A customer gave us data about their savings from converting their entire house to electric comfort heat (every room, controlled to only heat the rooms being used, when they are using them.) They have an electric dryer, propane water heater, propane range and central air conditioning. They are a family of 6 with a ranch house in Lower Michigan with 1,375 square feet on the main level.
Electric $1,002 @ 12 cents kwh
Propane $1,455 @ $1.92 per Gallon
Electric $990 @ 12 cents kwh
Propane $1,883 @ $2.07 per Gallon
The electric heat was installed in late October of 2009 at a cost of $780, which was paid for by the savings in the first year:
Electric $1,357 @ 12 cents kwh
Propane $703 @ $2.57 per Gallon
Electric $1,808 @ 12 cents kwh
Propane $811 @ $2.00 per Gallon
The customer estimates that with the old system, the total bills would now be up to $3,100 because the family has grown from 3 to 6 since 2007. A savings of $500 per year is sustained now. The customer is also considering future advances in wind power, fuel cells and solar power to supply the house with free electricity to power the heaters, etc.
The most important aspects of heating your home for free is zoning and conservation. The wind turbines available today are certainly generating alot of power but it can quickly be consumed if you are trying to use electric comfort heating in a fashion similar to a oil or gas furnace. There is just not enough wattage available typically to have an entire average size house at 70+F! With individual room thermostat control (zoning) you can heat only the rooms you are using. Also, sealing up your home of any drafts and other heat losses with caulk, insulation, etc is crucial. It is a multi-step process and the low hanging fruit is to get your attic above 18″ of insulation. 24″ is ideal and should be the standard, as it is for the most part in Canada.
One resident of Mechanicville, New York has apparently been working towards this honorable goal for awhile and he is almost there. When it is windy he is able to generate enough electricity to supply his entire power needs, and he is close to replacing his oil heating system with electric heat.
Getting off Heating Oil completely by installing two wind turbines and converting to electric heating is one of his goals!
One of our customers gave us some data about their savings from converting to electric comfort heat by providing us with their utility bills amounts after converting their entire house to electric heat (every room, which they carefully control and only heat the rooms they are using, when they are using them.) The electric heat was installed in late October of 2009. They have an electric dryer, propane water heater and central air conditioning. They are a family of 5 with a ranch house in Michigan with less than 1,400 square feet on the main level and an unfinished basement which is unheated.
There were vast differences in the temperatures of the summers and winters of the years looked at and there were big swings in the price of propane:
Rate from 07/07 to 07/08: $1.92 per Gallon
Rate from 07/08 to 07/09: $2.07 per Gallon
Rate from 07/09 to 03/09: $2.57 per Gallon
Rate from 03/09 to 05/10: $1.75 per Gallon
The electricity rate in Michigan is almost 13 cents kwh.
The customer provided two different time periods of data. Here is the data (both from mid-year to mid-year and calendar year:)
In addition the customer has kept the house quite a bit warmer in the last year due to having a new baby.
The cost of the heaters was $780, which will paid for by the savings in this second year. They are also insured against another dramatic future increase in the cost of propane. The customer is also considering wind power, fuel cells and solar power to supply the house with free electricity to power the heaters, etc.
Most people are unaware that there is a hole in their house. With modern homes being built airtight, fresh air is brought in from an outside intake hood into the return air duct for the furnace. The duct run to the outside wall is typically a galvanized duct or flexible duct to pull in outside air. Unless the home has a heat recovery ventilator (rare and expensive) it is bringing in very cold air. The duct draws in air from the outside whenever the furnace is running. The air is heated by the furnace and distributed through the home.
One way to minimize this heat loss situation is to use electric heat as much as you can to prevent your furnace from running, so it will not be pulling in outside air, which has to be heated. Even a portable electric heater would help, but the best way is to install some electric comfort heaters in the areas that you live in most and turn down your thermostat.
World renowned Solar Scientists have advanced to the point of predicting the exact decline in temperatures this decade and next, which are said to be up to 8 degrees F colder than today. They are working hard to determine the level of the next solar maximum in the current Solar Cycle 24 and the timing and they are following Dalton Minimum (early 1800’s Little Ice Age) very closely, but keeping a watchful eye on the 1600’s deeper Maunder Minimum. Predictions are settling lower lately at a sunspot number of FORTY-SEVEN sometime in 2015 or LATER. It would be the weakest solar cycle since Solar Cycle 6, the SECOND half of Dalton. Solar Cycle 5 had a maximum amplitude of 49.2 and Solar Cycle 6 of 48.7. Temperatures in those decades were up to 8 degrees F colder than today. Stay warm with these comfort heaters.
