A basic question about electric heaters

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by etpm@whidbey.com, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. Guest

    My neighbor was telling me that his oil filled radiator type space
    heater is more efficient than the kind with a fan and heating coils. I
    told him that there is no difference, that all the electricity
    consumed by the heater is converted to heat in the room. Even the
    sound made by the fan vibrates the air which heats it up a little. So
    if both were operated in a perfectly insulated room and consumed the
    same amount of electricity the rooms would heat up the same amount.
    Now I'm wondering about real world situations. Some frequencies of
    light pass through walls, some through windows, some both, and some
    neither. So I suppose the best heater is one that glows in a frequency
    range that is completely absorbed by objects (including people) in the
    room and reflected by the walls and windows. Are my asumptions
    correct? I hope so. Otherwise I'll need to call my neighbor so he can
    serve me a little crow.
    Eric
    , Nov 21, 2011
    #1
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  2. Guest

    On Mon, 21 Nov 2011 10:10:12 -0800 (PST), spamtrap1888
    <> wrote:

    >On Nov 21, 7:55 am, wrote:
    >> My neighbor was telling me that his oil filled radiator type space
    >> heater is more efficient than the kind with a fan and heating coils. I
    >> told him that there is no difference, that all the electricity
    >> consumed by the heater is converted to heat in the room. Even the
    >> sound made by the fan vibrates the air which heats it up a little. So
    >> if both were operated in a perfectly insulated room and consumed the
    >> same amount of electricity the rooms would heat up the same amount.
    >> Now I'm wondering about real world situations. Some frequencies of
    >> light pass through walls, some through windows, some both, and some
    >> neither. So I suppose the best heater is one that glows in a frequency
    >> range that is completely absorbed by objects (including people) in the
    >> room and reflected by the walls and windows. Are my asumptions
    >> correct? I hope so. Otherwise I'll need to call my neighbor so he can
    >> serve me a little crow.
    >> Eric

    >
    >There are two kinds of electric space heaters, convection and radiant.
    >Convection heaters (attempt to) heat the entire room, radiant heaters
    >heat objects, including you. The oil filled radiator is a convection
    >heater, as are the heating coil plus fan heaters.
    >
    >Comparing convection heaters to convection heaters, there is no
    >difference in efficiency, 100% of the electrical energy does turn into
    >heat. The Department of Energy prefers the oil filled units because
    >their thermal mass makes them a more constant heat source. Their
    >heating elements cycle less, for what it's worth.
    >
    >But, radiant heaters should have more apparent efficiency in that they
    >require less energy to heat just you instead of the entire room plus
    >you in it.
    >
    >http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12600


    Correct, if you ignore one minor detail. Since a radiant heater warms
    you, rather than the air, you will always feel colder on the side away
    from the heater.

    PlainBill
    , Nov 21, 2011
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. gregz Guest

    <> wrote:
    > My neighbor was telling me that his oil filled radiator type space
    > heater is more efficient than the kind with a fan and heating coils. I
    > told him that there is no difference, that all the electricity
    > consumed by the heater is converted to heat in the room. Even the
    > sound made by the fan vibrates the air which heats it up a little. So
    > if both were operated in a perfectly insulated room and consumed the
    > same amount of electricity the rooms would heat up the same amount.
    > Now I'm wondering about real world situations. Some frequencies of
    > light pass through walls, some through windows, some both, and some
    > neither. So I suppose the best heater is one that glows in a frequency
    > range that is completely absorbed by objects (including people) in the
    > room and reflected by the walls and windows. Are my asumptions
    > correct? I hope so. Otherwise I'll need to call my neighbor so he can
    > serve me a little crow.
    > Eric


    True.

    The only thing, radiant might be considered more efficient because inducing
    drafts might make the air feel colder.

    Greg
    gregz, Nov 21, 2011
    #3
  4. gregz Guest

    <> wrote:
    > On Mon, 21 Nov 2011 10:10:12 -0800 (PST), spamtrap1888
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >> On Nov 21, 7:55 am, wrote:
    >>> My neighbor was telling me that his oil filled radiator type space
    >>> heater is more efficient than the kind with a fan and heating coils. I
    >>> told him that there is no difference, that all the electricity
    >>> consumed by the heater is converted to heat in the room. Even the
    >>> sound made by the fan vibrates the air which heats it up a little. So
    >>> if both were operated in a perfectly insulated room and consumed the
    >>> same amount of electricity the rooms would heat up the same amount.
    >>> Now I'm wondering about real world situations. Some frequencies of
    >>> light pass through walls, some through windows, some both, and some
    >>> neither. So I suppose the best heater is one that glows in a frequency
    >>> range that is completely absorbed by objects (including people) in the
    >>> room and reflected by the walls and windows. Are my asumptions
    >>> correct? I hope so. Otherwise I'll need to call my neighbor so he can
    >>> serve me a little crow.
    >>> Eric

