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Anyone using an I/R heater?

by Willy / November 19, 2012 3:38 AM PST

Just wondering because I'm thinking about getting one. However, since this is electric what is typical running cost or rather is it worth it compared to other heaters. they make so simple and safe, but it's still electrical and i keep eletrical costs down whenever I can. TIA -----Willy Happy

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Clarification Request
IF, as they claim,
by JP Bill / November 19, 2012 4:34 AM PST

they can heat a 1000 sq ft house with 1500 watts...That's pretty good...they don't mention how long the heater is on or the outside temp.

I've walked by them in stores and could feel the heat a good distance away.

All Answers

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You mean like EdenPure?
by Steven Haninger / November 19, 2012 4:22 AM PST

I know someone with several. They are not cheap and, essentially, a big quarts light bulb is the active element. It's a resistive device and I'm skeptical as to whether or not these are any more efficient that the old nichrome wire and fan types. You can get them with water reservoirs to add moisture. The person I know bought one of these the last time and has to feed it distilled water. I'm sure he's paid over 2K for his collection of these...some with remote controls. I'm sure they may be helpful as "zone" heaters but I can't imagine them to be cheaper to operate than gas furnaces as some have claimed.

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My needs
by Willy / November 19, 2012 1:11 PM PST

Well, the Eden(or Amish) models have been in the mags and local paper and prices have come down. I just want one to "zone heat" for at least the mornings. The fireplace becomes the sole heat otherwise and I can afford that easily. The only other heater I've used is for the bathroom for immediate heat as that is a cold room otherwise but not intended for a I/R heater unless very small. So far, what I've seen are more for larger rooms and typically fall in $200-300 range. I'll probably get one from the farm supply or Lowe's. -----Wily Happy

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I'd note that for larger rooms
by Roger NC / November 19, 2012 1:34 PM PST
In reply to: My needs

unvented gas heaters, natural or LP, are over 99% effective when operating at best.

Downsides, the danger of not operating correctly and producing carbon monoxide so make sure you have a working CO detector/fire alarm. Other things to be aware of, unvented gas heaters add a lot of moisture to a space. If the space is well sealed, moisture build up may actually become a problem. If the area isn't insulated and sealed well, or if the space is larger than the optimum for the size of the heater, the moisture can actually be a bonus since winter indoors tend to be dry.

Last numbers I saw for southeast US, electric cost was below gas, natural or LP, and below oil. I know my LP has gotten high enough so that when I replace my system I went with a heat pump with electric strips rather than a heat pump with LP backup as I was originally planning. I am considering placing a small, probably only 10000 BTU or may 20000, unvented wall mounted heater in the largest open space. It would allow quick heat rise if I needed it with the heatpump/electric strips unit. It would also give me emergency heat enough to keep the house lines from freezing during a winter power failure episode.

My decision if between IR gas units and blue flame units. An IR unit is design to radiate infrared heat and heat objects/people in front of it. A blue flame unit is design to heat air and distribuite it, either through natural convection or an auxilary fan. Some units use a fan normally but will function without electricity if needed to do so.

Bad winter storms aren't that common around here, but a storm in a rural area involving ice or wet snow can cause power outages. If you're near the end of a line, it can easily be a week or two before power can be restored to you.

Couple having emergency heat available if needed coupled with the use as an auxillary source for large quick heat rises if needed and I need to install a unit. I still have the tank from the old system with over 200 gallons of LP paid for. Got some estimates and it would run me about $300 to $400 to install a 10K or 20K unvented heater. I need to replace my hall smoke detector anyway, its over 10 years old as far as I know. I'll replaceit with CO fire combo anyway. The current recommendation is one CO on each floor, but I plan as I replace smoke detectors in the future to replace them with CO/smoke detectors. Cost is an issue, and the recommended replacement for CO devices is only 5 years vs. 10 for smoke detectors. However, I saw a CO detector ad recently guareenteeing a 10 year life. I need to check to see if the newer models are considered good for 10 years.

