Space Heater Recommendations?

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2sls
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Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by 2sls » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:55 am

We rent a 2 bedroom townhouse(2 floors) which these old wall radiators that my friend who lived here previously said didn't do a good job of heating the apartment in the winter(we live in California).

1)We were thinking of getting a space heater for the bedroom so that it's not so cold when we wake up(some kind of timer that starts heating 1 hour before our wake time would be great).
2)I also care about energy expenditures so something efficient would be great.

Thanks!

hicabob
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by hicabob » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:57 am

2sls wrote:We rent a 2 bedroom townhouse(2 floors) which these old wall radiators that my friend who lived here previously said didn't do a good job of heating the apartment in the winter(we live in California).

1)We were thinking of getting a space heater for the bedroom so that it's not so cold when we wake up(some kind of timer that starts heating 1 hour before our wake time would be great).
2)I also care about energy expenditures so something efficient would be great.

Thanks!
electric space heaters are all essentially 100% efficient in converting electricity to heat

bungalow10
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by bungalow10 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:58 am

By radiator - do you mean baseboard heat, or an actual radiator with hot water running through it?

Is your wall radiator powered by electricity or by natural gas?

If it is baseboard heat, the heaters and thermostats are cheap - especially if electric. If it is a water-filled radiator, it just might need to be bled.

I would consider running a space heater only as a last resort.
Last edited by bungalow10 on Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tom_T
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by Tom_T » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:06 pm

Consumer Reports just reviewed electric space heaters, if you're interested.

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Toons
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by Toons » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:16 pm

We moved to Northeast Tennessee last year,where we wanted a portable space heater for the bedroom that would keep the room nice and warm during fall and winter nights,so that we could turn our propane fireplace OFF,until early morning.
Shopped around quite a bit and purchased the Lasko heater in link below.purchased from Walmart,really does a nice job and the heats the room quickly.
Amazon also carries Lasko products :happy

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Lasko-Cycloni ... r/17038557
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Default User BR
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by Default User BR » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:22 pm

These kind are unobtrusive and quiet, and are programmable:

http://www.laskoproducts.com/low-profile-heaters/


Brian

HogsAndApples
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by HogsAndApples » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:44 pm

I would be very hesitant to have a space heater running when I was sleeping. I might have one handy and turn it on when I got up, but not when sleeping.

Now, I might be totally wrong! ;) But, I thought this was standard advice.

2sls
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by 2sls » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:49 pm

The current wall heater looks something like this and I believe it is gas.

http://www.homedepot.com/buy/williams-m ... 09622.html

And thanks for the recommendations- I will check out Lasko's products.

bungalow10
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by bungalow10 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:52 pm

2sls wrote:The current wall heater looks something like this and I believe it is gas.

http://www.homedepot.com/buy/williams-m ... 09622.html

And thanks for the recommendations- I will check out Lasko's products.
Gas heat is going to be much more cost-effective than electric heat. I would have the building owner check the thermostat or find out why the heater isn't sufficient for the area. I wouldn't run an electric space heater - too dangerous and too expensive.
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brianH
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by brianH » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:02 pm

As hicabob mentioned, electric heaters are all going to be near enough to 100% efficiency that they are equivalent. Knowing that, I'd just find the cheapest one you can that seems sturdy. The biggest danger is it tipping over in use. Most have a shutoff, but if it tipped and fell onto something flammable, the still hot coils could ignite the material. Look for a model that has the coils recessed behind a outer screen/guard.

I have this model from Honeywell http://www.kaz.com/kaz/heaters/products ... -hz-341bl/, and some of the features are quite nice (remote, oscillation.)

I keep my house heat (heat pump) at 60F in the winter, and only heat the room I am in (office.) This saves me big $$$, since heating 1800sqft for only me would be silly.

2sls
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by 2sls » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:03 pm

bungalow10 wrote:
2sls wrote:The current wall heater looks something like this and I believe it is gas.

http://www.homedepot.com/buy/williams-m ... 09622.html

And thanks for the recommendations- I will check out Lasko's products.
Gas heat is going to be much more cost-effective than electric heat. I would have the building owner check the thermostat or find out why the heater isn't sufficient for the area. I wouldn't run an electric space heater - too dangerous and too expensive.
Ok I will ask him about this- part of the reason is that the wall unit is outside in the hallway on the second floor, so it just can't reach the bedroom very well- there is no heating otherwise in the bedroom.

bungalow10
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by bungalow10 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:06 pm

2sls wrote:
bungalow10 wrote:
2sls wrote:The current wall heater looks something like this and I believe it is gas.

http://www.homedepot.com/buy/williams-m ... 09622.html

And thanks for the recommendations- I will check out Lasko's products.
Gas heat is going to be much more cost-effective than electric heat. I would have the building owner check the thermostat or find out why the heater isn't sufficient for the area. I wouldn't run an electric space heater - too dangerous and too expensive.
Ok I will ask him about this- part of the reason is that the wall unit is outside in the hallway on the second floor, so it just can't reach the bedroom very well- there is no heating otherwise in the bedroom.
It also may be against your lease to run any extra heaters. However, normally to have a legal bedroom, you have to have a heat source. This is probably regional, but in northern states there is no way you would get away without heat in a bedroom.
An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and have a dime.

