Electric heater with a timer (not a thermostat)


Old 10-31-09, 09:41 PM
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Electric heater with a timer (not a thermostat)

Does anyone know of an electric heater (the convection or micathermic I think are best) that has a timer to turn on? Lots of space heaters and room heaters have a timer-off function. I don't need a thermostat to turn it on. I want to be able to set the time (e.g., midnight). I want the heater to be silent and preferably energy efficient. So I think a convection or micathermic heater would be best.

The problem with an power outlet (PDU) timer that turns on and off at set times is that they are rarely rated for 1500 watts (the typical wattage of a heater). Plus, most heaters say to not use extension cords due to overheating. If there was a standalone timer and separate heater that would work safely, I'd be interested. I've seen loud heaters with clocks and timers. But this needs to be silent. It needs to heat a medium sized bedroom or small master bedroom.
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Old 10-31-09, 10:05 PM
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A timer-on function would be contrary to the safe operation and UL listing of a space heater. They are only intended for temporary use in occupied rooms and should not be used unattended.

A built-in electric heater such as a baseboard or radiant panel heater with a digital programmable thermostat would meet your need I think. You could program the thermostat to only perform a heating cycle from midnight to whenever and also program a desired temperature during that time. Built-in heaters are also much safer as they are installed on dedicated circuits, cannot be tipped over, and are designed with components rated for continuous use at high wattage.

Energy-efficiency is really a moot point with electric heaters as all electrical energy consumed is converted to heat making them by definition 100% efficient. The only difference between types is how you want the heat to feel. Baseboards heat the room air via convection, radiant heaters feel warm on your skin when you are in front of them but cold when you are away from them, and heaters with a blower heat the air in a specific direction. The more mass the heater has (ceramic, oil filled, etc), the "smoother" the heat up and cool down, the less mass the more quickly it heats up but also cools down more quickly producing a noticeable heat/cool cycle in the room.
Old 11-01-09, 05:30 AM
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Willbur: Without commenting on whether a timer is proper or not, one way an outlet timer could be used is via a relay (aka Contactor). The timer controls the relay, the relay passes the high current to the heater.
Old 11-01-09, 02:06 PM
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But you MUST address the thermostat. You can't have a heater running constantly without over heating protection, so advising against proper methods isn't in the confines of the forum. Now if you lead off with this relay set up through a thermostat, you would be fine.
Old 12-10-13, 09:45 AM
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You can use a heavy duty 15 amp, 1750 watt appliance timer to control any ordinary 1500 watt heater. However, the internal heavy duty relay typically makes a loud "CLACK" when they turn on and off. Also, some of these mechanical timers have clock motors that can develop an annoying continuous hum as they operate. The mechanical clock motor timers seem to be more reliable than the digitally controlled heavy duty timers. Do an Amazon search on "Appliance Timers" or "Air Conditioner Timers" and read the reviews - there are horror stories as well as success stories about various models of timers. As others have said here, there is some danger to having an unattended heater being turned on with nobody to keep an eye on it, so be sure you use a highly reliable timer in conjunction with a reliable heater. And make sure flammable objects have no possibility of touching the heater.
Old 12-10-13, 10:04 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

Thanks for the additional information.
Since this thread is over 4 years old I'm sure the original poster has found an answer to his question.

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