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Old 10-13-2009, 02:57 PM   #1
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gas furnace vs 1 room electric heater


I spend most of my time in the same room, so I've been wondering what is cheaper, heat the whole house with the furnace at the temp I'm comfortable at, or keep furnace very low (like 15 degrees) and use a small electric heater in the room I'm in? Guess this really varies from region to region as prices differ, but just speaking mostly in general, what method is most efficient? I'm leaning towards the electric heater. I don't get cold easily so it would not be full blast or anything.

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Old 10-13-2009, 06:06 PM   #2
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you will need these calculators to help determine your precise cost:

http://www.builditsolar.com/Referenc...uelCompare.htm

http://www.heatershop.com/btu_calculator.htm

It helps if you know your furnace efficency rating too.

Lets take a 1000 sq ft house, and the room you are in is 100 sq ft.

It would take about 25000 BTU's to raise the temperature of the house minus the room 10 degrees,1000-100= 900 sq ft to heat. With a natural gas furnace at 80% efficeny it would cost 47 cents if your gas cost you $1.5 per therm.

To heat the 10 x 10 room 10 degrees it would take 4200 BTU's, and with electric it would cost you 16 cents at a cost of 12 cents per KWH.

So basically yes it would save you 2-3 times the money to keep the t-stat of the house say at 62 F deg, and heat the room to 70-72 deg F.

We do this at our house during the nightime, we let the house cool down to 62 and use electric heaters in the 2 bedrooms. If we start using 3 heaters then it makes sense to just let the furnace run and stop with the electric heaters.

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Old 10-13-2009, 06:47 PM   #3
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Hmm that's good to know. I'll have to do those calculations so I can get numbers that will match for me, but think that's what I'll do. If I put the heater near me I wont even have to set it all that high. I just need to ensure I get one that wont cause burns or a fire hazard. I have seen some pretty dangerous ones.
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Old 10-13-2009, 06:53 PM   #4
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If you plan on staying in the room for say a few hours then an oil filled radiator type would be fine. We use them in our bedroom. They dont have an exposed element so not too dangerous. Ours has a thermostat that you set or a timer function and has 3 wattage settings. The thing is they take a little while to warm up and stay warm for awhile once you shut it down, so as long as you are in the room for several hours you wont waste any heat.
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Old 10-13-2009, 07:04 PM   #5
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I use 2 heaters in mild and cold weather. A oil filled type by my sofa and a Honeywell 1500 watt baseboard type by my bay kitchen window where I sit and read the newspaper in the A.M. In mild weather they save wear and tear on the furnace/extend the life of the igniter etc. I like the heat by my sorry old butt so they work well and are comfy.
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Old 10-13-2009, 10:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creamaster View Post
If you plan on staying in the room for say a few hours then an oil filled radiator type would be fine. We use them in our bedroom. They dont have an exposed element so not too dangerous. Ours has a thermostat that you set or a timer function and has 3 wattage settings. The thing is they take a little while to warm up and stay warm for awhile once you shut it down, so as long as you are in the room for several hours you wont waste any heat.
That's actually what I was thinking of too. Think that's what I'll get. I have a programable thermostat so I have it set to turn up the furnace in the morning and turn it down most of the day, so I'd only use the heater in the computer room. New processors don't seem to put out the heat the older ones did. My old AMD 2000+ used to keep the room warm on it's own back at my parent's place, and I had a corner room.
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Old 10-13-2009, 10:42 PM   #7
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gas furnace vs 1 room electric heater


In our house, 62 is perfect for sleeping, and while we are gone. When we are home, the thermostat goes to 67. Today when I checked the temp, we only lost 1/2 a degree an hour for aprx. 4 hours. The temp went from 67 @ 8 am to 65 @ noon. Even at 65, the house felt great to be in.

I personally hate Electric heaters, because they are dangerous if you have children & pets, a mess if the oil filled type leaks, and Furnace motors are made for continuous use, so letting them cycle will not harm them any. Also, changing the temp of the thermostat all the time, kills what you are trying to save.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:10 PM   #8
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Are oil leaks common with those oil filled heaters? Or are they made pretty solid? That would really be a mess to cleanup if it cracked or something and let oil loose over the floor. :o

Other then that risk (which is hopefully very low) it seems like it may be the best solution for me, and from the sound of it they're quite safe.
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Old 10-15-2009, 05:07 PM   #9
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We have had our oil filled for 4 years and use it each winter during the night, it has not given us any problems. We also have been using 1 in our sons room for the past 2 years without problems. The models we have are Lakewood and Kenwood. The Kenwood is kinda kewl it has a small remote and a digital readout on the panel.
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Old 10-15-2009, 06:46 PM   #10
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Are oil leaks common with those oil filled heaters? Or are they made pretty solid?
Those oil-filled electric radiators have been around a long time (moreso in Europe than in North America) and they are very reliable. You shouldn't have any worries about leakage. A good brand is DeLonghi but any of them should be just fine.

http://www.delonghiusa.com/index.php?product&nid=25
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Old 10-15-2009, 08:10 PM   #11
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I was looking at these two as I can locally pick them up, anyone have experience with them?

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/brows...d%2BHeater.jsp

and

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/brows...2BRadiator.jsp


The first gives out less heat but I'm thinking that may be sufficient for a small room. The second has more heat and can be adjusted which is nice so if I bring it to a bigger room I can set it to the higher wattage setting. Think I'll go with the first though.
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Old 10-17-2009, 09:23 PM   #12
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gas furnace vs 1 room electric heater


Ended up going with the Lancaster one. At only 550w it does not warm the room that fast, but it does help. I placed it on a ceramic tile. I was hoping I would not need to keep it on all the time but it does seem to take a while to heat the room, but guess 550w is not that much, it's like having a couple incad lights on.

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