NateW
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by NateW » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:18 pm

Since its a rental, other than talking with the landlord to fix the existing heating system, or add insulation, I would not perform any building modifications.

As for a safe electric heater, we use the oil-filled radiator style and use it on cold nights. They don't get hot enough to start fires and work really well. Ours has three outputs: 600, 900, and 1500 watts.

Another option is to get an electric blanket. They work great and cost pennies a night to operate.

--Nate

2sls
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by 2sls » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:36 pm

NateW wrote:Since its a rental, other than talking with the landlord to fix the existing heating system, or add insulation, I would not perform any building modifications.

As for a safe electric heater, we use the oil-filled radiator style and use it on cold nights. They don't get hot enough to start fires and work really well. Ours has three outputs: 600, 900, and 1500 watts.

Another option is to get an electric blanket. They work great and cost pennies a night to operate.

--Nate
Hi Nate, can you say what is brand\product name of your oil based radiator so I can do some research on that? I guess I should be a little concerned about space heaters since we have pretty thick carpet throughout.

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dratkinson
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by dratkinson » Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:15 pm

I've seen new electric heaters for $250 at HD. But there is a much cheaper option.

Check with your local thrift store(s). It may require multiple trips over a few months until one is available. In this way, I've found several small electric heaters for less than $10. I believe the convection ones may be a little safer than the radiant ones. You want one with the thermostat, and over-temp and tip-over shutoff features. And the quieter the better (some are more noisy than others).

Plug it into a cheap (~$10) 1800 watt appliance timer and you should be all set for less than $20. Program it to come ON a couple of hours before you wake up and OFF when you leave for work.
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MathWizard
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by MathWizard » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:33 pm

+1 on the oil filled radiator style heater. $40 to $50 at Walmart or Target.
I've used them with a timer for months at a time when my MIL is visiting
to keep the kitchen floor warm. This was before we extended the heating
ducts into the unheated workshop below.
It does skyrocket your electric bill though.

Though I'd make sure that no drape or other combustible is against them,
I don't think that your could burn yourself by touching them.
Last edited by MathWizard on Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Atilla
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by Atilla » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:45 pm

A warm naked wife in bed is the best bedroom space heater I can think of. I usually wake up sweating a bit. :D
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thewizzer
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by thewizzer » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:59 pm

I also concur on the oil filled radiator style heaters. They are silent and don't get hot enough to burn you if you brush up against it (I would not recommend prolonged exposure, though). They do provide good heat, but it seems as though they do take a little while longer to heat a room.

I think the tip over protection is now a requirement, but I could be wrong on that.

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FNK
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by FNK » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:08 pm

I gather electricity is ridiculously expensive in CA. Here in the Northeast electricity is about 4 times more expensive than natural gas, joule for joule. It might be cheaper to overheat the hallway a little. Maybe add a fan to move warm air into the bedroom.

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camper
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by camper » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:16 pm

We use an oil filled radiator as well. We put it in our son's bedroom at night in the winter. We figure making his bedroom toasty with it rather than heating the whole house saves us some bucks. I'm sure DW picked it up at Target or Walmart.

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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by teigers » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:56 am

Tom_T wrote:Consumer Reports just reviewed electric space heaters, if you're interested.

They did, some key points from the article are as follows.

1) Choose the right type. Look for fast spot heating if you care more about quickly heating a room. Consider larger heaters if you like the look of wood. Consider propane or kerosene strictly for screened in porches or well-vented outdoor areas.

2) Safety features. Make sure they shut off if overheated or tip over.

3) Insist on a fan to help distribute heat better.

4) Don't expect energy savings from a space heater.

5) It costs about $90 to operate a 1500-watt heater for 25 hours a week for 20 weeks. Leave it on at night and you could pay three times that.

The ratings

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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by dad2000 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:04 am

2sls wrote:The current wall heater looks something like this and I believe it is gas.

http://www.homedepot.com/buy/williams-m ... 09622.html

And thanks for the recommendations- I will check out Lasko's products.


Natural gas is one of the cheapest and efficient ways to heat. Could it just be that the heat from the unit isn't being distributed well, and that a supplementary fan is needed? If the unit itself isn't working correctly, you should discuss with the landlord.

Any space heater you add is going to cost significantly more than natural gas heating and be a significant fire hazard.

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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by hicabob » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:10 am

teigers wrote:
Tom_T wrote:Consumer Reports just reviewed electric space heaters, if you're interested.

They did, some key points from the article are as follows.

