Are Oil Heaters Safe To Leave On Overnight

In this unfriendly winter, oil heaters are your best bet to keep you warm through the night. With an energy efficiency of ninety-nine percent, they will work tirelessly to convert all the absorbed electricity into much-needed heat.

However, if you are wondering are oil heaters safe to leave on overnight, yes, they are. Oil heaters are designed so that the heating element is concealed out of your reach. Additionally, the non-flammable oil with a high boiling point used in oil heaters ensures less fire risk. The body of the heater also plays its part as it does not get too hot.

Oil heaters are safe to leave on overnight so that you can sleep peacefully. To know more about this, keep on reading.

Are Oil Heaters Safe To Leave On Overnight

Are Oil Heaters Safe To Leave On Overnight?

If you live in an area where winters are extremely cold, then it is essential for people to leave their oil heaters on overnight. You might be thinking that leaving your heater on overnight raises any issues or not, let us continue with the guide.

How Do Oil Heaters Function? 

Before understanding whether you can leave your oil heater on overnight, you must understand how oil heaters function.

Oil heaters are connected to the house electricity system via sockets, which can be moved around anytime in a room where heat is required. 

The oil inside the heater is not used as fuel. A heating element warms up the oil, then flows around the heater’s walls through conduction and to the surroundings through air convection and thermal radiation.

Things To Do Before You Leave Your Oil Heater On Overnight

If you have decided to keep your oil heater on overnight, then there are some things that you need to do. 

Firstly make sure you do not have any clothes near your heater. You should not have any clothes on top of your heater as well. It is often advised that your oil heater should be kept at least 3 feet away from things such as couches or tables. 

Secondly, set a lower temperature as this will use less electricity. Moreover, setting a low temperature will ensure that your room does not become uncomfortably warm. 

Thirdly, if your oil heater has a timer, please make sure you use it to its full potential. If you do not want to keep your heater on for the entire night, set a timer so that the heater turns off in the middle of the night.

Safety Measures

Safety should be the priority when you use any kind of electrical appliances. Although oil heaters are safe to run overnight, it is still essential to look into the following safety precautions:

  • Avoid using them in wet areas or floors—for example, toilets.
  • Keep the heater away from items that catch fire easily
  • Avoid using extension cords as these can overheat and cause a fire.
  • Keep pets and kids away from the heater.
  • Be careful while carrying the oil heater from room to room, as oil can leak.

How Safe Is The Oil?

The first thing that people think of as dangerous in oil heaters is the oil itself.

However, the oil in oil heaters are not used as fuels at all. Instead the heating element is put inside the oil which can store a huge amount of heat. The oil is safe as it is not flammable and it does not get hot or cold suddenly.

The oil used in the oil heater also has a high boiling point. Now you may ask why is a high boiling point important?​​ 

A high boiling point means that even when the temperature increases, the oil will not turn into gas.​​ This property of the oil ensures that the internal pressure remains constant. As the internal pressure remains constant, the risk of explosions is very low.

Why Are Oil Heaters Safe To Leave On Overnight?

Oil heaters are popular in the market right now, and they are energy-efficient and safe to leave on for long hours as they are overheat-resistant. 

Oil-filled heaters take 15-30 minutes to heat a room, depending on the size of the area of the room. The most important thing that makes the oil heater safe is that the heating element and the oil are sealed inside a compartment. 

Apart from that, they have tip-over safety precautions. Therefore, if the oil heaters fall over, a safety switch turns on, and the heater turns off.

Oil heaters also come equipped with a safety cover. So even if the heater gets too hot, it is still safe. 

Some new models also contain built-in thermostats which regulate the temperature. So the heater will not get too hot or cold. And if it becomes too hot, the heater will automatically switch off.

Oil Heaters vs Electric Heaters

Both oil heaters and electric heaters are pretty popular. However, when it comes to efficiency, oil heaters are way ahead of electric heaters. The oil in oil heaters can store an immense amount of heat which means they do not lose heat quickly.

When it comes to performance, both of them are equal. But electric heaters will heat any space faster than oil heaters.

If you want to save your electricity bills, oil heaters will be perfect for you. As they do not lose heat quickly, they stay warm even after switching off the heater.

Risks Of Oil Heaters 

Although modern technology has ensured the safety of oil heaters, there are still some dangers in using them. Some of them are discussed below:-

  1. They are likely to blow up when their thermal fuses cannot turn them off, causing fire and black smoke, even oil stains on walls. A malfunction in switches or wires can lead to an explosion.
  1. Newly bought oil heaters can give off a scent containing chemicals that may be harmful to you to breathe in. You can turn it on at full speed and set it in an empty room until the gassing disappears.
  1. Oil heaters have a possibility of leaking oil. Oil leakage can occur because of improper handling or broken weld joints. Be careful while moving the oil heater from one place to another. 
  1. Oil heaters that are not brand new or not of good quality can have issues over the upcoming years. It would be wise if you got them repaired or checked for faults by the manufacturer before you decide to leave them on overnight.

Alternatives Way To Keep Warm

Although no one likes to sleep in a cold room, people out there do not like to keep their oil heater on overnight. But fret not, because there are many alternatives that you can try to keep warm during the night.

To keep your room warm overnight, you can turn your oil heater on for about an hour to heat the room before sleeping. Close the doors and windows in your room so that cold air cannot sweep in. Although oil heaters are safe and reliable to use for long hours without any worry, if not handled properly, they may malfunction.

Another method you can try is using a hot water bottle. To get the most of this, put two hot water bottles under your comforter or blanket. Please ensure that you do not burn your hands while pouring water into the bottles.


Different people have different perspectives. Safety always comes first. It is safest to keep heaters or AC shut overnight because they run on electricity and are unreliable. 

However, in the case of oil heaters, you can leave them on overnight and sleep worry-free.

With the immense cold, it is almost impossible to sleep without a heater running overnight to keep you warm because the blanket does not quite do the job. So if you are wondering are oil heaters safe to leave on overnight, then the answer is yes. 

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