We leave our oven on with door open to heat our trailer Will that cause the ovens thermostat go out it's an electric stove with four burners to boil water also for heat.

  • Welcome to sustainability.SE! This question needs a bit more detail. Is this the only option you have for heat? Where is your electricity coming from? Do you know the make, model, or year of the oven? It's possible this question may be a better fit over at DIY.SE or cooking.SE.
    – LShaver
    Feb 6, 2017 at 3:36
  • 3
    Just to be clear with "door open" you mean the oven door open, right? Not the trailer door?
    – THelper
    Feb 6, 2017 at 7:52
  • 1
    Can you see if this question answers your question?
    – Earthliŋ
    Feb 7, 2017 at 8:21
  • lso, boiling water during a long period may cause humidity/moisture problems by increasing the amount of water in the air (and use a lot of water in order to maintain the boiling).
    – Phnix
    Feb 12, 2017 at 13:36

2 Answers 2


Have to start by saying, a much better idea to heat with an electric than with a gas stove: as mentioned in this excellent question, gas stoves emit toxic carbon monoxide.

Having said that, there are several major issues with heating with your electric oven, some of which this article from ehow.com points out:

  1. Melting dials, etc. Ovens are not designed to be run open, hence to do so can set up the risk of melting plastic dials or other plastic parts. That being said, provided you take standard precautions, it's probably not an issue.

  2. Breakdowns. This is obviously somewhat variable, but generally, I expect an oven to break down between 5-10 years, though one online article says you can expect 10-15 years. Obviously, the more you use the oven, the sooner it is likely to break. And needless to say, the cost of replacing or fixing a range is significantly higher than the cost of a space heater. You can easily get a decent space heater for well under a tenth of the price of an range. So even if your space heater only lasts 2-3 years and you need two of them to do the job of the oven, it comes out cheaper, plus giving a more even heat.

And I add two extras, which don't have to do with the oven itself, as your question, but as long as we're on the topic:

  1. Cost. There is a price tag attached to heating with an electric oven: the oven was designed for even heating of a cooking substance, not heating the outside air. Thus, it outputs less heat per amount of energy burned than a simple space heater, which is designed to pump all the hot air out quickly and evenly.

  2. Accidents. Obviously, if you ever have children around, an open oven at top temp is an invitation for disaster. Even for adults, a slip or a trip could result in burns. That being said, you could counter that issue by simply placing it in a safe place or erecting protective grill. This is obviously no worse than a wood or coal stove.

  • 3
    #2 is the strongest point. #3 isn't quite right - efficiency of converting electricity to heat will be about the same, but an oven will do a poor job of mixing the heat with the air in the room, thus being less effective as a space heater.
    – LShaver
    Feb 7, 2017 at 16:39
  • Fair point. I'll edit. Edit ...And done.
    – anonymous2
    Feb 7, 2017 at 16:39

The control system will keep sending current through the heating coils, as the temperature will never reach the set value. With the door closed, the temperature will rise to its set level and the insulation will make sure that the coils only have to switch on intermittently to maintain a constant temperature. With the door open and air continuously circulating, the coils will be working the whole time that the oven is switched on. So theoretically yes - The overall life of your oven will decrease.

  • Please do not repeat answers, This is point 2 in the other answer.
    – user2451
    Mar 7, 2017 at 13:03

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