The shock of the monthly cost of heating continues. Energy costs are not going down any time soon. For some it is almost as much as their food or mortgage bills.
The problem is that our large houses in America are very hard to heat. The bigger the space, the more it costs to heat. Here at Mor Electric Heating, we think alot about heat loss calculations. It is amazing how much more heat is lost from a larger wall or roof area exposed to the outdoors. More windows, more walls and wall space and larger roofs are what heat loss is all about. Heat lost to the outdoors has to be replaced with a furnace (natural gas or propane), heating oil, wood, pellets, electric heaters or other method. Every square inch matters. It is also amazing how even a 1 degree F temperature increase in the air space on the inside of those walls or ceilings makes the amount of heating you are providing to the air in your neighborhood go up. Yes, you are heating the outdoors! So the solution is to reduce the air temperature in your house. That is a hard pill to swallow, but it is the only answer that is highly effective.
The truth is that the only big way to save money on heating costs is to make as many rooms in the house as cold as possible without the pipes freezing (typically the basement is the only danger area.)
Wear your winter coat inside the house? If it really bothers you then maybe keep it nearby for those rarely entered rooms but definitely wear a sweater all the time.
That is why our shipping department is humming like a bee hive, especially in December when people desperately try to lower their heating bill by installing electric heaters in the rooms they tend to use the most. It’s called zoning and it is the reason we are here to help you. It works and it works very well. These smart customers see their furnace or oil burner as the enemy and they are doing everything they can to keep it from firing up. Extra insulation, under door sweeps, closing doors, window film etc. are all helpful as well. Many of our customers have electric heat (wall heaters, baseboard heaters, hotpods, ceiling heaters, etc.) installed in every room with a thermostat in every room. They micro manage the temperature of each room faithfully by making adjustments to each thermostat and with programming of the set-back thermostats. It takes some work (and for that many heaters it is also some work to install that many heaters and potentially a 50 or 100 amp sub-panel off your main breaker panel), but customers are reporting that they are cutting their heating bill in half or a third and that can be well over $1,000 per year.
Check out some electric comfort heaters here:
All electric heaters (resistive heaters) are 100% efficient. Electric Heat is 100% energy efficient in that all the incoming electric energy is converted to heat. They only differ in the way they distribute it into the house. The only exception is that some convective heaters (i.e. a wall heater or unit heater) have a fan that uses a small amount of the electricity.
The question you want to ask is how electric heat is going to affect your utility bills. There is no one answer but guidelines and energy saving tips. (There are too many variables to the equation.) Many of our customers use their electric heaters to do everything they can to keep their furnace from turning on. Firing up a large furnace, especially one greater than 80,000 takes a large amount of gas that is not used for heat because the blower does not start immediately. Also forced air will put heat into all those rooms that you are desperately trying to keep as cold as possible. (the true key to saving money is minimizing the heat loss from as many walls, floors, windows and ceilings as possible.) The colder a particular room is, the smaller the amount of heat that is lost to the outdoors.
• Are you able to zone by having as many areas of the house as possible as cold as possible without freezing your pipes?
• What is the climate in your area?
• What are you paying for Electricity in your area? (Most likely you are paying between 3 cents to 15 cents per Kilowatt hour or (KWH)
• How many hours a day are you going to run the heaters?
• What is the wattage of the heaters?
• How well insulated is the house?
• Will the electric heaters keep your furnace from turning on at times or all the time?
There are three types of electric heaters: radiant, convective and conductive. Their efficiency is totally equivalent due to the fact, regardless of its type, they produce the same amount of BTU’s per watt delivered to the heater. Electric room heaters may be radiant, convective, or some combination of the two. The quantity of heat produced is proportional towards quantity of electrical power the heater consumes. The only difference between a variety of space heaters is the type of heat they produce.
Ideas to reduce heating bills:
• Turn down your thermostat, especially at night and unoccupied hours – every degree you can decrease your temperature setting will save you 2% to 4% in your heating bill
• Open your drapes during the biggest sunlight hours and close them at night
• Caulk around window, doors, and wherever air may leak in or out of the house
• Insulation in the attic (Many of our customers are installing 24″ of blown in fiberglass with great results and tax savings)
• Use Programmable Thermostats which automatically set back the temperature at night.
Our first website was www.InfraredHeaters.com, which we launched on April 2nd, 1998. It was originally for Industrial Ceramic Infrared Heaters but was quickly expanded into comfort spot heaters. It is our hope that someone will create/invent an indoor radiant comfort heating system that will be more attractive, functional and inexpensive which we can sell. The closest product now is Ceiling Panels and Cove Heaters which are still quite popular but have been around for decades. The potential of a highly controlled radiant system to save enery is huge, and it could be powered by off-grid solar/wind/fuel cells. Please let us know if you have any products that would meet the criteria.
