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Old 06-05-2018, 10:05 AM   #1
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Energy efficient electric heaters

We camped in northern Florida this past winter with our Forester 3051s and it got pretty cold in January. We used a older electric heater to give the furnace a break and ended up with a pretty hefty electric bill for the month. I know the best solution would be to head further south but that's where all of the snow birds are! It seems that the Forester doesn't hold the heat that well even with the supposed artic package. Anyway is anybody using an efficient heater that they would recommend? I'd like to get one that has a temp control, fan, and compact.
Thanks.
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:19 AM   #2
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We used an oil filled heater when we camp in cold weather. It provides good radiant heat instead of forced air ceramic heaters. Once the oil gets hot we find we can use the low or medium setting only and dial back the heat from there. 1 through 6 settings.


https://www.walmart.com/ip/Portable-...eater/15162311
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:22 AM   #3
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Electric heaters, by definition, are 100% efficient. All the energy used is turned into heat, which is exactly what you want.

Buy any 1500 watt heater you like best at Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe's, Menards, Ace, etc. I like ones with 2 or 3 settings, so you can run it at, say, 1500 watts, 1000 watts and 500 watts (3 settings), or 1500 watts and 750 watts (2 settings). A thermostat is good, too. Then you can set it low at night and let it run when it needs to.

A heater operating at 1500 watts will pull about 12.5 amps (1500watts/120VAC = 12.5 amps). Note that this is about the limit that your 15 amp breakers will handle, which is why you don't normally see space heaters of more than 1500 watts.
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:36 PM   #4
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Most folks we know use a Polonis. All very happy with their choice. We use a Pelonis but its getting old so will probably replace it next year.

Speaking to your comments, we love Snowbirds down here. Thats why our property tax is so low, we have no income tax or county/city sales tax. So please save that electricity, help reduce polution. C’mon down.

As far as I know the Artic Package is 12v heating pads on the holding tanks. That has nothing to do with keepin the living space warm.

FWIW, anybody that comes to Florida for the Winter is a snowbird to those of us that live here. I guess that makes this Duck a bonifide Sunbird.

Edit: Removed references to Edenpure due to recent negative reviews.
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:00 AM   #5
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The walls are 2 inches of coffee cup foam beads so pretty good insulation for a motorhome. Heat loss will be through vents, skylights, windows and the door. Use insulated blanket to divide cab from coach. Use those vent pillows to reduce heat loss. Maybe some blankets over less used windows.

If you get too airtight there is danger of carbon monoxide when cooking with gas. Ensure you have carbon monoxide sensor.

I am not sure if it freezes in northern Florida. The furnace heats the cabin but also heats the area where the water lines are and black and grey tanks and valves. The electrical heater will not reach those areas.
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:09 AM   #6
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Ceramic heaters are about 99% efficient while resistance wire element heaters are about 95%efficient. Both still high enough not to be an issue.
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Old 06-06-2018, 10:18 AM   #7
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Smile Thanks everybody

It does get below freezing in northern Florida at least last year it did. We are going to partition off the cab area, seems a lot of cold air comes from that area. I'm sure the newer ceramic heat would use less electricity than our old wire type heater.

Thanks for the help. We'll be in Florida again this next year with all the other snow birds.
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Old 06-06-2018, 10:41 AM   #8
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I've got two oil-filled radiator heaters (Walmart $35 each)...

Mine is white and bought them in a store...

Every Walmart I go in to has stacks of them!

Awesome and not very expensive to run.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays...ator/908773968
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
Electric heaters, by definition, are 100% efficient. All the energy used is turned into heat, which is exactly what you want.

Buy any 1500 watt heater you like best at Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe's, Menards, Ace, etc. I like ones with 2 or 3 settings, so you can run it at, say, 1500 watts, 1000 watts and 500 watts (3 settings), or 1500 watts and 750 watts (2 settings). A thermostat is good, too. Then you can set it low at night and let it run when it needs to.

A heater operating at 1500 watts will pull about 12.5 amps (1500watts/120VAC = 12.5 amps). Note that this is about the limit that your 15 amp breakers will handle, which is why you don't normally see space heaters of more than 1500 watts.
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomban View Post
We camped in northern Florida this past winter with our Forester 3051s and it got pretty cold in January. We used a older electric heater to give the furnace a break and ended up with a pretty hefty electric bill for the month. I know the best solution would be to head further south but that's where all of the snow birds are! It seems that the Forester doesn't hold the heat that well even with the supposed artic package. Anyway is anybody using an efficient heater that they would recommend? I'd like to get one that has a temp control, fan, and compact.
Thanks.
Doesn't matter what electric heater you get a 1500watt heater will use 1.5 kilowatts per hr of operation . a 1000 watt will use 1 kilowatt per hr of operation . a 500 watt will use .5 kilowatts per hr of operation . use extra blankets way cheaper
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Old 06-06-2018, 12:04 PM   #11
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Most folks run electric heaters when they are not paying the electric bill for free heat. $ for $ you are probably better off burning your propane through the furnace then running electric heat if you are paying the electric bill.
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Old 06-06-2018, 12:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MR.M View Post
Doesn't matter what electric heater you get a 1500watt heater will use 1.5 kilowatts per hr of operation . a 1000 watt will use 1 kilowatt per hr of operation . a 500 watt will use .5 kilowatts per hr of operation . use extra blankets way cheaper
Correct. If the concern is $$ spent on using a heater then it matters not what heater you buy as 1500w of energy used is 1500w no matter which unit you get.

