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  1. #1
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    Electric Space Heaters

    If anyone happens to know anything about these I have a couple questions.

    Any idea, roughly, what one would add to my electricity bill. Let's say 8 hours a day 20 days a month.

    Can anyone recommend one? This would be for a room that's about 12 x 12 feet and is part of a small apartment. I work at home and I'm thinking I'll only hear the room I work in during the day as my gas heat isn't efficient at all and heat bills get pretty high because it's all or nothing.
    I'd like it to be quiet and portable.

    Thanks, Let me know if I left out any necessary information that would help pick the right one.
    I have googled and it's a bit overwhelming. They all say they work but there must be some difference between the $10 and the $800 options.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    If anyone happens to know anything about these I have a couple questions.

    Any idea, roughly, what one would add to my electricity bill. Let's say 8 hours a day 20 days a month.

    Can anyone recommend one? This would be for a room that's about 12 x 12 feet and is part of a small apartment. I work at home and I'm thinking I'll only hear the room I work in during the day as my gas heat isn't efficient at all and heat bills get pretty high because it's all or nothing.
    I'd like it to be quiet and portable.

    Thanks, Let me know if I left out any necessary information that would help pick the right one.
    I have googled and it's a bit overwhelming. They all say they work but there must be some difference between the $10 and the $800 options.
    Here is how your figure it out
    take the heater wattage (usually a max of 1500 watts) * # of hours * cost per kilowatt hour

    The average energy cost is about 12 cents per kilowatt-hour

    1.5 * 8 * .12 = $1.44 per day if you use it 8 hours

    When it come to power, watts is watts when comparing heaters

  3. #3
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    Thank you. I didn't think the cost of running one would be a deal breaker but that's MUCH better than I would have guessed. So much so that I'll probably stop using my gas heat entrirely and just use a couple of those.

  4. #4
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    Try running an HP blade server with 6 2000W power supplies.. my wife finally made me turn them off after years of 350 a month electricity bills.. but it did heat up half the house

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Thank you. I didn't think the cost of running one would be a deal breaker but that's MUCH better than I would have guessed. So much so that I'll probably stop using my gas heat entrirely and just use a couple of those.
    Take a look at you electricity bill and use the cost per KWh on that. I used 12 cents as an average but yours could be more or less. Also the rate may vary based on usage. Here in southern NJ the cost is lower up to some threshold and than after that the rate gets higher.

  6. #6
    Forever a Student
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    I strongly suggest the oil filled ones on wheels.

    I suggest against any sort of ceramic unit or anything with any sort of fan.

    Wheel the oil unit to the center of the room, give it time, it's the best.

    use a torque wrench

  7. #7
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    Agree with MMsRepBike on the oil-filled units. Also, there are 3.4 BTUs per watt if you want to try guesstimating your load. You may find that you don't need to run the heater full blast, particularly if there is heated space below you.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtrac View Post
    Agree with MMsRepBike on the oil-filled units. Also, there are 3.4 BTUs per watt if you want to try guesstimating your load. You may find that you don't need to run the heater full blast, particularly if there is heated space below you.
    Thank you both.

    What is it you like about the oil radiator style ones compared to others? I'm guessing they are dead silent and that's at least part of the reason.

  9. #9
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    Is this a temporary solution, or something more permanent. Space heaters, even oil ones, have been known to be fire hazards in the past.

    If you are looking for something a little more permanent, I would recommend baseboard heaters if you want to go cheap. Or those (Mitsubishi makes one) ductless per room units. figure around $2k to 3k per room. The only real requirement is that there be an external wall in the room to mount the blower inside, and condenser outside.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    What is it you like about the oil radiator style ones compared to others?
    Quiet, even heat. Note that they do take a few minutes to warm up, but if you're in there all day long then that shouldn't matter much.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Thank you both.

    What is it you like about the oil radiator style ones compared to others? I'm guessing they are dead silent and that's at least part of the reason.
    Humidity in the area is maintained better than with any other style heater I've ever used. Keeps the humidity in the room fairly constant and even.

    Heats in a more even manner, it's slower for sure but noticeably more even around the whole room.

    The unit itself holds heat fairly well and it doesn't take much electricity to keep it running once it's established and the room is warm. I find them to be the most economical.
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  12. #12
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    Sounds like oil radiator is the ticket then. Thanks again.

  13. #13
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    Get one with a thermostat!!!!!
    Oil ones are quiet, if you want fast heat, you'll need to get one with a fan.
    If this heater is the only heat and it is an outside room, oil would be nice and quiet.
    If this just augments your central unit, like mine, I just use a fan ceramic to heat the room while I'm in it.
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  14. #14
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    If you are going to rely on an electric heater, I would add a fan to circulate the air around the apartment. And if you really want to be economical, and if it's just yourself, get an electric blanket to stay warm when you're just chilling out.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    I strongly suggest the oil filled ones on wheels.
    yes. this. i even like the way they look.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanE View Post
    If you are going to rely on an electric heater, I would add a fan to circulate the air around the apartment. And if you really want to be economical, and if it's just yourself, get an electric blanket to stay warm when you're just chilling out.
    I live in a small apartment and also work here on a computer at a desk. This is my first winter working at home so I'm adjusting.
    I'm super cheap and usually don't mind being cold so I have the 'living' with very little heat thing down pretty well. But blankets cramp my style for working at a computer. So I was thinking I'd heat just the room I work in.....then when someone estimated the price of heating one room it got me to thinking I might try heating the whole place that way, when needed, because it might be cheaper than my regular gas heat.

