Infrared heater cost?


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Old 01-22-13, 04:45 PM
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Infrared heater cost?

So, I've been skeptical about these infrared heaters for years. My father-in-law has a few of them in his house and he says he barely saw his bill rise having them run 24x7. My uncle swears by them. He has natural gas (the cheapest heating source) and he says he cut his natural gas in half by using an infrared eden pure heater and his electric didn't jump enough for him to notice. My mother also has a few and says she didn't notice her electric jump. I'm thinking all these people that tell me this make too much money that they don't notice their electric doubling... They all make significantly more than I do...

Well, our downstairs is freezing, so I finally broke down and bought one. I've had it plugged in for one week. I just checked my electric company's website to see my meter readings. My daily readings before the heater were between 15-20. Now since the heater has been plugged in, they're averaging between 60-70! Do I just have a way inefficient heater or is everyone that has told me they cost nothing just have money to burn and don't notice? The way I understand it, 1500 watts is 1500 watts... doesn't matter if it's infrared or quartz, or whatever... 1500 watts is 1500 watts. I really like my basement being warm. I'm trying to decide if it's worth $150 a month to heat up about 500 sq ft of my basement (which is our living room where our main TV is at.) If there are alternatives that would heat cheaper? I know of pellets, but that's about a $5,000 startup costs not including a ton or so of pellets...

And maybe I just bought the wrong heater. Maybe there is a 1500 watt one that somehow just pulls out heat magically and doesn't use any power... What are other people's findings on how much it's costing them to run their space heater? I have a hard time believing everyone that buys a 1500 watt space heater is spending $100-$200 a month to heat one little room.
 
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Old 01-22-13, 04:56 PM
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Yes, they are making too much money or they just don't realize. Maybe they don't want to look foolish?

As I understand....they are just lightbulbs in a box right? Very simple to figure out how much they use, measure the current/wattage.....multiply by time in use.

There ain't no free lunch!

As to your basement heating question....you'd have to provide a lot more info as to construction and type of heat you have now.
 
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Old 01-22-13, 05:02 PM
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Oh, yeah... It's a ranch house. Open stairwell. We heat with a wood stove upstairs. It's hard to get that heat down the stairs so our upstairs will be like 80 and downstairs will be 50 or below some days. The alternative we have is our propane furnace. But when we used to use that, it was about $400 a month during the coldest months. And that didn't really heat the downstairs well and we could only afford to heat the upstairs to about 65.... 65 degrees equaled about $400 a month on propane.
 
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Old 01-22-13, 05:11 PM
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The Pro's will weigh in, but it sounds like you just need to get some of that 80 degrees down in the basement. Could be as simple as some ducts and fans.

Let's see what they say.
 
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Old 01-22-13, 05:20 PM
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It almost sounds like you would need to come up with a way of zoning or diverting the furnace to the lower level. You could still allow it to draw return air from upstairs but just allow it to discharge downstairs.

Otherwise....invest in a thru the wall vented wall heater (propane)

Electric is an expensive way to heat. I just love the ads for eden pure and some of those other esoteric type heaters. They make it sound like a break thru discovery in space age heating.....NOT.

Like gunguy said......there ain't no free lunch.
 
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Old 01-22-13, 05:35 PM
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My ducts do have these things in them that I can turn from the basement open ceilings so I can close off the ducts. I was thinking before I got this infrared heater, about installing a thermostat downstairs and opening the one vent downstairs so our huge furnace would be heating one room in the winter. Hopefully the propane wouldn't be too much.
 
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Old 01-22-13, 05:52 PM
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No matter how you heat your basement, the best thing you can do is to install a door at the bottom/top of the stairs so the heat will stay down where you want it.

If you have a central furnace, try turning on the fan to move the air though the house.

1500 watts is 1500 watts. That is 1.5kw per hour you run it. You can do the math to figure out how much it will cost you. If your rate is .12 per kwh and you run the heater only when your down there (as you should) you could say and average of 5 hours it would be this:
1.5 kwh x 5 hours x 30 days x .12 = $27 a month.

It is nothing more than a standard space heater, but it might be one of the safest heaters out there as it can't be tipped over and is cool to the touch.
 
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Old 01-23-13, 06:19 AM
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It doesn't work to only have it on when down there. For one, it takes about 5 hours for the heater to take the basement from 55 to a comfortable 65. Two, I have kids that I have to fight with them to just get them to turn off the TV and lights when they're not down there. I'll never get them to unplug that too.

Granted, it takes that long because it's an open stairwell. I've looked at it, and I'm not 100% sure how I'd put a door at the bottom. And there's no way to put one at the top, because the one side of the stairwell is this opening that we set plants on it... not sure how to explain it, but a door at the top would do nothing. There's not enough wall beyond the stairs at the bottom to put a door much further than an inch away from the bottom stair. I'd probably have to hang a blanket. Also, my ceiling was torn apart in one part of the basement (before we bought it.) I'm not 100% sure how it was before it was torn apart. Part of the ceiling in the basement is drywall, but part of it recesses down with barn wood but the inside of the barn wood is wood 2x6s, wiring, duct work, so the ceiling is open to the furnace room and the room next to the living room, which I'm sure affects the heat. I'm not a construction person, but I've stared at it and tried to visualize what it would've looked like before they ripped it out, if it was a hanging celing or what, and I'm not sure. They added a sunroom to the house and they ran heat ducts to it and that's why the ripped it out...

Although I do like knowing the heat is escaping into the furnace room. I keep on having these bad thoughts that because we heat with wood upstairs and the downstairs is so cold, that the water lines are going to freeze downstairs. Don't know what people's thoughts are on that. What do others do about water lines freezing that heat with wood and don't heat their basement?

I think I'm going to look ito a propane wall mounted heater for the basement. Don't know how much that would cost to run a month. Any input on the operating costs of a 1000 sq. ft. wall mounted propane heater?
 
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Old 01-23-13, 06:27 AM
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I have two infared heaters. they are turned on about 12 hrs a day. we prefer cold nights for sleeping. Yes my electric bill has increased. My propane bill has been cut in half. The infared heat does not run all the time it has a thermostat and is set at 68. Overall I am saving money and it is definitely better heat. No cold spots and if you don' think it is right for you that is ok but I love saving money.
 
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Old 01-23-13, 06:31 AM
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Wouldn't two heaters running 12 hours a day be the same as one running 24x7? That would equal what I am seeing... about $300-400 a month to run one heater. I don't know how that could save anyone money.
 
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Old 01-23-13, 06:38 AM
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My electric bill last month was $192. without running heaters last year it was $137. Propane is right now $3.80 a gallon. I have saved over 100 gallons of propane this year. My home is 2800 square feet and is well insulated. built in 2005 and I witnessed every step including insulation. Maybe your home is not as tight or you may live in a colder climate. Virginia is not too bad.
 
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Old 01-23-13, 04:19 PM
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If your furnace draws air from your 80 degree upstairs and only heats the basement, it should not cost much to run it.

In my area, propane is running about $2.85 /gal if you own your own tank. If the gas company owns the tank then the price /gal goes up a lot. Best to shop around for best deals with fuel companies.
 
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Old 01-23-13, 04:43 PM
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MAN! You guys are paying a lot for propane! It was $1.69 prebuy this fall with a company owned tank. Not sure what the price is now in the dead of winter.

To add a door at the bottom of the stairs, best thing to do it to build a landing about 3' x 3' and then the door. Make sure it is large enough to get furniture through.
 

Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 01-23-13 at 05:09 PM.
 

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