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Not the same as what you
by Glenda. / November 19, 2012 4:29 AM PST
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Good idea but will it last?
by Willy / November 19, 2012 1:22 PM PST

Thanks for the link. I've checked Amazon on that model and it seems it got poor reviews. I weaned away from 1000W or more models as they tend to draw on my electrical wiring being older could cause an issue. I have rewired my bathroom because of the "ladies needs" kept popping GFC outlet. Thus, i worry about other outlets even though I did some simple checks. I use a smaller forced heater in the bathroom but that only is for short periods and the wiring supports such now. -----Willy Happy

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"Ladies needs"...had to laugh
by Steven Haninger / November 19, 2012 8:54 PM PST

I had to rewire one bathroom so both could use their hair dryers at the same time without turning the place dark every morning. I've still not been able to make my wife not use the microwave and toaster ovens at the same time. That's what you get when you live in a place that's over 50 years old. Could I design my own house electrical system, I'd now use 12 gauge wire and put every duplex on its own 20A breaker.

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Older home
by Willy / November 20, 2012 12:45 AM PST

12ga. was typical wiring for many homes it was the std. and practically you reached for a roll of it as part of any re-wiring. However, 14ga. has become the more std. unless the home owner or distance from box makes it 12ga. again. If Romex, you have to look for the marking to be sure of what you're getting. I'm glad i live in a simple home and the bathroom rewiring was a simple redo. I ripped out any old aluminium and the old "stand-off" single wires. I think my home was on the edge of older electrical installs, because I think stand-off wiring was for 20's home, etc., not what i thought was a 40's era home. The home was added on in the meantime, so I guess that's a clue. Already tapped-out much of a 200A box from the old 60A it was. Oh well... -----Willy Happy

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(NT) we too have an old place,it has never thrown the breaker
by Glenda. / November 20, 2012 1:38 AM PST
In reply to: Older home
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I'm guessing by stand off you mean what is often called
by Roger NC / November 20, 2012 10:56 AM PST
In reply to: Older home
knob and tube wiring?

Completely illegal now of course, I don't think you're even allowed to replace any of it that fails by slicing to the existing. If you remove any of it now, you have to run romex or conduit and wire back to the panel.

Of course, those panels aren't legal anymore either. Almost any change to the house other than minimum repair can results in a requirement to redo the entire house.
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We have light...
by Willy / November 21, 2012 12:45 AM PST

As best as i could dig-up, my house started as a hunting cabin. This is still popular for hunting and this yr. 2 deer off the property. It was a small cabin as i see the dividing line of sorts. Even now its become a small house as it is. So, that old wiring had to be for the most basic of needs and probably a fancy cabin at that because it had electricity. Maybe prior was non-electric but there is sparse info to be had. Thanks for K&T info. -----Willy Happy

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re small cabin to house
by Roger NC / November 21, 2012 12:58 AM PST
In reply to: We have light...

Reminds me of someone I went to school with back in the dark ages.

She got married, they had a single wide mobile home on a large country private lot. They built a room on the back of trailer, not that unusual back then. Actually they built on all the way across the back of the mobile home.

A few years later they built the front, and covered the entire combo with an A frame roof.

I think they expanded again a few years after that.

As far as I know, she still lives there, a 30+ year old mobile home completely incased in addon's and roofed. If it is still that way, I'd actually be curious to see the inside of it now.

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Ongoing remodeling finds oddities
by Steven Haninger / November 21, 2012 1:09 AM PST

I worked with a guy who decided to quit his job and buy a farm. It had a big ol' farmhouse that needed some updating. Turns out it had already gone through a lot of adding on to it over time. At it's center, they found that it began as mud and timber...a log cabin. Now how to bring the cabin up to code (if there even was such in that area).

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I've had mine about 5 years
by Glenda. / November 20, 2012 1:36 AM PST

and my daughter has had hers for 7, I have never had a problem with it.

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