better approach is to make your home's "envelope" and central heating system work as efficiently as possible. Make sure your home has sufficient insulation. Prevent air leakage between indoors and out by sealing any holes between the house and outdoors or the attic, especially where chimneys and plumbing enter. Gaps around door and window frames and drafts under doors should also be sealed. Repair cracked glazing on windows and replace weather seals if necessary. You can find low-cost, easy-to-use weatherization kits and supplies at your hardware store. Be sure your furnace filter is clean, seal and insulate heating ducts, and have your furnace or boiler professionally inspected, cleaned and tuned each year. Vacuum or dust heating vents and move furniture away from them so heat can circulate. Finally, close doors to any rooms you don't want heated and turn down the thermostat in those rooms.

Gas vs. Electric Heat
The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman

I live in the Midwest and am bracing for the high cost of heating my home this winter. My question is about buying/using a space heater. Is there a way to find out if running an electric space heater would be cheaper than the gas I use to heat the home? Is there a formula for this? How would I figure it out. I've taken all the other precautions such as insulation, furnace tune-up, weather-stripping etc. I figure I can keep the heat turned to about 67 - but a space heater might be good for the family room-kitchen, the area we use the most. Thanks, 
Cheryl R.

Cheryl appears to be serious about reducing her heating bills. And, she's right. According to the Federal Trade Commission, nearly half of our utility bills goes to heating/air conditioning. So controlling those expenses is worthwhile.

Cheryl can compare heat generated from gas or electric. To get a fair comparison we'll determine the cost to generate 1 million BTU's of heat with both fuels.

A furnace with a seasonal heating efficiency of 80% will use 12.5 therms to produce the million BTU's. MGE (Madison Gas Electric in Madison WI) was charging consumers $1.50 per therm in October, 2005. We'll use them as our example. At a cost of $1.50 per therm heating with gas would cost $18.75 (12.5 therms X $1.50).

An electric heater would consume 293 kilowatt hours to produce the million BTU's. At a cost of $0.11 per kWh (also from MGE) that's $32.58.

So heating with electric is more expensive than natural gas. And, that's usually the case since a lot of electric is generated by burning natural gas.

But, Cheryl's recognized that gas vs. electric is only half of the equation. Could heating a smaller area (kitchen/family room) with a higher cost fuel (electric) be a good idea?

In our example electric generated heat is 70% more expensive than gas generated heat ($32.58 / $18.75). As long as her kitchen/family room area is less than 30% of the cubic footage of her house she'll save money by using the space heater to heat it and turning down the thermostat on the furnace.

Remember that this is just an example. We've made some assumptions. For instance, furnaces are measured based on their AFUE rating (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). It's also known as "seasonal heating efficiency." We chose a furnace rated at 80% efficiency.  Cheryl's could be more or less efficient. That would affect how many therms of gas are consumed.

The selection of space heaters will make a difference, too. There are a number of types available.

According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources a radiator-type heater could be best for Cheryl. It works well in a room that gets constant use. And, since the surface area isn't extremely hot, there's less danger of someone (think children) getting burned.

There's also a formula that Cheryl can use to figure the cost of running a space heater. She'll need to know the size of the space heater in watts. Divide that by 1,000 to get kilowatts. So a 1500 watt heater is 1.5 kilowatts.

Multiply the answer by the number of hours per day the heater is in use to determine how many kilowatts are used per day. Suppose that it's running from 8am until 10pm. She'd multiply 1.5 kilowatts by 12 hours and be using 18 kilowatts per day.

Her electric bill will show how much she pays per kilowatt. Let's use our $0.11 rate. The 18 kilowatts per day multiplied by $0.11 costs Cheryl $1.98 per day to run the heater.

Make no mistake, the furnace is the most efficient way to heat the entire house. But, according to the National Association of Home Builders the average home is 2,200 square feet. That's a lot of space to heat.

And, if you'll study your home, most homes do not have someone in every room 24 hours a day. Each family has a pattern of use. One or two rooms might be in use for much of the day. Other rooms rarely are used except for sleep. Cheryl might find that she can lower the thermostat on the furnace to 60 degrees and use space heaters to raise the temperature in occupied areas.

Chances are that a lot of us don't want to go through all the calculations. You really don't need to. If you only have one or two rooms occupied, it will almost certainly be cheaper to keep your thermostat lower and put a space heater in the occupied rooms. Just remember to take the appropriate safety precautions when using space heaters.


