Tag: Space Heaters

Space Heaters for Your home vs Infrared

Space HeatersIt is winter time and many people will resort to some kind of space heater to keep a room warm without the need to heat the rest of the home. For example you  can be very comfortable in your family room with a space heater running in that room while the remainder of the home is kept cooler and saving you money on the heating cost.

There are various types of space heaters. We talked about two types in the title, the infrared and the regular space heater. We will explain the difference in a moment. There is at least one more type of space heater and really that is the fireplace that can be used to keep one room warmer than another. We will first talk about the different types and them discuss the efficiency of each type.

Space Heater Types

Fireplaces typically are built into a room and cannot be moved around. They may be either wood burning or they may have gas fired fireplaces inserted to avoid having the trouble of carting in wood and lighting fires etc.

Space heatersgenerate heat by converting electricity to heat. They heat the elements of the space heater which in turn transmit heat to the air around the space heater. Some come with fans which will circulate this heated air around the room and speed up the process of warming the room. These space heaters can become quite hot and both adults and children need to be careful around them to avoid touching them and burning their hands.

Infrared Space Heaters generate heat in the infrared spectrum. They do not heat the air around them at all. The infrared spectrum will heat a surface with the light waves encounter a surface such as a person. Aimed properly a person can sit in a cold room and be quite comfortable as long as the infrared rays are hitting the person. There is no danger from anything hot, although some people may find the light a bit bright especially for sleeping.

Efficiency of these Space Heaters

Efficiency is difficult to measure for many devices, so we will indicate averages that may be available from various space heaters.

The wood fireplace is probably the most inefficient, since most of the hot air goes up the chimney and in fact it draws warm air from your home into the fireplace which then goes up the chimney. All wood burning chimneys must have a source of fresh air, otherwise they will not burn properly and may even cause smoke to come into your home instead of go up the chimney. Modern wood burning fireplaces will have a fresh air intake installed around the fireplace to reduce the amount of air extracted from the home and provide a source of fresh air.

The gas fireplace has it owns source of fresh air and in fact is a self contained unit. They are much more efficient than wood burning fireplaces. Older models were approximately 70% efficient without a fan and close to 80% efficient with a fan to blow the warm air around the fireplace into the rest of the home. Never the less these gas fireplaces perform well and will keep a small room like a family room very comfortable. You can allow the rest of the home to be quite cool while you remain comfortable in the room were the gas fireplace is located.

Infrared and regular Space Heaters claim to be 100% efficient. While they are very close to being 100%, they are actually a bit less than 100% since some electrical energy is lost in the transmission of the electricity and if there is a fan, some energy will be lost in the operation of the fan. They are so close that many people just consider them to be 100% efficient for marketing purposes.

Summary

Never the less these small space heaters are an inexpensive alternative to keeping your entire home warm, when all you need is the room where you spend most of your time to be kept warm. Some space heaters will also have timers on them allowing the owner to set them to coincide with rates that are lower during the day usually in the evening.


Space Heaters for Your Home

oil filled space heatersLast month we did a post on Heating with Electric Ceramic Space Heaters and we wanted to follow-up with another post because we just saw this same heater at a reduced price at Cosco for $39, down from $69! This particular heater has not only a thermostat on it, it also has a built-in timer so that you can set the start time and the finish time. They are perfect for bedrooms when you want your room to be warm when you go to bed and then turn off sometime during the night.

My wife just loves this heater, since our bedroom has always been cold and now she finds it far more comfortable. Before we purchased this heater, we had to crank up the thermostat so that downstairs was too hot , just to get a bedroom to a proper temperature. You can read more from the original post at the following link: http://rhucs.com/heating-with-electric-ceramic-space-heaters/

We are very happy so far with this particular space heater. Set the thermostat, set the time and plug it in, your done. It is that easy and the only time you really have to check on it is if the power goes off and the internal clock must be reset. It is also on wheels so if you need to change the position of the space heater, it is very easy to do. Simply unplug it and mover it to another location and plug it in again.

Positioning of Space Heaters

Regarding positioning of the space heater, the instruction booklets indicates that it should be placed under a window. Cold air from the window is descending to the floor and moving across the floor normally. With this heater in place, the air is heated as it falls and begins to rise again. No more cold drafts with the heater placed in the correct position!

I almost purchased a second space heater of this type to go in one of the bathrooms. Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into a really warm comfortable bath room in the morning? At $39 we are seriously thinking about buying one more just for the bathroom. I have a second smaller ceramic space heater for my den to keep my legs warm in the morning. Now before you think I am some kind of softy, this is all about comfort while saving some money at the same time which is what this web site is all about.

