Saturday, August 24, 2013

What's the most efficient/cheapest way to heat a room using electricity without using a heat pump?

electric fireplace 36 insert
 on Built-In Electric Fireplaces, Fireboxes & Inserts
electric fireplace 36 insert image



helpfulhan


Is there a little heater that is more efficient and least expensive (in terms of electricity use) than others in heating a room? I have problems with my heat pump--it takes several hours to warm the house from 43 degrees to 50 degrees, and so I don't want to use it. I'm wondering what the alternatives are.

Also, does anyone know a solution to the problems of using a fireplace? I understand that unless there is a direct source of oxygen near the fireplace, that the fire in the fireplace will use up all existing oxygen in the room it is heating, and this creates a vacuum, which results in cold air being sucked into the house from outside through every crack and cranny in doors and windows to replace that oxygen. This therefore results in colder rooms in the rest of the house that are not being heated by the fire in the fireplace, since they now have cold air streaming in from outside in response to that vacuum created by the fire in the fireplace. So is the solution to remove a brick from the back of the fireplace everytime you want a fire, so that it gets oxygen continuously? Or some other way, like leaving a window open in that room--which seems to me to contradict the purpose of the fire, which is to heat that room. A bit hard to do with cold air blowing in to sustain the fire.

thanks for your responses.



Answer
Resistance heating with electricity is more expensive than using the heat pump. But you have to get the heat pump fixed.

A 120vac 1200 watt heater will warm up a room, but it will have to run continuously. It can't replace the heat lost through the walls and windows fast enough. If your electric rate is $0.12 / kwhr, it will cost you $0.14 per hour to run. If it runs 24 hrs, it will cost you $3.36 per day = $100.00 per month added to your current electric bill.

This site says heat pumps are about 30% to 40% cheaper to run.
http://www.ehow.com/about_5620294_heat-pump-vs_-electric-heat.html

Burning up oxygen does not create the vacuum that draws in cold air. It's the heat generating an updraft in the chimney that draws in the cold air. And yes, you need a source of oxygen to sustain life and a fire. A fireplace is no longer considered a primary heating source for the home. You can buy an insert to increase the efficiency, but that money might be used to repair the heat pump.

I'm reluctant to recommend any alternative heating sources because I don't know your home or the environment.

We used a small, 1500 watt forced air electric heater in our pop-up camper. It did fairly well in an 8' x 22' un-insulated camper. We had the doors and windows sealed.




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