I turn into a prune when I have a space heater in my office, all that dry air dehydrating me!

My mother lives with us. We bought small electric space heater for her (sm)
as we usually keep the furnace at about 68 and keep a humidifier going. Makes a big difference. Older people get cold, so I have told her she might want to make sure and wear warmer clothes and don't hesistate to use the space heaters to provide comfort level in the family room and her bedroom for her.
Thanks Happy MT - need desk space!
MedQuist? Ctrl+shift+F, period, space, tab, period, space, space, change all. nm
I meant "One space or two", not "l space or two" nm
Oil filled heater
I use a DeLonghi oil filed heater, bought at Lowe's for I think $30-$40.  Sits right next to my chair, very safe, uses very little energy.  Plus I can rest  my hands on it when there is a pause in dictation. It's about 6 x 15 inches but when I'm sitting down, it comes up to my elbow.  Love it! 
Move to Arizona. Don't the heater too much here!!!nm
Some sort of heater device
I read about a device you can buy for the deep cystic-type acne. I believe the machine was about $200, but it is supposed to be a miracle cure for treating deep cystic acne. The drawback would be that the device has to be held on each cyst for a couple of minutes I believe, so hundreds of cysts like you describe would take a long, long time to treat. I would ask the dermatologist if he thought finasteride would have any effect. That drug shuts down the part of testosterone that causes male pattern baldness. Maybe it would have an effect on acne, too. I think I'll research that for you.
Has anyone used the Eden Pure Heater as a supplement?

I hear Paul Harvey advertise this heater on the radio all the time and I am considering it for our house for this winter. I just wonder how much it might really save us since we use propane to heat and this is an electric heater. It sounds good according to what I have heard and read but obviously I don't really know.

I am in my home office most of the day and thought I could turn our furnace down low as there is no need to heat the entire house when I spend at least 8 hours a day in my office and I am the only one at home during the day. I could just close my office door and use this heater and maybe save some $. We have a 1600 sq. ft. home, one level, and we spent about $1900 for propane last year (including hot water heater and gas cooking stove).  I wore thermals and warm clothes as well as used a snug snack while working but I am always cold and had the thermostat turned up to 72 during the day and 66 at night.

I will post the link for those that might be interested in knowing more bout the heater.

I use an electric afghan, safer than a heater
Hi: I paid about $35 for an afghan-size warming blanket I think on Overstock.com. I just make a little semicircle of blankie and keep the foot pedal in there. To warm my hands, I use 2 gooseneck lamps from Target, they were $10 each, one on each side of my desk, amazing how much heat from a light bulb. Wise
It's cold here this morning!!! I had to turn on my office heater for the first time this year.
Winter's coming and it's supposed to be incredibly cold the next couple days.  YUCK  And, with the gas prices the way they are I guess I'll have to suffer with it a little colder this year.
Last year I purchased a Lasko 30" tall digital ceramic pedestal heater with remote for under (sm)
$80.00 at Home Depot.  Features include: Automatic temperature control, oscillate, timer, and high (1500W) and low (900W) power settings.  Assembling the base took less than 5 minutes. Kept me very warm last winter, and plan on purchasing another one for my upstairs. Cut down on my gas heating bill significantly. Great buy.
It never was safe. nm
To be safe, 30,000-40,000 (NM)
I think it's safe. We do it all the time. You
sit right there with them and watch everything they do as you talk to them. Once you terminate the connection, they can't get back in without your help and permission the next time.
Better safe than sorry - money aside - LM
Way, way back when I was a student in college & lived in a dormitory, I started with right-sided pain walking back from classes one day. Next morning I was doubled over in pain & running a fever. Roommate called our floor "House Mother" to get me some help & for some unknown reason she thought I was "faking" it when I said I couldn't go to my classes - got me no help & told me to go to my classes. Thank God for my roommate "who knew me" & knew I had never missed any of my classes & stood up to our "House Mother". My roommate just happened to have an older brother (a coach at the local high school) She called him - he came to the dorm, saw the shape I was in & carried me out to his car & took me to the campus hospital. After all their examinations - they shipped me to the city hospital & thankfully the doctor there felt it was imperative I have surgery & did so with phone permission from my parents - thinking I "did" have a ruptured appendix. Come to find out, I had a ruptured ovarian cyst, was hemorrhaging internally, & was a mess. I was 18 - they took part of my ovary & went ahead & took out my appendix while they were in there.