We have some customers telling us that they are very interested in many types of electric heaters, because they can be powered by their renewable energy. Green, clean electricity is being produced at their home or business from solar/wind/fuel cells, etc. to replace fossil fuels such as Natural Gas/Heating Oil/Propane. They are also looking to reduce their dependence on fuels that have price volatility, depending on local markets or even the middle east (propane and heating oil are made from or are by-products of crude oil). The same electric heating systems, when connected to the local utility can be powered by larger installations of green energy or even nuclear, which has no air pollution. We have many customers converting to infrared heaters such as cove heaters, radiant ceiling panels, floor and ceiling heat, and wall panels because the thermostat can be set much lower due to the fact that you feel warmer with infrared heaters pointed at you. We have many customers converting to zoned electric heat as well, we have options such as the HotPod that uses your existing ductwork and very inexpensive options such as baseboard heaters and wall heaters at http://www.morelectricheating.com/products/HEATING/COMFORT%20HEATERS.aspx
Heating only the rooms that you are using, programmed to only when you are using them, and setting each thermostat to the lowest temperature that can be tolerated in that particular room is the true key to saving big money on energy.
• Electric resistance heating equipment is environmentally friendly, generating zero greenhouse gases and no carbon emissions.
• Electric resistance heating is efficient because a significant portion of electricity is generated by hydro and nuclear facilities with the trend toward site-generated, wind and solar power.
• Power generated by renewable sources is increasing at 1.8% per year and trending up. Wind grew 10% per year for the past decade. Non-fossil fuel power generation, including nuclear, account for 28 % of the US total. The future of electric power generation is with non-polluting, renewable energy sources.
• Electric resistance heating can be controlled room-by-room saving 20 – 50% in energy verses a central system having only one control for all spaces served by the system.
• Permanent installed electric resistance heaters have an excellent, long running safety record, are designed and sized for the specific application, are ideally suited for supplemental heating applications and can be controlled by residential energy management systems and electronic set-back thermostats.
• Zonal electric resistance heat is always 100% efficient at the point of use and adapts well to the tighter insulated homes of today. Central systems lose efficiency in three areas:
1. Equipment typically starts out at < 100% efficient and loses efficiency over time.
2. The duct system generates a loss in efficiency of 10 – 20%.
3. The fan forced central system pressurizes the space increasing infiltration loss.
• Electric rates are regulated and the cost has risen much less than that of natural gas, oil or propane over the last few years. Over the last 10 years, the US average cost of residential electricity has risen by 42% compared to 79% for natural gas and about 140% for heating oil and propane.
• Electric resistance heating typically decreases construction cost by having the option of expansion without having to replace or expensively add to the existing central heating system. In addition, the total operating cost of electric resistance heating is substantially less expensive, including equipment, installation and maintenance than a ducted central system.
The HotPod www.heatersplus.com/hotpod.htm is an incredible new product. It is a residential in-line duct heater for supplemental heating of a cold room or as a whole house primary heating system with several of them. The HP6-1440120 is installed in standard 6 inch duct work (remove 14 inches of duct) It also has a fan only cooling feature. The Grainger # is 4XKZ6. It is 1440 or 720 Watts / 120 Vac / 120 CFM.
The product is now manufactured and sold by TPI Corp. (Markel) and they have been given exclusive rights by Erivations, Inc. We are a TPI distributor and there will be no interruption in supply and we have them in stock now: http://www.morelectricheating.com/default.aspx?page=item%20detail&itemcode=HOTPOD10001
Unlike traditional electric heaters, it can use almost any thermostat. It is designed to use a low voltage thermostat (the hotpod has a built-in relay) which means it can use a wider variety of thermostats and common 18 or 20 gauge thermostat wire. You can even control 2 or 3 hotpods with one thermostat when using it with two inexpensive relays (one for heat and the other for fan/cool feature) such as the Honeywell R8222D1014 24V – 24 Volts. http://www.morelectricheating.com/default.aspx?page=item%20detail&itemcode=HNYWLTST10027
There has been an increase in popularity of Wall Convection Heaters and Qmark/Marley has introduced a product with dual usage that also can be a portable heater with the included wheels attached. The WPC1500 is 120 Volt (500/1000/1500 watt) and must be plugged into a nearby wall outlet with the three prong grounded cord set. (The removable wheel kit allows the unit to be wall mounted near electrical outlet.) It is thermostatically controlled and applications include primary or supplemental room heating for bedrooms, family rooms, enclosed porches, game rooms, small offices, etc. Tip-over switch and linear limit for added safety.