Why you shouldn’t use an oven to heat your home
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Ovens aren’t designed to heat your home. They also pose risks of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning if they are left on for prolonged periods of time.

As winter weather moves into areas throughout the country, many people are looking for ways to keep their homes warm. 

Over the years, some people on social media have suggested you can use an oven to heat your home. Online searches also show people are wondering if it’s safe to use an oven to heat homes. 

THE QUESTION

Is it safe to use an oven to heat your home?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, it is not safe to use an oven to heat your home. 

WHAT WE FOUND

All of our sources say it is not safe to use a gas or electric oven to heat your home during the winter months.  

Leaving the oven door open after cooking to warm up a room is also dangerous, since children, adults and pets “may get severely burned,” a spokesperson for the Red Cross said. 

Gas ovens produce carbon monoxide, the Washington State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill people and animals who breathe enough of it.

Though electric ovens don’t pose a carbon monoxide poisoning risk, the Red Cross and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) say it’s not safe to heat your home with them, either.

Using any kind of oven to heat your home, including an electric oven, poses fire and burn risks, according to the Red Cross.

Leaving an electric oven on for a prolonged period of time, especially if it’s unattended, can increase the chance of an electrical malfunction, a spokesperson for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) told VERIFY.

“An electric oven left slightly open at the highest heat can melt temperature dials and damage the appliance,” the CPSC spokesperson said. 

Rainaldi Home Services, a plumbing and HVAC company based in Florida, also says damage to the oven’s temperature dials “can lead to electrical malfunctions, challenge the oven to work effectively, or, even worse, a fire.”

It’s not efficient to use your electric oven to heat a room, either, since this would generally cost more than using a small space heater, the CPSC spokesperson added.

Electric ovens aren’t the only home appliance that can pose a fire risk if they are left on for long periods of time. FEMA offers other tips to prevent home fires in the winter. 

The agency says people should keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from all heat sources, including fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, space heaters or candles. 

FEMA also urges people to turn space heaters off when leaving a room or going to bed. In addition, people should make sure their space heaters have an automatic shut-off and plug them directly into outlets – not extension cords or power strips. 

The VERIFY team works to separate fact from fiction so that you can understand what is true and false. Please consider subscribing to our daily newsletter, text alerts and our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Learn More »

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