Simply put -if I had had pain for 3 days which was not improving - regardless of the price, I'd have it checked out. I'd rather pay $100 to find out nothing was wrong & have my peace of mind than suffer the possible consequences of ignoring it. You just never know!

If I knew I had done nothing strenuous or out of the ordinary for me to cause this pain, i.e., all of sudden from sedentary to working out 24/7, I'd check it out- immediately !!
I'd rather be scared & safe than sorry!
I have surge protectors & an APC battery back-up system; however, I have those so I will have an alarm & time to close my applications safely without loosing info during a storm (Hopefully). That being said -"I will not work during a thunderstorm/bad lightening." When my APC beeps - I backup & close what I've been working on, close all applications, log off & unplug everything!

NO - it's not safe to work during a thunderstorm/bad lightning!! Your time and/or comittment at work will have to play seconds to saving your life - & I'm not kidding that this is a possibility. Anything plugged into an electrical socket, including a phone, has the potential of being hit with lightning. I just won't risk playing with Mother Nature !! I've read of too many who have and have lost !!
OMG...these are hilarious...I think it's safe to say we all have

So no real safe way to put...
a "bug" in their ear that you're available if they want you huh?
Melatonin can be useful and safe for some ... BUT
there can be side effects. I used it several years ago to help with sleep problems and it did help, and I thought I'd finally licked the problem. Unfortunately, I began to suffer from depression, which I had never experienced before. Since the Melatonin was the only change I had made before the depression, I stopped it, and the depression subsided. I later learned that depression can be a side effect of using melatonin for some people. I hope this is not the case for you and that you are able to continue to enjoy the sleep benefits of melatonin. However, if you find yourself becoming depressed, consider that the melatonin might be the cause.
Is Red Bull safe? sm
Does anyone know exactly how it works chemically? Is it different than caffeine?
I am glad you are safe

You said:   "I know the definition of an addict, and I, in no way, resemble or exhibit an addicts behavior."

I question whether you do know the definition of addictive behavior.  Going away by yourself in a hotel room without telling anyone where you are in order to withdraw from opiates is not what most people would do if they do not have something to hide.  Being a pain patient does not exclude one from becoming addicted.

Safe Family Act

The case I referred to was settled perhaps 2 years ago.  In that case, the grandmother already had custody (not adopted) of the older 2 siblings by filing in court herself.  In the case of the youngest child, he was premature, in a different county, and as the bio already had a history of not being able to take care of her children, the child was taken to the foster home the day he was released from the hospital.  This grandmother is a kindergarten teacher and grandfather has classification clearance in the Air Force.  Even though the grandmother had the older 2, they did not give her the opportunity to have the 3rd child.  She hired lawyers and finally did everything herself by terminating parental rights (bios don't like having to pay child support to the grandparents!) and then was able to adopt the 3rd child. 

The act gives the state 24 months (period) to close a case on children in state care.  If the bio is not agreeable to giving custody to relatives, the case can remain open and the bio has the opportunity to go to drug rehabilitation, parenting classes, get a stable job and prove they can independently provide for themselves BUT while those children are in foster care, the clock is ticking.  Some bios don't want to do all those things or cannot in that time frame.  If the state realizes the bios are going to make the time frame, and no relatives are involved, then yes, the child can be adopted by the foster care.  The case workers are overworked and under a lot of pressure to get cases closed so the state gets a good Federal score and gets bonus money...so yes, there are cases when it is easier to adopt the child to a foster parent than to relatives...then relatives have a fight they should not have to be fighting.

I knew when my GD was born that someday this was going to happen and I put myself in a position to be available and willing to take her.  I listen to her night terrors.  She asks why mommy doesn't call - I tell her mommy has to take a test (drugs) and then mommy can visit again.  It can be maddening because now I have to supervise the bios visiting the child.  No overnight visits.  Some states require background checks on other people who may care for the child.  Can't place her on my insurance as she is not adopted.  I got state benefits and part of that means I have to take my own daughter to court to get child support (bio dud has his own court case).  Some states make relatives become foster parents to keep their own grandchildren.  I'm single so now I work 2 jobs. The state closed my case as it became a private petition.   But whatever I go through, what she gives me is priceless. 

A Cross pen or pen set is always safe. :-)
Thanks for the help. To be 100% safe I'm going to call my tax guy
Frosting is safe....for now!

