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: 3777

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.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network.

Latest Activity

Profile IconBenjamin Mailian and Michael Laurie joined Home Energy Pros
31 minutes ago
SmithWatson posted a blog post

It is time to replace your boiler, isn’t it?

Have you suddenly started noticing a spike in your energy bills? If yes, one of the main things you…See More
1 hour ago
Theresa L Gilbride's blog post was featured

Find out whose building some of the best-performing homes in the country today with DOE’s Tour of Zero

Home buyers across the country can find out where the home of the future is available today with…See More
16 hours ago
Quinn Korzeniecki added a discussion to the group Building Performance Institute (BPI)
Thumbnail

Obama Announced New Actions to Bring Energy Efficiency to Households across the Country

Big news out of The White House last week for the ‪‎clean energy‬ housing sector: HUD and DOE have…See More
20 hours ago
Theresa L Gilbride posted a blog post

Find out whose building some of the best-performing homes in the country today with DOE’s Tour of Zero

Home buyers across the country can find out where the home of the future is available today with…See More
20 hours ago
Colin Genge commented on Chris Laumer-Giddens's blog post Building Science is Worthless...
"We has passive house tester complaining the Aluminum Frame leaked too much so we measured them at…"
22 hours ago
Michael Dunseith posted a photo
23 hours ago
Michael Dunseith replied to Kim Tanner's discussion Fantastic innovation
"It was designed for air handlers to determine the total system air flow. I It would be installed in…"
23 hours ago

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service