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doser

Infrared Heaters

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Anyone have one of these new heaters or any experiemnets with these? I know I see them advertised more and more in the last couple yrs. with the price of fuel going up. I know there are a couple different brands. EdenPure being the most popular aas well as iheater. I did a little research via the internet and read some reviews . Seems some people love them and some people claim they are a scam. I know my brother in-law purchased one and swears by it. Says his furnance only runs half the amount of time as it did before and no longer gets bloody nosses either.

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I have propane and I was told your elec. may go up 50-60 bucks a month with these things ,but you'll say anywhere from $150-200 bucks on propane. I just filled my 500 gal tank the other day at $2.09 a gal and it cost me about $ 750 bucks. Last year I spend over $2400 on propane. I also have my water heater powered by propane too as well as gas stove and have vaulted ceilings.

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To me this is such a scam, sort of.

1.

It takes X number of BTU's per hour to maintain your home's temperature. That is a given. Whether you do it by combustible fuel, electricity, solar, or any other method makes no difference.

2.

Electric heat is nearly 100% efficient in nearly all cases. It doesn't matter if they imbellish their claims with fancy terms like ceramic, infrared, oil-filled, or whatever the result is the same.

3.

1 BTU = .293 watt-hours of electric energy. This is a constant.

4.

Whether you pay $400.00 for some fancy wood-framed heater rated at 1500w or $10 for any run-of-the-mill portable heater rated at 1500w, the cost to operate the heaters and the output energy from each will be the same....1,500w or approximately 5,000 BTU per hour.

5.

The only way that the addition of an electric space heater will reduce your overall heating bill is if you somehow offset the cost of the electricity and the heater by reducing the temperature in the rest of the house. Typically this will require that you lower your house temperature by about 10 degrees or more for a significant percentage of your day, depending on your electric rate.

6.

In most cases, electric heat is more expensive than other forms and that's why you have to cool the rest of the house to compensate in order to save money with a space heater. Here's a few examples to compare. Note: the efficiencies and fuel costs are used for comparison.

Electricity (100% eff.) @ $.10/KWH = $2.93 per 100,000 BTU

Fuel oil (80% eff.) @ $3.00/gal. = $2.64 per 100,000 BTU

Propane (85% eff.) @ $2.20/gal. = $2.81 per 100,000 BTU

Natural gas (85% eff.) @ $1.50/therm, = $1.76 per 100,000 BTU

6.

Unless the cosmetic appearance of the heater is important enough for you to pay $200 plus, don't waste your money.

Bob

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When talking about electricity you can obtain significant savings with a dual heat electric. I installed a plenum heater last year and and the BTU price is 4.82 cents per kilowat. Also most older fuel oil furnaces do not optain 80% efficiency. Last winter in the month of February my electic was 130.00 where exclusive fuel oil would have been about $450.00. The cost to install was about 1800 until I had to upgrade my service panel from 100 amp to 200 amp.

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Another consideration if you opt to install dual-fuel heating. Some power companies have incentives to help with the cost. I installed mine myself and with the rebates I received from the power company I was almost able to do it without cost. The power company supplied the relay enclosure, solid state controls, and meter enclosure. Then they had it inspected and locked.

Unfortunately for me a plenum heater wouldn't work. Low ceiling. I installed baseboard heat throughout. I included it in my remodeling project, which made it much easier than to do it after the fact.

Right now, my dual fuel electric rate is just a bit over $.04/KWH. My fuel oil furnace is only 3 years old and new was rated at 83% eff. Using that value I was able to calculate the break-even point at about $1.50/gal. right now. Last I checked it is considerably higher than that.

With my dual fuel electric rate, it is by far the most reasonable heating system. Beating out all other combustible forms including wood, oil, LP, or Nat. Gas. This would not be the case at full electric rate however.

Bob

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It’s easy to calculate what it might cost to run a space heater. Since electric heaters are virtually 100% efficient, you don’t have to consider it in your calculation.

(Heater rated output watts) X (est. avg. hours of use) X (electric rate per KWH) / 1000 = est. monthly cost to operate.

Most of these space heaters will be 1500w or less, which could be enough to heat a 150 square foot room. Assuming it will be used an average of 10 hours per day we can estimate roughly 300 hours per month. Finally, let’s assume the electric rate is $.10 per kilowatt-hour.

1500 X 300 X .10 / 1000 = $45.00 per month. Remember now, during the time this heater is running, the house heating system will also be running to maintain your set temperature. According to our electric supply company, you’ll have to lower your house set point by at least 8 degrees while using the space heater in order to offset the cost of operating the heater.

The advertised claims that it “costs pennies per hour” is true. Again, referring to our formula, we can calculate it.

1500w X 1hr X $.10KWH / 1000 = $.15 per hour. Many hours a month can add up.