Discussions can go on for days as to which heater provides the best energy efficient use of those 1500 watts but my experience in owning a bunch of portable 120v heaters over the years is (different brands/designs/dollars) ...there isn't enough $$ saved/heat gained/lost difference in these little units to fret over. It is personal preference.

When you get into BIG BTU output units... that is a different conversation.
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Old 06-06-2018, 01:48 PM   #13
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I like the small heaters that have thermostats & keep on a low temp.
I also use an electric comforter throw on the bed that runs on the 9v next to the bed. ( I happened to find this handy item at a truck stop.)
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Old 06-06-2018, 02:08 PM   #14
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Instead of using a fan heater, an oil filled or infrared radiant heater is much more comfortable in a small space. It warms up the objects that are in close proximity instead of blowing warm air that cools down rather quickly anyway.
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Old 06-06-2018, 05:36 PM   #15
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Stopped packing a heater. We use the fireplace and heap pump until 38 then the furnace and fireplace. Heat pump is one of the best things.
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:11 PM   #16
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The problem with many heaters is that their thermostat is mounted on the unit itself and can't really sense the temp where YOU are. As a result people keep turning the unit up, and up, until they feel warm and in many cases the heater is running far longer than it needs to.

Ideally one would have a remote thermostat that can be located away from the heater and more centrally located in the living area. By necessity the heater is usually a limited distance away from a wall outlet.

There are numerous 120V inline thermostats available where you plug it into the wall outlet, plug the heater into the back side of the thermostat plug, and the temp control is at the other end of the cord.
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:21 PM   #17
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and also remember, N Florida may have had one of it's coldest winters in memory... you just happened to be there to enjoy it!
Next year may be way different, maybe no 'winter' at all.... one never knows.

When you are on the hook for the electric bill, it makes sense to try to limit the running of any type of heating device, whether the electric heater, electric blanket, coffee maker, toaster, microwave, or even the electric water heater... but most of us would also rather not go totally to our propane devices, either. Propane has it's upside, in dry-camping situations especially, but most of us don't like the process of 'refilling', and the 'one time' expense for the bill, though the only time we've ever filled ours it was only $30 or so - much less than a $150 electric bill!

Using blankets and covering/insulating all 'holes' and vents well is the only option any of us have. There is no real 'economical' electric heater since all will draw the same amperage, as others have said. Some 'seem' better, but I think everyone also has a different definition of what that is as well.
Personally, I hate the felling of 'too much' heat... as I like air flow. My wife would enjoy sitting right NEXT to the heater, and with a blanket! and would still be complaining that it's COLD! brrRRRRrrrrr!

To each his/her own. : )
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:27 PM   #18
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and also remember, N Florida may have had one of it's coldest winters in memory... you just happened to be there to enjoy it!
Next year may be way different, maybe no 'winter' at all.... one never knows.

When you are on the hook for the electric bill, it makes sense to try to limit the running of any type of heating device, whether the electric heater, electric blanket, coffee maker, toaster, microwave, or even the electric water heater... but most of us would also rather not go totally to our propane devices, either. Propane has it's upside, in dry-camping situations especially, but most of us don't like the process of 'refilling', and the 'one time' expense for the bill, though the only time we've ever filled ours it was only $30 or so - much less than a $150 electric bill!

Using blankets and covering/insulating all 'holes' and vents well is the only option any of us have. There is no real 'economical' electric heater since all will draw the same amperage, as others have said. Some 'seem' better, but I think everyone also has a different definition of what that is as well.
Personally, I hate the felling of 'too much' heat... as I like air flow. My wife would enjoy sitting right NEXT to the heater, and with a blanket! and would still be complaining that it's COLD! brrRRRRrrrrr!

To each his/her own. : )
If it's really cold one could drop by the local pet shelter and "adopt" one or two nice warm pets. When it's cold my pup noses his way under the covers and is more than happy to share heat with me.

If it's REAL cold just get a larger dog (or two).
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:30 PM   #19
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We put heating blankets on the bed. Takes the chill off in cool summer nights and winter camping
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:02 PM   #20
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A heat pump is about 1/3 the energy consumption per BTU of an electric radiant heater. You can get free standing A/C with heat pump but you must have an outside vent.
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