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electric heater efficiency

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Posted by james on November 26, 2010, 5:41 pm
 
Saw an ad for energy efficient heater, which prompted this question:

Aren't all electrical heater equally efficient in converting electricity to
heat?

If not, where do the lost energy go? Don't they all get converted to heat
sooner or later?

The only way I can think of to consume electricity and not generate heat is
to radiate off the energy as electromagnetic wave (radio wave, x-ray, etc)
which can radiate away into infinity and not generate heat.


Posted by vaughn on November 26, 2010, 6:28 pm
 


Yes, all resistance electric heaters are equally inefficient at converting
Watt-hours to BTUs.  Some heaters may be better than others at putting those
BTUs where the people are in the room.


There are some heaters that are being marketed with a generous dose of snake
oil.  I actually had some respect for Bob Vila before he hitched his name to
one.

The only electric heaters out there that can save any significant amount of
electricity are heat pumps.

Vaughn




Posted by John Gilmer on November 26, 2010, 10:28 pm
 

I know the ad you are talking about.

In the long version he does make a few valid points.   One is that there can
be significant heat loss via the duct work.

I guess one can believe or not believe the "thermographs" that use the heat
distribution is better from his "EdenPure" model than some other model.

I am a believer when it comes to using a small electric heater "where the
people are."   (Actually, where my wife & I are.)    We prefer a heater with
fan set at "low" setting (750 watts) so that I don't have to sweat
overloading the wire or tripping a breaker.


Again, Vila is right about the heat ducts.   Setting the house "stat" to a
lower temperature and using local electric heat might well save electricity
over all.

Things like electric blankets or electric matress pads can also make you
more confortable in a cool room for a fraction of the juice used by the heat
pump.

Since you mention the heat pump, if your's isn't completely computer
controlled and you are "handy" you might do what we did:   disconnect most
of the strip heaters.    when you do this, it only uses about 1/3 of the
power when the heat pump goes into de-frost mode which it must occasionally
when the outside temperature gets within a few degrees of 32F.   That all
depends on the details of how you system goes into defrost.



Posted by Josepi on November 26, 2010, 6:29 pm
 We went through  this wave of "Microfurnace" comes to mind years ago. The
ceramic heater and high-efficiency crap. It's all CRAP.

The Canadian Consumer and Corporate Affairs got involved last time and
deemed them the same efficiency.

Now if you get a graduated heater that can put out only the heat desired and
not cycle on and off for heat waves then you may save 1 or 2% or just be
more comfortable.

Careful about the ceramic puck heaters. We had one short out internally and
shoot flames out of the front. On a carpet it could be disasterous.

Save your money to buy a magnetic water softener...ROFLMFAO. We need bigger
prisons.


Saw an ad for energy efficient heater, which prompted this question:

Aren't all electrical heater equally efficient in converting electricity to
heat?

If not, where do the lost energy go? Don't they all get converted to heat
sooner or later?

The only way I can think of to consume electricity and not generate heat is
to radiate off the energy as electromagnetic wave (radio wave, x-ray, etc)
which can radiate away into infinity and not generate heat.




Posted by Jim Rojas on November 26, 2010, 6:36 pm
 Josepi wrote:

I live in Florida. To save money, I use the oil filled plug in heaters
that you can buy at Walmart. I set it on #3 setting, and use only the
lower element. It keeps the room nice and cozy. My central air heat pump
just uses too much power. There is no need to heat up rooms no one
sleeps in.

Jim Rojas


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