1500 watts is 1500 watts. It doesn’t matter how pretty the package is that they come from.

Bob

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Let's revisit this topic in the spring.

My neighbor said he bought several of the Amish heaters and is considering heating his repair garage with one (he usually has a wood fire going). He said one of the daughters figures she paid 8 cents a day to heat her basement last winter. He gave one to another daughter who is plenty cautious with the buck and we'll see what her results are.

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We can but I can assure you the math is the same regardless of where it is used. The Amish heaters you refer to are 1500 watt heaters. If they run at full power continuously and your electricity costs you $.10 per kilowatt-hour it will cost you $.15 per hour to operate that heater.

Bob

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BobT, thanks for the numbers, have had the same basic thoughts since they came out with those htrs. Son called the other night wondering about some electric fireplace htr at "bunards". I told him if he needs one to save his money and buy the cheapest 1500 watt he can find. Simple logic, right?

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Basically, what you're buying when you buy anything more than a $20.00 heater are a couple things.

1.

Cosmetics. Let's face it. A milk-house heater won't look as nice sitting on the living room floor as one of those hand-crafted Amish fireplace imitations. That nice wood frame isn't cheap.

2.

Safety. Some of those small cheap heaters may not have safety switches in them to prevent over-heating or perhaps they are more prone to tipping over. A valid consideration depending on how and where you plan on using it.

3.

Maybe quality. A cheaper heater may on average have a shorter life span. I can't say this for sure but I would guess that as with everything else, you sometimes get what you pay for. But then, you can buy 10 or 15 cheap heaters before you'll pay for one of those $250 units.

The point is, neither one will be more or less efficient than the other and in terms of energy consumption, comparing apples to apples, they are all red delicious.

Bob

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BobT is absolutely correct. There is no energy genie. There is a lot of hype out there when it comes to this subject. It is nice to see someone put it on the line so we can make good decisions. When it comes to heating your home and upgrading systems or providing spot heat, you have to run the numbers and his information will help you do so. I replaced my heating system last march and had to run the same numbers to make my decisions. Thank you BobT for the comments

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I don't think that anyone expects a miracle. The math only changes with the cost per supplier charge and the R value of the space.

The neighbor wants to figure if he can heat the same space for less than what he pays for wood. There seems to be a difference between rural/city charges for electric and oil/gas/propane.

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Don't get me wrong. You can save on heating costs using an electric space heater provided you lower the entire house temperature while using the space heater. Heating a small space costs less than a large one.

According to information I have gathered, you need to lower the house approximately 8-10 degrees and then use the space heater to heat only the room you're using. This was based on an electric rate of $.08 per kilowatt-hour and not trying to heat the space to a temperature higher than your usual set point.

For exmaple, if you normally keep your whole house at 70 degrees, you might be able to realize savings by lowering your house temperature to 62 degrees or lower and then using a space heater to keep your living room at 70 degrees while you are using the room.

Also remember that a 1500w heater will only be able to adequately heat a room approximately 150 square feet. If the room is much larger it would be like trying to heat your garage with a candle. Okay, that might be a bit extreme.

Bob

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after reading all the posts its all good information. and thank you of all of it. I personally have an edenpure and love it. i have a natural gas furnace, stove, water heater and cloths dryer. maybe it is not what they seem, but for me that heater saved me about 300 dollars last winter.

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Unfortunately there's no way to really know what you saved because there's no way to duplicate the conditions in order to compare.

Each day has a different influence. Was the climate colder or warmer, calm or windy, cloudy or sunny, humid or dry? How many times was the front door opened and for how long? Were the draperies, curtains, or blinds drawn or open and when? Did we use the clothes dryer or not? Did we turn on the ceiling fan? Was our temperature set point higher or lower? Was our heating system working at the same efficiency?

There are even other less significant influences, but influences none-the-less. How many lights were used? For how long and at what wattage? How many appliances were used and for how long? Did I use the television, computer, or stereo and for how long? How many people were inside the home? Was there more or less snow on the roof?

All these things and more effect how well our homes hold their temperature setting. Without a controlled experiment, it's not really possible to determine true savings.

Bob

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I bought one of the heaters that Paul Harvey endorses... Plugged it in and it heated great. I recieved my electric and gas bill and it was $450 much higher than my normal $250 bill. I sold it on eby the next day..

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The thing about electricity is that because it is sold by the Kilowatt-hour, it sounds inexpensive. You can't beat $.08 per Kwatt-hour....or can you? Also, we are often fooled into thinking higher efficiency means less costly. This is only true when comparing the efficiency of two devices using the same fuel source.

Truth is, comparing BTU to BTU electric heat at normal rates is one of the most expensive methods of heating a building even though it is one of the most efficient at 100%.

Bob

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