    I used to only use heat when I was concerned about pipes freezing. But letting it get that cold isn't working for me when working at a computer.

  17. #17
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    We have an oil unit and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. Used it for years in our spare room/office in Toronto, which had no ductwork from the HVAC, three outside walls and three windows. That room was one of the most pleasant in the house during the winter.
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  18. #18
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    Electric heat is pretty inefficient, especially when you are talking about plug in heaters which really can't use more than 1500 watts (about 5100 BTU) before tripping your circuit breaker. A kerosene heater will easily put out 5, 10, or perhaps even 20x as much. when you get over 75,000 BTU you get closer to furnace output, which is still currently most cheaply heated with natural gas (1 therm is 100,000 BTUs, currently priced under 40 cents). So your 1500 watt heater would have to run 20 hours to put out one therm, which would be 30KWatts, which at around 20 cents per Kwatt (delivered) is $6. Even if you have an off-peak rate at 11 cents it would still be way more expensive than natural gas.
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  19. #19
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    Agree like everyone else - get an oil filled unit. These are very quiet. Get a decent brand, like Delonghi, who have made these for a long time. I've used one for over 40 years, they work great. Forget the dumb extra cost stuff like digital controls. This unit has all you need, they made a similar one in white, but black will radiate better.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002PLQ4T8..._t1_B000TGDGLU

    On costs - around here (upstate NY), electricity delivered costs $0.14/kWh, ($4.20 therm) and a gas therm delivered, depending on volume can cost up to 1.69/therm. No question gas is cheaper, but you need to look at your costs - in New England due to lack of gas pipelines servicing the geography, gas can be pretty expensive compared to the rest of country.
    It also depends on how efficient your gas furnace is, old ones can be less effective, and of course, the idea of heating the whole space versus one room.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z'mer View Post
    Agree like everyone else - get an oil filled unit. These are very quiet. Get a decent brand, like Delonghi, who have made these for a long time. I've used one for over 40 years, they work great. Forget the dumb extra cost stuff like digital controls. This unit has all you need, they made a similar one in white, but black will radiate better.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002PLQ4T8..._t1_B000TGDGLU

    On costs - around here (upstate NY), electricity delivered costs $0.14/kWh, ($4.20 therm) and a gas therm delivered, depending on volume can cost up to 1.69/therm. No question gas is cheaper, but you need to look at your costs - in New England due to lack of gas pipelines servicing the geography, gas can be pretty expensive compared to the rest of country.
    It also depends on how efficient your gas furnace is, old ones can be less effective, and of course, the idea of heating the whole space versus one room.
    Agree about digital stuff. I like knobs.

    I'm pretty sure my gas furnace sucks efficiency wise. But regardless of that and the cost of gas vs electric I'm guessing I'll still save by heating just one room as opposed to all or nothing with the heat built in to my apartment. We'll see about that though.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Agree about digital stuff. I like knobs.

    I'm pretty sure my gas furnace sucks efficiency wise. But regardless of that and the cost of gas vs electric I'm guessing I'll still save by heating just one room as opposed to all or nothing with the heat built in to my apartment. We'll see about that though.

    Have you asked your landlord about using an oil heater? Your lease might even have language about it.

    Shenanigans like this would make the landlords I put up with in upstate NY nervous...course back then they didn't ding me for heat used.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Have you asked your landlord about using an oil heater? Your lease might even have language about it.

    Shenanigans like this would make the landlords I put up with in upstate NY nervous...course back then they didn't ding me for heat used.
    No. Why would you consider an electric heater to be Shenanigans? I don't see how it's any different from plugging in a TV, microwave or whatever.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    No. Why would you consider an electric heater to be Shenanigans? I don't see how it's any different from plugging in a TV, microwave or whatever.
    Say an air-headed tenant leaves one on and unattended. Can leak oil ruining carpets, and/or lead to fire. Yes, extreme circumstance, but IRL if you can name it or think of it then it has happened...and ended up being fought out in courts regarding liability.

    Also by not heating your entire apartment, depending on the building design, can cause problems for pipes with water in them.


    Not saying don't do it....just saying ask your prop owner before spending bucks on something your manager might object to.
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  24. #24
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    I used to have an upstairs bedroom that had no heat register, so an electric baseboard heater kept it warm in the winter. In fact, it allowed us to turn the heat down in the rest of the house while sleeping.

    I used to have a radiant heater in an office, and it kept my body warm, without heating up the rest of the room, and was quite efficient, too.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  25. #25
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    On the safety issue - of all the plug in electric heater designs one could buy, the oil filled type is by far the safest. There is no danger of the unit getting so hot it will set drapes on fire, and most have tip over switches.
    I've seen them used in high end international hotels where picky customers can't stand the noise of the the normal air blown room heating unit. See
    https://www.air-n-water.com/heater_safe.htm

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