How bad is that?!  I've eaten leftover frosting after the container was opened so it "wouldn't go to waste," but I still have the cake mix to make cupcakes and am too much of a tightwad deep down to waste it like that...and I'm just not in the mood to bake nuthin' today. 

So I ate a couple of teaspoons of straight-up honey and called it good.  Grocery run...gotta make one!

Safe mode sm

Have you tried to delete program under safe mode?  That is your best option right now. 

Also, when you said you accessed task manager and you have 37 running, do you mean processes running?  Because if you will under task manager, you have "applications, processes, performance, users, etc." 

Oops, meant to ask first, what operating system do you have? 

Let me know.  I will be in and out of this site, so it may take me a bit to get back to you. 

Going to safe mode now
Just found a site that walked me through how to try the safe mode route. Hope it works... I don't have my laptop backed up for work yet!
As for 37 task managers, that's what I meant, as if I had pushed ctrl/alt/dlt 37 times. Lots of other processes running, but 37 task managers open (that were not there before). I think the gremlins were having a party!
And I have Windows XP. Wish me luck and hopefully I'll talk to y'all tomorrow. Thanks for all your help.
I think you're safe.
I'm sure there's a possibility something could happen, but millions of people get theirs direct deposited so they must have some good security measures in place.

I've done the direct deposit for probably 6 years now and never had a problem. You get your refund much, much faster too.
Sure, nothing is 100% safe anymore.
It's only as safe as the technology you use and set up you have, which is constantly changing these days. But just because you are "wireless" doesn't mean you can't have a connection as secure as any other.
Try it in safe mode...sm

Shut down the computer.  As soon as you turn it back on, begin pressing the F8 key repeatedly.  You should come to a black and white screen with an option of starting in safe mode.  Arrow down to this option and press 'Enter'.  The computer will then start in safe mode.  Try it from there.  Hope this helps. 

Does anyone know when the Safe ID bill comes up for vote?
(regarding our medical records being sent out of the country).  I have already emailed my senators and am encouraging everyone to do the same.
Don't buy dolphin-safe tuna...
SO glad he is back, and safe.

Is this a safe place to vent? (SM)
I truly hope none of my co-workers visit here, but maybe they won't recognize my vent.

I feel like last man on the totem pole where I work. I will say it sometimes makes me feel like I get all of the leftovers from other people. They take what they want and I'm left to grab what's left, if there is anything left. It's also different rules for different folks. I get called on them if something happens but others do not. I keep telling myself, suck it up, do your own stuff, whenever you get it, and just keep on going. Don't worry about the others. The money is good and it's a great account, I just sometimes feel I am dumped on from time to time. You know, what's good for the goose isn't good for the gander, type thing.

Does anyone else deal with this? People are nice when things are going good, but if they're having a bad day, you get crapped on? I sometimes feel like a little kid with their words and treatment.

America voted and you are SAFE!
Hooray for Taylor baby!!!!!
know of any safe hairstyle sites?
I got a fatal virus last year from a hair site -- would sure like to look at hairstyles or 'try them on' without the worry.  Thanks.
To each their own. It's safe. Thousands of people are using it.
Nobody said YOU had to.
Have you tried removing it in safe mode?
From a cold start, press F8 at 1-second increments until you get a DOS list of startup options. Once in safe mode, attempt to remove, then restart as you would normally and it should come up in normal mode. If you have xp, set a restore point first in case removing this program causes other programs not to work.
There are no safe parts of the country
Yours would be no different than mine. I watch news on TV and cannot believe when I hear someone say, I just cannot believe it happened in this neighborhood. Ridiculous! When I had children at home, no I paid for everything. I also worked my behind off - away from home by the way- because years ago, OMG, they actually had you to come into an office! I had no one to help me out. I did not start working from home until about 2005 so very doubable and I worked 2 jobs for years to make a living.
think it might be diltiazem. Gonna flag it to be safe. Tx. NM
She took the safe way out. Rocky was fake and got caught
while the average joe is head over heels for this girl.  Could go either way, he might enlighten her in that a good guy doesn't have to be a total hunk.  Then again, she may be so shallow not to see that.  I think her mom did make an impression on her decision though.
Just wanted to say STAY SAFE to my fellow Tx MTs. sm
I am in East Texas and although we don't expect the hard hit, very high potential for flooding, tornadoes, and power outages.  Everyone take care of yourself and prepare if you haven't already.