Infrared Heaters

For topics about heating with other types of fuel such as wood burners, gas furnaces, oil burners and geothermal heat pumps.
Gary L
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Russo #1
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Location: Forestburgh, NY

Post Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 4:44 pm

Figured I would ask here if any one has opinions on these heaters.

I heat my home with a Russo hand fired coal stove in the living room. I love this little stove and it loves us back with fantastic heat and savings. For the most part our oil fired baseboard furnace rarely ever comes on.

The one draw back we see is our floors are cold. The house can be very comfy with just the heat from the coal stove but I am considering an infrared heater for the basement in hopes it might warm the hardwood and tile floors to make them comfortable to walk on. It just feels lousy jumping out of a warm shower and in to a warm room but standing on cold floors.

The big question I have is if these infrared heaters will drive my electric bills through the roof. The heat from the coal stove works great on our living floor but does nothing for the basement under our 1100 sq/ft ranch.

I do have a zone for the basement and could use the oil furnace to warm the basement or use an infrared heater if it would be less expensive than the oil.

Hope someone here has some personal experience and can give me some advice before I spend and possibly waste my money.


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I'm On Fire
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Post Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 4:55 pm

I'm glad you posted this. I have the same issue and was wondering about putting an electric baseboard or something in my basement and in the crawlspace under my bedroom. But I am not sure how cost effective that would be. So, I'd like to know as well if this would be a smart move or not.

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WNY
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Post Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 4:59 pm

All depends on the wattage. Electric heater are 100% efficient, but at a cost. Yes, you electric will go up accordingly.

Check the wattage/voltage, etc...then you can calculate it based on your electric rates.
- Dave
Hyfire I & Keystoker 90K heating an 1890 Victorian
- Amsoil Authorized T1 Certified Dealer

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Dennis
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Post Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 5:02 pm

IOF,

Would your DS heat the basement and first floor for next year. Might cost a little more for coal, but have a completely warm house.My floors are warm, it's a good thing since I can't remember where I put my shoes. :D Dennis

Gary L
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Russo #1
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Location: Forestburgh, NY

Post Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 5:18 pm

You lost me on the DS. Moving the coal stove to the basement will not work as there would be way too much expense involved.

My experience with standard electric baseboard heat units was absolutely horrible, way too expensive here in NY where electric is at all time highs. The infrared units are fairly new on the heating scene and typically rated at 1500 watts. I have no knowledge about how well they work or how cost effective they might be. I can say for sure it would be less expensive for me here to run the oil furnace and heat just the basement zone with it than to use a standard electric heater.

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I'm On Fire
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Post Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 5:29 pm

Dennis wrote:IOF,

Would your DS heat the basement and first floor for next year. Might cost a little more for coal, but have a completely warm house.My floors are warm, it's a good thing since I can't remember where I put my shoes. :D Dennis
No, there is no room for it in the basement and my basement is only partial and covers part of the living room and kitchen. The master bedroom is unconnected and has no basement.

I guess I've gotta stay with a cold basement because the price of JCP&L's electricity is ridiculous.
Last edited by I'm On Fire on Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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freetown fred
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Post Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 5:30 pm

I don't know about all the didactic crap, but our Town barn put in infared & our elec. bill skyrocketed--really cool that the vices & tools would get warm along with walls & floors, but economically, I place a no way vote. Why don't you get a stove that will heat your house properly? Even better, buy a nice fleece lined pair of slippers. :clap: toothy
Last edited by freetown fred on Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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franco b
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Post Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 5:43 pm

Infrared works best if it is in the room with you because your body absorbs the radiation directly.
In the basement there would be no advantage to infrared because you want to heat the air which in turn warms the floors. The cheapest heater with a blower would work as well. I do think that adding 5000 BTU from an electric heater would not be very effective in raising the basement temp. Like spitting in the ocean

Electric heaters use about 1500 watts or 1.5 kilowatt hours times 24 hours equals 36 kwh per day.

In Ct. at 25 cents per kwh that would come to $9.00 per day.

Divide your total electric bill by the number of kwh you use to determine your cost.


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Rob R.
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Post Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 6:04 pm

Gary, I know exactly what you are going through with the cold basement & floors. I burn a fair amount of coal to keep my basement warm, but it makes the house very comfortable for my wife and I, and especially the crumb snatchers that hang out on the floor.

If your electric is $0.12 per KWH or more...it is probably more cost effective to run your oil boiler. The exact breakdown depends on the efficiency of the oil boiler and how much you pay for fuel, but one thing is for sure...even if the electric unit was slightly cheaper to run it would take a long time to pay for itself. I would give the oil boiler some exercise and enjoy a more comfortable house.

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I'm On Fire
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Post Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 6:16 pm

freetown fred wrote:I don't know about all the didactic crap, but our Town barn put in infared & our elec. bill skyrocketed--really cool that the vices & tools would get warm along with walls & floors, but economically, I place a no way vote. Why don't you get a stove that will heat your house properly?
C'mon Fred, my 1600 keeps my living area very comfortable in the dead of winter since it's in my living room. But, I've got no heat in the basement. But like it was said, I'll stick to doing what I usually do, fire up the furnace once in while when the floors are too cold.

thehogman
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Post Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 7:13 pm

We used 2 Edenpure 1500 watt heaters for 5 years. Expect to replace bulbs in 3 years at $100 each. I changes them once for each heater. Here in NH I pay @$0.17/KW including taxes.

Edenpure has tried to make changing the bulbs yourself as tough as possible and will tell you where the closest service center is.

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coaledsweat
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Post Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 7:54 pm

Gary L wrote:The house can be very comfy with just the heat from the coal stove but I am considering an infrared heater for the basement in hopes it might warm the hardwood and tile floors to make them comfortable to walk on. It just feels lousy jumping out of a warm shower and in to a warm room but standing on cold floors.
My experience is they don't warm things, just people and they better be standing in front of it.
Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.

Gary L
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Posts: 102
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Russo #1
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Location: Forestburgh, NY

Post Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 8:40 pm

Well, I think I have the answers I needed and much thanks for the collective wisdom and rapid responses. I do know the ideal situation would be a larger coal burner in the basement to cover both levels but it simply is not a possibility without some serious changes. I'll just have to set the basement thermostat a bit higher and cry every time the furnace kicks on because I'll have to send more money to the Arabs.

I do have a very nice field stone fire place down there but we all know how useless they are for heat and I would still be faced with dragging wood or coal through the house to get it down the stairs.

Gary

homecomfort
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Post Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 8:48 pm

coal generated heat will stratify to the ceiling quickly due to it's higher temp. I use a very low speed fan to circulate the warmer air from the ceiling to the floor.

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I'm On Fire
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Post Fri. Jan. 13, 2012 9:15 pm

homecomfort wrote:coal generated heat will stratify to the ceiling quickly due to it's higher temp. I use a very low speed fan to circulate the warmer air from the ceiling to the floor.
Yup, I've got both my ceiling fans on low blowing down. Keeps the heat where I want it.


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