Woman plug in modern electric space heater indoors

Why Does My Space Heater Keep Turning Off? And How Do I Fix It?

As fall turns into winter and cool breezes become heavy gusts of freezing wind, sleet, and possibly snow, it might be time to turn on your handy space heater for a blast of comforting, hot air. It might be just at that same moment you notice it turns off, so why does my space heater keep turning off? Keep reading.

Space heaters can be really useful regardless of if you are living in an apartment, a house, or just want some extra heat at the office. They have come a long way since the heated coils you can find in the bathrooms of yesteryear. Now they are portable, adjustable, and can heat anywhere from a small room to a large garage. 

However, while space heaters can become your best friend come winter, it can be annoying – and even scary – for space heaters to turn off or on without your consent. Beyond potentially wreaking havoc with your electricity bill, not knowing why it’s being finicky can raise some alarm bells.

Fortunately, this article will go over some common reasons why your space heater might be turning on or off without your knowledge. Better yet, we will address some ways you might be able to fix it. Have no fear, your space heater will be good to go in no time.

So, Why Does My Space Heater Keep Turning Off in The First Place?

There are a wide variety of reasons why your space heater might be turning off. Sure, your first thought might be that it is overheating, but that isn’t always the case. Here is a list of potential reasons and how you can address them:



Your trusty space heater is turning off because it is getting overheated. The most common reason for overheating? You may have used it so much over the years that the filter might be clogged as it pulls in the cold air.  As it turns off from overheating, don’t turn it back on again or it will immediately turn off again in response. It will need some time to cool down. After it does, disconnect it before opening it up and wiping down the filter. You can also clean it with the brush attachment on your vacuum. Keep in mind that some space heaters may need the filters to be totally removed before they can be fully cleaned. 
Space heaters use 1.5 kilowatts of power. That’s a lot. If your sockets aren’t putting out at least that amount of power then that could be a reason your space heater won’t stay on. It’s just not getting enough power to stay on essentially.  Either try to plug your heater in a different socket and see if that helps. If not, contact a local electrician to see what might be the problem with your socket.
If you pull out your space heater’s prongs from the socket and you see browning stains on them, your power supply could be damaged. Get an electrician to check it out ASAP.
Your home circuit keeps on tripping which is turning off your space heater. If you are using multiple space heaters in your home (or even office space), the tripping might be from using too much power all at the same time. Spread out the space heaters across circuits like other rooms or even different floors.
Last but certainly not least, the reason why your space heater is turning off is because it is a faulty space heater.  Contact your space heater’s brand and see if you can get it replaced – especially if you just bought it and/or it is under warranty. 

At the end of the day, sometimes the reason why your space heater is no longer working is because it’s old and the parts have worn down over the years, and it’s time for a new one. While you might feel attached to the one you own, there are plenty of great new ones out there. Here are some of the best space heaters of 2021 for when you’re ready to bring home a new one. We’re sure you’ll find the perfect one for you.

Why Does My Space Heater Keep Turning Off & On?

Turning off and on can seem more nerve wracking as it could mean something more dangerous than if your space heater is just turning off. Modern space heaters are far safer then the older ones of yesteryear, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t have their issues every once in a while. 



Similar to the problem above, a space heater turning off and then on multiple times may mean your air filter might be blocked. You might even notice a burning smell. This can be scary as space heaters can cause 43% of home fires and 85% of associated deaths As aforementioned, turn off your space heater and let it cool before opening it up and cleaning it. 

Please note: do not plug your space heater into a power strip. There is a very good chance that the power strip will not be able to handle the amount of power a space heater uses and can explode, causing sparks to fly and potential house fires. 

If you clean your space heater and it is still turning on and off, it is best to either get a new one if it is an older model or contact the manufacturer if you have a warranty. 

Final Thoughts on Space Heaters

Space heaters can definitely be a life saver in the cold winter months. However, it is best to make sure it is working properly and periodically cleaned. Simply keep an eye out for anything that seems out of the ordinary for your space heater whether that is not staying on or constantly turning on and off. It might just take a little bit of elbow grease to make sure your space heater is working properly and prevent something as horrible as a house fire or something as mild as lack of warmth. If it is just time to get a new one, we totally understand and welcome you into a new, warmer, embrace. There are so many high-tech space heaters out there that you will find the best one for you, your home or office space. Keep warm this winter!