How to Choose A Heater: EdenPure? Heat Surge? Red Core? Heat Smart?
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Posted: Tuesday, March 02, 2010
by Joel Hendon
If you have been considering some type of supplemental heat, or even total heating and are trying to determine just what you should buy, listen up.
Don't fall for some of the advertisements you read. Some are extremely misleading and you will be very unhappy if you don't know what to expect. Let's examine some of the things that should guide one's decision as to which heater to buy. There are several things you need to know and bear in mind as you shop.
(2) There are laws which specify how much electrical current one is allowed to draw from one regular 110-115 volt outlet. It is illegal for any company to sell an appliance of any type which plugs into a 110-115 volt outlet, to draw more than 1500 watts. So 1500 watts is the largest electric heater (or anything else) which comes with a regular plug that fits into such an outlet. You can get larger electric heaters (I have one) which will draw up to 3,000 watts, but they are designed for and are equipped to be plugged into a 220-230 volt outlet.
(3) 1500 watts of electricity will produce up to approximately 5000 to 5200 BTU's of heat. That's all. And most of your modern heaters do put out slightly over 5000 BTU's of heat. There is very slight variation from one to another due to design, fan location and features like that. But the difference in these is normally negligible. So the point is, don't be deceived if one says theirs will put out more heat. It won't. You do have to watch though and make sure of the wattage of your heater. All are not the maximum 1500 watts.
(4) Although all 1500 watt heaters put out approximately the same amount of heat, there are differences which may appeal to some more than others so let's look at those things. Some heaters have no fans, but only produce radiant heat. These heaters, will not normally heat an area nearly as fast as one with a fan, but have some advantages. They are quiet! They are also nice to stop in front of to warm your hands or your behind before going on about your activities.
(5) With electric heaters there are three types of heating units. (There may be more but this is all I am familiar with). (a)Your regular heater type which is equipped with heavy Nichrome coiled wire. The coil is made from nickel and chromium which is very suitable for the purpose since it has enough resistance that causes the coil to heat up, some to glowing white hot, and still not burn out except after a long period of time. This coil heats up and the built in fan blows across the coil dispensing the heat throughout the room.
(b) The ceramic radiant heaters which have ceramic rods with a Nichrome wire in the center of them. This ceramic causes a large surface of heated area (though not red hot as with the naked Nichrome wire) which makes for a safer heater as far as causing fires, burning babies or animals...or you, is concerned. Some designs of these may not produce the precise amount of heat as a Nichrome coil. [c] Then there are Infrared. Infrared heats by tubes similar to a light bulb or tube. They have an electrically charged filament in a heavy quartz tube which is often filled with halogen gas or other inert gas to help keep the element from deteriorating. This heat is unlike regular radiant heat. The emmission heats the moisture in the air and surrounding materials rather than directing heat into objects. It causes a very soft, pleasant warm feeling when you enter a room which seems to engulf one.
So now you know the different type of heating so lets see which heaters offer the most and best for their cost. If you simply want a heater to take from one room, which may not normally be heated, to another, you can take your choice, depending upon your preferences. You can buy all manner of Nichrome coil portable heaters, easily moved from one room to another for under $50.00. For instance here is a Honeywell 1500 watt, 3 heat setting unit which I have found pricing online from $30.00 to $49.24. You will be hard pressed to beat the Honeywell quality. But there are dozens much the same as this.
Ceramics also comes in all shapes and flavors. Their price range is much the same as the Nichrome coil type. You should simply look for a reputable brand and satisfactory price.
Infrared is where the wide array of heaters are and the wide range of prices, almost all too high for me but may not be for you. EdenPure has sold thousands of these heaters simply by a gigantic sales campaign. They use magazines, even TV and massive mail outs. They actually got the business rolling and now there are several strong competitors. Most of these heaters are very, very similar. If you must have one, just pull up the list on the internet and check prices, appearance and the company reputation. I bought an EdenPure a few years ago and we loved the delightfully warm pleasant feeling it put out. It got just out of warranty and the thermostat died and wouldn't turn the machine on.
I have also read many reviews from highly unsatisfied customers...BUT, it is the ones who experience something bad that put their complaints online. I know that many people have been very satisfied with them. Oreck, the Vacuum Cleaner people with the 7 lb vacuum guaranteed to suck your 8X10 carpet into the machine (Just kidding), now have one which resembles the EdenPure very much but are priced a little higher. I suspect that it is a very good quality heater.
Also, the Amish Heat Surge is probably a good heater and they have some very beautiful wooden fireplace cases around their heaters. Again, look them up and see the beauty and the prices. There are numerous others now, Red Core, Heat Smart, Iheater, Comfort Furnace, Solar Comfort and many more. You are paying for the cabinet or mantle as much so as the heater in most cases. But my recommendation is to be sure and check out the Amish Heat Surge for the beautiful mantels, etc.
But don't believe what they tell you about the heat savings. The only way you can cut your heating bill in half with one of these heaters is to turn your other heat off and move this one from room to room, or heat only one room. If you keep your house at the same temperature in all rooms as you did before, they will not save you a dime. So don't expect it. They are beautiful, quiet, and the heat from them is sooo pleasant but don't go for the savings. They are more expensive than I can afford, especially if they are not going to last. Just type in Infrared electric heaters into Google's search window and you'll find them all somewhere or another.
But before we close this article, don't forget, you can buy beautiful wooden mantel fireplaces, similar to the ones the Amish Heat Surge have, but with a regular Nichrome coil heater in it. I bought my wife one recently and she loves it. It also has a beautiful flame going in the fireplace which is very difficult to discern from the real thing. These are priced very similarly to those with infrared heat. It is the piece of decorative furniture which costs so much.
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