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Will an electric heater work in this bonus room?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by wahoowad, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    Can a oil tank style electric heater keep a 15x25' bonus room with cathedral ceiling moderately comfortable in my Virginia winter? It would augment my regular heat pump but this room doesn't get adequate flow out the vents. It is usually 5 degrees cooler than the rest of the house so at times goes down into low 60's depending on the time of day and temp my programmable thermostat keeps the rest of the house.

    This is the room I run my woodstove, but increased demands on my time are such that I am becoming a casual woodburner so only get to burn on certain evenings. I'd like to at least keep the room a few degrees warmer during the day and evenings when I cannot burn. Just have no experience running supplemental electric heat.

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Yes, an electrical resistance heater will burn 1500 watts on high. Plenty to move that room from "down to the low 60s" to a "moderately comfortable" place. Find one that is thermostatic so that it isn't running all the time.

    Depending on what you're doing in that room, low 60s is comfortable anyway. Workout room, sleeping room, storage, all fine in the 60s. Sitting around the TV for hours I like a warmer room but then, you could always start a fire in there.
  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yeah it'll do it. But run it on the 900 or so watt medium setting. 1500 watt heaters are brutal on outlets and if you have other stuff on the circuit in the room you will be kicking the breaker all the time.
  4. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    IMO go with a straight 1500 watt electric heater. Oil filled units are not a good unit. Don't last long, get weak with age. A "milk room heater" works the best. I've gone thru 3 oil types in the last few yrs.Just my 2 cents
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Interesting. The back up heat in this joint has been the oil filled ones for years. Two of them are 12 years old and going strong. Of course we don't crank them at 1500 all the time.
  6. seige101

    seige101 Minister of Fire

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    The newer ones sold at the box stores are cheaper/lower quality. Older stuff was build like a tank.

    Using one all the time as a primary source of heat would probably shorten life span also.
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Don't tell all of these DeLongis I bought at Lowe's on Spring clearance. ;lol
  8. mustash29

    mustash29 Feeling the Heat

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    Do you have access to the ductwork? It may be as simple as adjusting some of your other vents shut a little bit more. You could install a duct booster fan on the trunk that supplies the vents for that room. They wire up to the main blower or relay so it kicks on and off automatically with the main blower.
    fbelec likes this.
  9. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    that room if it were to have nothing but electric heat would require more than 3700 watts. even asking the one heater to go up 5 degrees might be a stretch for a 1500 watt heater and would run prob all night when it gets colder out. might set the electric bill up a bit. just as a for instance if it ran 12 hours out of a day at 15 cents a kilowatt hour thats 2.70 a day.
    mustash29 has a good idea with a duct booster. give it a try and tell us how you made out. borrow a heater or buy a cheap one to see if it will work. 1500 watts of electric heat is the same btu no matter what the shape or box looks like. oil radiator milkhouse ceramic doesn't matter still just over 5200 btu
  10. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    If you are only looking to bump the temp up a few degrees to help the heat pump out you'll be fine. The electric heater probably won't run that much. The oil mightkeep it from short cycling.

    Matt

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