We turn the heat down at night now to save energy and use these space heaters to heat just the room we are in. Sometimes I will get up really early before the furnace comes on to warm the house up. I have this small space heater in my den. I make a coffee, close the door to the den and turn on this small space heater. Within minutes, I am very comfortable and warm. We save a lot of energy this way and avoid those higher heating bills.

Reduce your overall heating costs, while at the same time remaining comfortable in the rooms you work in most of the day. Why heat the entire home, when you are only in one room? If I was by myself, I would definitely consider just heating the rooms that I spent the most time in. I would turn down the thermostat on the central heating system and just heat the rooms I use most of the time during the winter.  This would save on the overall heating costs during the winter, plus provide me with comfort when and where I needed it. No need to keep a big house warm all of the time.

We love to hear from readers about other ideas for saving money and staying warm in the winter time. Leave us your comments and if they are constructive and informational we will be happy to post them. If you leave a constructive well written related  comment, we will even give you a link back as well.

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Heating with Electric Ceramic Space Heaters

Electric Ceramic Space HeatersThis post may be interesting to people living in colder climates and are trying to save money on their heating bill without being cold all of the time in their homes. If your home is heated by natural gas or oil and you have a central furnace, then your entire house is kept at the same temperature throughout. Why heat the entire house when you need to only heat the rooms you spend the most time in? By heating only the rooms you actually spend time in can reduce your heating cost.

This year we are trying to keep the house cooler during the day and the evening and using a combination of a gas fireplace and small electric ceramic space heaters to keep the rooms warm were we spend a lot of time. For example our furnace temperature is set to 19C or 66F, which is pretty cool for many people.

Our family room and kitchen is an open concept and we use the gas fireplace in the family room to heat this are of the home and bring the temperature of this area up to 22C or 71F!  The rest of the house stays cool and we save on the natural gas consumption since we are not heating the rest of the home. At night we turn off the gas fireplace and we allow the temperature in our home go down to 16C or 61F! Pretty cool!

Electric Ceramic Space Heaters – Temperature

Now some people might consider this to be really cold, however we have a space heater in our bedroom which brings the temperature up to a comfortable level. It has a time and automatically heats the room for us before we go to bed. We can set the temperature at whatever we wish so that we are comfortable through the night.

In my office, I also have a small ceramic heater, which heats the room to a comfortable temperature while the rest of the home is kept cool. This seems to work well for us and we save on our natural gas usage, as well as electricity since the furnace is running less and not consuming electricity when the fan is running. Of course we are consuming electricity by using these small heaters, however this is much less than what would be used normally.

In theory this should all work and we should save money on our overall consumption of natural gas and electricity. However it really does depend on the rates you pay for electricity and natural gas.  It is really tough to figure out unless you have all of the facts.

You will definitely save energy and probably money as well by following this approach and enduring the cold in your home and the complaints from your family, however is it all worth it  from a dollars and cents perspective?

The facts I have are as follows:

  • Furnace is 85% efficient
  • DC motor which uses less electricity
  • Our home is 2500 square feet
  • Gas costs about .09 per CCF
  • Electricity costs about .06 per KW at night and .11 during the day
  • The ceramic heaters use 1.5kw’s per hour

Approximate your Savings

Now it is pretty hard to figure out what you are going to save based on consumption etc, so we will make  some approximations which will get us close to the number.  For example if you annual heating bill was $1800 and you kept the temperature at 72F all of the time and then reduce the average temp in all of the house to 64, the percentage decrease is  18%. Apply this against your annual cost and you should save around $330 per year.

Now as we mentioned your family might disown you if this was the temperature throughout the house all of the time, so adding electric space heaters in the most used rooms can make it more comfortable. We have seen oil filled heaters for around $80 and they take about 1.5kw per hour to run. Using our rates for the day time, this is going to cost you approximately $50 over the year to heat one room. Same thing with heating your bedroom at night. So you are probably looking at a cost $160 for two heaters and increased electricity cost of $100 for both heaters or a total of $260.

Of course your furnace will be running less, however we have not factored this into the equation. Based on this crude approximation you are going to be saving roughly $70 the first year and then $230 every year after that based on current rates.

Not a huge savings, however every dollar counts and it is better in your pocket than someone else’s. It does get better over time. You can use this approach to figure out what the savings might be for you depending on your homes size and current energy usage.

Sources of Electrical Power

If you are concerned about the environment, you also have to take into account how your energy is produced. When you burn natural gas, you are burning a fossil fuel and depleting the earth’s resources.  The same goes for electricity generated by coal or oil  fired plants . However if your electricity is produced by nuclear power plants that brings up an entire other issue in terms of the overall safety of these plants. You may not want to encourage investment in more of these plants by using this type of electricity. Electricity produced by dams is far better and does not pollute the environment, although there are 1000’s of acres that are now under water . You have to decide which one you are going to support.

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