1) Choose the right type. Look for fast spot heating if you care more about quickly heating a room. Consider larger heaters if you like the look of wood. Consider propane or kerosene strictly for screened in porches or well-vented outdoor areas.

2) Safety features. Make sure they shut off if overheated or tip over.

3) Insist on a fan to help distribute heat better.

4) Don't expect energy savings from a space heater.

5) It costs about $90 to operate a 1500-watt heater for 25 hours a week for 20 weeks. Leave it on at night and you could pay three times that.

The ratings

your 750 kwatt-hours would cost me about $180 w/ Cali electric prices in my "bracket" (we have extremely progressive rates here)

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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:24 am

bungalow10 wrote: It also may be against your lease to run any extra heaters. However, normally to have a legal bedroom, you have to have a heat source. This is probably regional, but in northern states there is no way you would get away without heat in a bedroom.
Not sure what "northern states" you are referring to, but here in Vermont, about as north as you can get withut a knowledge of French, bedrooms without heat are not unusual. We heat with a wood stove in the living room and depend on convection currents to heat the upsatirs bedrooms. And yes, we do like it cool at night :happy
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by JordanIB » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:34 am


PacNorWest
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by PacNorWest » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:36 am

We have several electric space heaters. The oil filled type are the best of which I have two in the shop and one in the camper.
They are quiet and will maintain an even overall room temperature.
They typically look like an old style steam radiator (see image below) and can often be found for as little as $50.00
Image

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tyrion
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by tyrion » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:44 am

I have a 3 BR house in California with the same style gas wall heater. A few observations:

1. Gas is much better for heating your house cheaply. Our gas bill goes up maybe $20 in the winter. Back when we used the little fan-blown electric heaters in the 2 kids rooms, our electric bill would go up $100 in the winter.

2. I bought this thing called an Econo-heater for my daughters room. Despite insulating the walls and installing dual pane windows her room still gets a little chilly when it's cold out. It is also the room furthest from the gas wall heater. Using this wall mounted panel heater with a thermostat switch keeps her room warm enough without breaking the bank. And it never gets hot enough to actually burn you.
http://www.amazon.com/Econo-Heat-0603-E ... m_sbs_hg_1

I imagine you could just put it on a timer and have it turn on in the morning. It will probably take a while to warm up, which is probably about what you're looking for. It's a gradual heat, and makes no noise.

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:52 am

You might also want to consider a radiant heater, which in it's most basic form is a 1000W light bulb. Most "radiators" are not radiant heaters, since they work mostly by convection. A true radiant heater uses infrared light to warm your skin directly rather than indirectly through the air. The effect is almost instantaneous. You can turn it on when you get up and turn it off when you leave the room. This means it's never left unattended and it is only on for a few minutes while you need it.

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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by interplanetjanet » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:24 pm

FNK wrote:I gather electricity is ridiculously expensive in CA. Here in the Northeast electricity is about 4 times more expensive than natural gas, joule for joule. It might be cheaper to overheat the hallway a little. Maybe add a fan to move warm air into the bedroom.
As a data point from a Californian in a high bracket, electricity is about ten times more expensive that natural gas at my marginal rate, joule for joule. There's a reason that natural gas as a heat source is so common here. I would stay far away from electric heat if your rates are high.

-janet

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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by hicabob » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:31 pm

interplanetjanet wrote:
FNK wrote:I gather electricity is ridiculously expensive in CA. Here in the Northeast electricity is about 4 times more expensive than natural gas, joule for joule. It might be cheaper to overheat the hallway a little. Maybe add a fan to move warm air into the bedroom.
As a data point from a Californian in a high bracket, electricity is about ten times more expensive that natural gas at my marginal rate, joule for joule. There's a reason that natural gas as a heat source is so common here. I would stay far away from electric heat if your rates are high.

-janet

Unfortunately for me, lowly methane may be cheap, but propane is still at a usurious price - I thought it was supposed to track nat gas but perhaps fracking produces less propane than traditional wells?

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interplanetjanet
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by interplanetjanet » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:16 pm

hicabob wrote:Unfortunately for me, lowly methane may be cheap, but propane is still at a usurious price - I thought it was supposed to track nat gas but perhaps fracking produces less propane than traditional wells?
Propane prices track oil prices, in general. While it's produced during both natural gas and petroleum refining (roughly 50% from each, IIRC), its relatively easy "shippability" helps to keep prices more on par with gasoline per BTU. By comparison, methane is hard to store and ship and the USA has a pretty good quantity of it.

This was very noticeable during the spike in fuel prices in the late noughties, for those of us with alt-fuel vehicles. Propane tracked gasoline up past $4 per GGE (gasoline gallon equivalent), while methane stayed below $2/GGE in most of the country.

-janet

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dandan14
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Re: Space Heater Recommendations?

Post by dandan14 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:28 pm

We have the previous model of this one: http://www.amazon.com/DeLonghi-HMP1500- ... ghi+heater

Works well. Virtually noiseless (which was one of my top concerns).

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