Are Oil Heaters Safe To Leave On Overnight? Let's Find Out!

Last Updated on April 18, 2023 by Simon
Are Oil Heaters Safe To Leave On Overnight

Are Oil Heaters Safe to Leave on At Night?

Most homeowners have at least one oil heater in their house. These types of heaters run off natural gas. The problem is that many people leave them on overnight even though there is no potential risk of fire.

A lot of homeowners use these types of heaters because they don’t want to pay for electricity during the night. If your heater has been running for several days without being turned off, it could cause a safety hazard.

An oil heater should not be left on overnight as it can overheat and catch fire. Yes, it can cause fire to start, which can lead to death or serious injury. 

Type of heater can cause serious health problems if left on too long. They produce dangerous carbon monoxide fumes that can damage your lungs.

If you notice your home’s previous heater is still on, turn it off. Fix nothing until you call a professional who can inspect the equipment.

And they recommend you leave your oil heater on only when it is needed because you still get a lot of benefits from it even when it is switched off.

The Dangers of Leaving an Oil Heater on Overnight

For most of us, an oil heater is something that we never think twice about. They’re the only source of heat in the home during the winter, and they’re an essential part of life in the warmer months.

But every year, the risk of fires claiming caused by oil heaters grows, and new research is showing that this is no coincidence.

Oil heaters are a popular choice for home heating appliances because they burn clean, but they can cause problems if not monitored.

Leaving your oil heater on overnight can cause health and safety hazards to your family and pets. The danger of leaving an oil heater on overnight is that it can start a huge fire risk.

Oil heaters often have a pilot light that burns all night, and this can ignite flammable materials such as curtains or furniture.

How Dangerous is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is colourless, odourless and tasteless. You cannot see CO, smell it or taste it. When inhaled, it enters your bloodstream and travels throughout your body where it binds to oxygen molecules.

Your blood cells stop receiving enough oxygen, resulting in extreme weakness, headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion, unconsciousness, and possibly death.

Since CO does not dissolve in the air, it stays close to its source or sinks back into the ground after it leaves your metal body. This makes it easy to detect leaks.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

High concentrations of carbon monoxide cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

It causes:

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • confusion
  • unconsciousness
  • seizures
  • convulsions
  • cardiac arrest
  • coma
  • Brain damage
  • And death

Most deaths from carbon monoxide occur in homes with ventilated fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, water-smart heaters, space slow heaters, woodstoves, barbecues, or by using generators indoors.

Most oil-burning stoves do not emit any visible smoke, they may seem harmless to you. But they pose a danger unless you keep them well maintained and inspected regularly.

Safety Precautions

1. Install a smoke detector

You should always have at least one working smoke detector installed in every room of your home. While many people think their furnace will shut down if there is a problem, that isn’t true.

A faulty blower motor can cause minimum temperatures inside your home, even though no flames appear outside.

Also, make sure you test the batteries once each year. If you find the batteries dead, replace them before relying only on your alarm system.

2. Install a ventilation

Install a ventilation fan heater in your kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms so you won’t be breathing unhealthy gases produced by these rooms’ appliances.

Make sure all windows and doors open during cold weather months. Open vents in attic spaces allow hot air out while keeping cooler air in. And check outdoor gas grills often to ensure proper operation.

3. Do not leave unattended

They are designed for furnace heating the home in winter months, they can be left on overnight as well. But it is important that the type of oil heater isn’t left unattended when not being used or turned off if there is a potential fire risk.

Types of oil heaters should only be left running while the house occupants leave the premises and other people who may accidentally come into contact with the dangers of the oil heater have adequate safety precautions taken.

4. Get proper maintenance

When it comes time for maintenance, however, there are things you should do because, if not done properly, they could cause serious damage to your oil burner. 

If this happens, then you will have to replace it at great expense. We know ceramic heater to be the most reliable heat source in the market today.

That being said, it is important to know what they are capable of before you buy one.

5. Use appliances only when needed

If you use an electric stove or oven, turn on only those items needed when you plan to cook dinner. Keep the door closed until the food has cooked; then remove it immediately and let it cool. 

An oil burner should only stay lit when needed. It shouldn’t sit idle all day long. This will prevent any unnecessary wear and tear from your central heating element system.

But leaving it on constantly keeps the air inside warmer than normal. This means your furnace won’t work.

In fact, your oil-fired heater may create more pollution by burning fuel inefficiently while idling. This constant consumption can affect other components in your home.

Where Should an Oil filled Heater be Placed?

  • Water and oil filled heater should be placed in a central location. If the safest heater is in a corner, it should be placed in an open space. The extra heat will spread outwards.
  • Oil filled heaters are most energy efficient when placed in rooms that are at least 100 square feet. They are most heating energy efficiency appliance when placed about 3 feet away from the wall.
  • You should place an oil filled heater in a well-ventilated space. The direct heat from an oil filled heater can smother and suffocate small children and animals and should be placed at least 3 feet away from humans and animals.

Last words

We’d recommend that if you’re going to use an oil heater, then you should always use it with a thermostat and timer. This will help you ensure that your portable heater is only burning as much oil as you need, and won’t be running from 0 to 100 overnight.

In order to keep yourself safe from fire hazards and energy waste, take the time to read the safety instructions and follow them when using your space heaters.

Article Written & Fact Checked By


I have always had a profound love for reading, which naturally evolved into writing too! This passion for the art of crafting stories using words lead me to a path of web content managing. I have previously managed portfolios for my clients' writing requirements, with each website containing anywhere from 5 all the way to 5,000 pages; my day was easily filled with spreadsheets and databases of content. My current focus is where I am the Lead Editor and Content Stategist!
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