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Old 01-11-2012, 05:25 PM   #1
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Electric wall heaters


Was curious how many of you guys, if any, have played with the newer electric wall heaters? I'm looking at the farenheat smart series:

http://www.smartseriesheat.com/products/wall-heater/


I have a house that is roughly 900 square feet. It has a poorly installed steam system, that is way way over fired (boiler is like 130k btu), and the boiler seems to have some other issues. I have renovated the home, adding 700 additional square feet. Walls and ceiling are all insulated to 2010 energy standards including windows.

So anyhow, the home is primarily heated with wood stove. The sucker runs day and night, burning 5-6 cords per year. The oil system is to backup the stove when I'm not home, say I'm gone for 10 hours and I want to maintain 60 degrees.

I have to remove the boiler and re-do the system due to code violations anyway. Obviously I have a number of options, oil, propane, electric - forced hot water, forced air, etc. I've done some cost calculations and roughly propane and electricity are the same price per million btu's, and oil depending on the week, is a little cheaper or the same. Oil obviously needs to account for maint costs of the boiler. This is also based on the efficiencies of locally obtainable furnaces and devices, not a $5,000 mod/con boiler - aint happening.

So, I'm honestly thinking about putting one of these 2,000 watt units in each major room, and placing smaller units in the two bathrooms.

The other option is a propane fired forced hot air or water. I've priced out furnaces, duct work (or plumbing), and the initial costs are quite comparative with installing an electric unit in each room, but the labor is intense. Running ductwork in the old section of the house where the crawl space is less than 20 inches would be horrible. Even running pex/copper to support radiators wouldn't be fun.

So, who has used these units and what is your feedback?

-- Joe

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Old 01-11-2012, 05:34 PM   #2
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Electric wall heaters


Quote:
Originally Posted by anesthes View Post
Was curious how many of you guys, if any, have played with the newer electric wall heaters? I'm looking at the farenheat smart series:
I'd only use electric heat if I had NO OTHER choice whatsover
(or someone else was paying the power bill)

Quote:
I have a house that is roughly 900 square feet...
renovated the home, adding 700 additional square feet.
Walls and ceiling are all insulated...

It has a poorly installed steam system,
that is way way over fired (boiler is like 130k btu)...
This is your answer.
Run the pipe, scrounge up some radiators, put in a few valves.
There is NOTHING better than steam heat.

hth

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Old 01-11-2012, 05:47 PM   #3
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Electric wall heaters


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Originally Posted by anesthes View Post
. I've done some cost calculations and roughly propane and electricity are the same price per million btu's, and oil depending on the week, is a little cheaper or the same.

-- Joe
If that is really true (I doubt it) then it may be a good idea. I would first buy one and try it out, they can be noisy and the heat they put out may not heat the room evenly. You will need upgraded electric service too and that meter will spin!
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:04 PM   #4
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Electric wall heaters


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Originally Posted by bungalow_steve View Post
If that is really true (I doubt it) then it may be a good idea. I would first buy one and try it out, they can be noisy and the heat they put out may not heat the room evenly. You will need upgraded electric service too and that meter will spin!
I put a new panel, meter socket, SE in a couple years ago at 200A. So I'm ok there.

We're paying $3.50 / gallon for propane, and 13 cents per kwh for electric. That comes out to $40 / million BTU propane, and $41 / million BTU electric. If we use more wood, the propane goes up to $5.56 / gallon. (min 700 gallons to get the $3.50 rate). Electricity is always 13 cents.


It's not enough of a difference to matter. We're talking maybe $100 over the entirety of the heating system, and then if you add the cost of the power to run the (blower, circulators, whatever) it's null anyway.

But I'd like to hear of someone who has used THESE units. I've seen a million electric baseboards, but never a modern wall blower.


TarheelTerp - steam is. horrid. I've owned two houses now with steam. I'm done with it. You can come buy my radiators this spring at the garage sale

We're at the point where it's either electric, or forced hot air. Forced hot air is neat, but the install is outright hell in a crawl space!

-- Joe
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:17 PM   #5
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Electric wall heaters


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Originally Posted by anesthes View Post
I've owned two houses now with steam. I'm done with it.
fwiw... my sense is that your problem is with the controls...

The NEXT best heating choice is forced hot water.
You already have at least half of what that needs. Convert.[/quote]

Quote:
We're at the point where it's either electric, or forced hot air.
Forced hot air is neat, but the install is outright hell in a crawl space!
There is no way in the world I'd choose FHA over FHW or steam. Ever.
Especially not when it was already installed.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:13 PM   #6
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Electric wall heaters


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Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
fwiw... my sense is that your problem is with the controls...

The NEXT best heating choice is forced hot water.
You already have at least half of what that needs. Convert.
There is no way in the world I'd choose FHA over FHW or steam. Ever.
Especially not when it was already installed.[/quote]

The problem with both steam, and FHW is it takes 9 years to heat the house up. It's nice even heat, but it just takes forever.

Then, with FHW, it's the wall space issues.

The boiler I have is too big for the home anyway. Even if I put a smaller nozzle in it, it's over fired. Plus, I'm sick of oil.

-- Joe
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:20 PM   #7
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Electric wall heaters


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Originally Posted by anesthes View Post
I put a new panel, meter socket, SE in a couple years ago at 200A. So I'm ok there.

We're paying $3.50 / gallon for propane, and 13 cents per kwh for electric. That comes out to $40 / million BTU propane, and $41 / million BTU electric. If we use more wood, the propane goes up to $5.56 / gallon. (min 700 gallons to get the $3.50 rate). Electricity is always 13 cents.


It's not enough of a difference to matter. We're talking maybe $100 over the entirety of the heating system, and then if you add the cost of the power to run the (blower, circulators, whatever) it's null anyway.

But I'd like to hear of someone who has used THESE units. I've seen a million electric baseboards, but never a modern wall blower.
Ok, guess I'm used to $6/million BTU natural gas.

2000 watts delivers the same BTU's whether it's a $20 walmart spaceheater or $400 wall unit with a bunch of LED displays, you might try amazon for reviews
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:38 PM   #8
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Electric wall heaters


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Originally Posted by bungalow_steve View Post
Ok, guess I'm used to $6/million BTU natural gas.

2000 watts delivers the same BTU's whether it's a $20 walmart spaceheater or $400 wall unit with a bunch of LED displays, you might try amazon for reviews
$6 ? Har. We don't have NAT gas here. Propane or Oil.

I realize 2000 watts delivers the same BTU's but I wasn't sure of the overall efficiency of heating the room with the fan, and the logistics behind it being a box in the wall vs say a 8 foot baseboard.

-- Joe

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