For a small room such as a tack room, a portable (space) heater is the only reasonable low-cost option. A space heater can be used safely, but you'll need to have strict guidelines for its purchase, and strict guidelines for its operation. Get a low profile heater that:
- Has a built-in thermostat so it will shut off when the space reaches a certain temperature.
- Has an automatic safety overheating shutoff. It will shut off before overheating.
- Has an automatic tip shutoff. It will shut off automatically if tipped over.
- In addition to the above, look for one that has a cover over the heating elements and has a low profile so it's less likely to tip over.
Below is a link to an inexpensive version from Lowe’s that has the desired safety features:
For safe operations, we recommend the following:
- The heater must be placed in a specific, dedicated space in the tack room.
- Nothing should be placed within three feet of the heater. Attach bright colored tape on the floor around the heater and post a sign explaining that for everyone's safety, the heater must stay in the taped boundary.
- Always plug directly into a wall outlet and never use an extension cord. If you don't have a wall outlet in the location where the heater will be placed, then have one installed.
- Keep the floor clean in the tack room.
- Post a sign asking your boarders to shut off the heater when they leave.
If your boarders do not follow the safety guidelines for the heater, then remove it. But I bet they will in order to have a toasty place to warm up.
For further information, visit this Energy.gov link: http://energy.gov/energysaver/artic...e-heaters.
This article was written by Tony Cochrane of Animal Arts.