Saturday, December 25, 2010
So there I am, shivering from being outside in the COLD, standing in front of the space heaters in the hardware store. I needed to buy one and I didn’t have a clue which one to get. The clerk couldn’t help, so I picked one on sale and took it home. Then I did some research and found that I had bought the wrong one.
I should have taken a page from my design training and really looked at what I needed before I bought one. So, to help you not make the same mistake, here is your space heater primer. ( These all refer to plug in electric heaters ).
To heat a whole room with a constant heat the best is an oil-filled radiator type. They take a bit longer to warm up but are very efficient. No fans though.
To heat a space with fan-driven heat: Ceramic heaters.
To heat a small space quickly, like your toes under the desk; choose a radiant heater. The feeling is like sitting in the sun. The most efficient of these are the halogen heaters; they work with the same principal as halogen light bulbs and come to temperature almost immediately.
Do you need a thermostat? auto shutoff? timer control? oscillating fan? Think about the answers before you go shopping.
NEVER use a space heater with anything other than the recommended extension cord. A regular household cord is not good enough, don’t risk it.
It would seem that a 1500 watt heater would be ‘better’ than an 800 watt heater. This is not necessarily so. An 800 watt radiant heater will do the job it was intended to do quite nicely.
How much does it cost to run one?
Divide the watts by 1000 and multiply by the cost of electricity per hour and you have your hourly cost. Here we pay 6 to 9 cents per kilowatt hour. Lets use 10 cents.
A 1500 watt heater: 1500 divided by 1000 = 1.5. Multiply this by 10 cents = 15 cents per hour. But, if an 800 watt heater is all you need, the cost drops to 8 cents per hour. A light bulb costs .6 of a cent per hour, a computer and monitor 4 cents, a fridge 10 cents.
I returned the heater; got the correct one and now I’m much warmer and I saved money too.