Gas Heaters or Electric Heaters - which one for home?

There are plenty of concerns arising when deciding which home heating solution to invest in.

The market is full of options offering so many types of space heating devices one starts to wonder which one is the best choice. Usually the types considered vary from: portable gas heaters to electric space heaters like infrared heaters, ceramic heaters or portable oil-filled radiators.

There is no rule of a thumb answer for this but what I like to do is to approach the problem from multiple angles.

 

Performance-wise gas heater beats the electric competition. Even a high-performance electric heater running on 1,500 Watts per hour like the EdenPURE or a DeLonghi oil-filled radiator is struggling to produce more than 5,000 BTUs (and an electric appliance shouldn't go higher than 1,500 Watts, it's already a great load of electrical circuit) while a portable gas heater (like the Mr Heater) offers 1,5000 BTUs. This means the gas has more potential and produces more heat but does it worth it?

 

There are a couple of risk factors when assessing gas heater safety compared to electric heaters. We must make sure the gas heater we use doesn't expose the heating element in a way it could be dangerous for children, pets or anything fire-prone. Most of the portable gas heaters fail to deliver these. The Mr Heater features a tip-over protection and a low-oxygen shutdown but do we want to test these features on our own house? I don't think so and even the idea these concerns arise - as they needed solution as the above mentioned safety features - I wouldn't recommend using them in delicate environment like a home is nor leave any turned on while unattended. In the garage or shed however, where the temperatures usually fall even lower the gas heaters power is greatly appreciated. 

 

On the safety front most ceramic heaters and infrared heaters introduce very similar risks as gas heaters do (except the carbon monoxide risk). Exposed heating elements are supposed to be kept away from furniture and children, Wouldn't suggest leave them on unattended either. While most of these electric heaters come fan-equipped can aid the heat distribution in the room it creates a constant buzzing noise which can be uncomfortable while sleeping,

- So how do we find a home heating solution which has no drawbacks?

- We didn't discuss the oil-filled radiators yet.

They are usually a bit larger than other portable electric heaters, and the reason is simple. With bigger body, the heat is radiating away on a bigger area, means more effective heating while maintaining low surface temperature. This is crucial for safe operation. Doesn't get hot enough to cause burning wounds or fire.

Now one starts wondering about the heat distribution in the room as portable radiators doesn't have a fan equipped, how is the air forced to move?

DeLonghi's solution for this challenge is to implement vertical tubes where vacuum generated is forcing the warm air out in top of the electric heater. This is why their most popular model called DeLonghi Dragon Model, because it breathes hot air. The heating output is 5,000 BTUs on 1,500 Watts, which is just as high as an electric heater will go.

Read other reviews and insights on electric heaters and portable oil-filled radiators at Review-Home.com/Space-Heaters.

 

Views: 3418

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Don Hynek replied to Luis Hernandez's discussion Non-continuous exterior insulation
"This is a matter of far more than R-values. Average exterior temp, heating load vs. cooling load,…"
7 hours ago
Patrick Michaelyan replied to Luis Hernandez's discussion Non-continuous exterior insulation
"Don, I'd like to ask you specifically about your comments on putting the structure at great…"
12 hours ago
Patrick Michaelyan replied to Casey Gesell's discussion Looking for home improvement companies to join our dealer network!
"Casey, Time frame for relocating is late spring to early summer. I am considering both counties…"
13 hours ago
Dennis Heidner replied to Patrick Michaelyan's discussion Vinyl Siding with Integral Insulation
"The observation about rot is important.   I agree. One of my complaints with some of the…"
Friday
Jennifer Schenk added a discussion to the group Job Board
Thumbnail

Job Opening - Energy Programs Manager - Frisco, CO

Energy Programs Manager - High Country Conservation CenterJob DescriptionGeneral Description of…See More
Friday
Jennifer Schenk joined Diane Chojnowski's group
Thumbnail

Job Board

This group is for posting jobs related to all aspects of the home performance industry including…See More
Friday
Avi Yashchin posted a status
""Will Online Learning Replace the Classroom?" Read my full article on HuffPost. http://huff.to/1cNCOie"
Friday
Profile IconTerrell, Jennifer Schenk, Amina Lang and 3 more joined Home Energy Pros
Friday

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service