Looking for a good suggestion for heating an electric home for a handicapped person... they get cold easily.  Currently has radiant ceiling heat upstairs with a couple cheap wall heatersin the basement.  It gets in the low teens so a heat pump wouldn't work well when they want heat the most?  Air infiltration is a problem and they will be fixing that.

Is there a radiator type electric heater that would help?  Other suggestions?

 

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Look at Cove heaters.  They are electric panels mounted just below ceiling level on walls and they heat by radiant and convection heat.  Each room/heater can be controlled by an individual line voltage thermostats.  They also won't get blocked by stuff on the floor or by furniture.  The BTU needed determines the length of the Cove heater but several can be joined in series to handle a large room

They will be expensive to operate since they are straight electric heat and an electrician will be needed to run the wiring and control voltage.  The Cove heaters mount to the wall with brackets so their mounting is relativly easy once the wiring is done.

There are a number of possible solutions, but don't rule out a heat pump. A conventional heat pump should be able to provide the heat needed, even if auxilliary heat is required to supplement. While this has a higher operating cost it may solve the problem. However, I would strongly suggest you look at a heat pump system that uses inverter or VRV (variable refrigerant volume) technology - in other words a variable speed system (compressor, blower and fan motors, and electronic metering device). This is most common in "ductless" or mini-splits. The other benefit is that you don't have to do the entire home if it's not needed. At lower temps a VRV system has much higher discharge temps than a conventional heat pump. Depending on the nature of the handicap this could also solve another problem: cooling. People with spinal cord injuries frequently have a difficult time regulating body temperature. This means they get very cold and very hot in temperatures that the rest of us find comfortable. My son has a spinal cord injury and his body does not regulate temperature well. I installed a ductless in his bedroom and he loves it. He can be cool when he wants and warm when he wants. Last year with outdoor temps in the teens and ice hanging on the condenser we were still getting discharge temps between 115 and 120 degrees (F).  If you need a whole home solution there are options with this technology. Also, for a whole house system you may want to consider geothermal - of course you're looking at a much higher cost and much larger project.

Thanks Kevin - that is very helpful information.

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