    >>
    >> There are two kinds of electric space heaters, convection and radiant.
    >> Convection heaters (attempt to) heat the entire room, radiant heaters
    >> heat objects, including you. The oil filled radiator is a convection
    >> heater, as are the heating coil plus fan heaters.
    >>
    >> Comparing convection heaters to convection heaters, there is no
    >> difference in efficiency, 100% of the electrical energy does turn into
    >> heat. The Department of Energy prefers the oil filled units because
    >> their thermal mass makes them a more constant heat source. Their
    >> heating elements cycle less, for what it's worth.
    >>
    >> But, radiant heaters should have more apparent efficiency in that they
    >> require less energy to heat just you instead of the entire room plus
    >> you in it.
    >>
    >> http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12600

    >
    > Correct, if you ignore one minor detail. Since a radiant heater warms
    > you, rather than the air, you will always feel colder on the side away
    > from the heater.
    >
    > PlainBill


    I don't know what the efficiency of radiant conversion is, but radiant
    heaters give out plenty of heated air also. Some also have fans.

    Greg
    gregz, Nov 22, 2011
    #4
  5. Bob F Guest

    wrote:
    > On Mon, 21 Nov 2011 10:10:12 -0800 (PST), spamtrap1888
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >> On Nov 21, 7:55 am, wrote:
    >>> My neighbor was telling me that his oil filled radiator type space
    >>> heater is more efficient than the kind with a fan and heating
    >>> coils. I told him that there is no difference, that all the
    >>> electricity consumed by the heater is converted to heat in the
    >>> room. Even the sound made by the fan vibrates the air which heats
    >>> it up a little. So if both were operated in a perfectly insulated
    >>> room and consumed the same amount of electricity the rooms would
    >>> heat up the same amount. Now I'm wondering about real world
    >>> situations. Some frequencies of light pass through walls, some
    >>> through windows, some both, and some neither. So I suppose the best
    >>> heater is one that glows in a frequency range that is completely
    >>> absorbed by objects (including people) in the room and reflected by
    >>> the walls and windows. Are my asumptions correct? I hope so.
    >>> Otherwise I'll need to call my neighbor so he can serve me a little
    >>> crow.
    >>> Eric

    >>
    >> There are two kinds of electric space heaters, convection and
    >> radiant. Convection heaters (attempt to) heat the entire room,
    >> radiant heaters heat objects, including you. The oil filled radiator
    >> is a convection heater, as are the heating coil plus fan heaters.
    >>
    >> Comparing convection heaters to convection heaters, there is no
    >> difference in efficiency, 100% of the electrical energy does turn
    >> into heat. The Department of Energy prefers the oil filled units
    >> because their thermal mass makes them a more constant heat source.
    >> Their heating elements cycle less, for what it's worth.
    >>
    >> But, radiant heaters should have more apparent efficiency in that
    >> they require less energy to heat just you instead of the entire room
    >> plus you in it.
    >>
    >> http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12600

    >
    > Correct, if you ignore one minor detail. Since a radiant heater warms
    > you, rather than the air, you will always feel colder on the side away
    > from the heater.


    And, the radiant heat will go right through any uncovered windows in its
    radiation path.
    Bob F, Nov 24, 2011
    #5
  6. Guest

    On Wed, 23 Nov 2011 17:31:36 -0800, "Bob F" <>
    wrote:

    > wrote:
    >> On Mon, 21 Nov 2011 10:10:12 -0800 (PST), spamtrap1888
    >> <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> On Nov 21, 7:55 am, wrote:
    >>>> My neighbor was telling me that his oil filled radiator type space
    >>>> heater is more efficient than the kind with a fan and heating
    >>>> coils. I told him that there is no difference, that all the
    >>>> electricity consumed by the heater is converted to heat in the
    >>>> room. Even the sound made by the fan vibrates the air which heats
    >>>> it up a little. So if both were operated in a perfectly insulated
    >>>> room and consumed the same amount of electricity the rooms would
    >>>> heat up the same amount. Now I'm wondering about real world
    >>>> situations. Some frequencies of light pass through walls, some
    >>>> through windows, some both, and some neither. So I suppose the best
    >>>> heater is one that glows in a frequency range that is completely
    >>>> absorbed by objects (including people) in the room and reflected by
    >>>> the walls and windows. Are my asumptions correct? I hope so.
    >>>> Otherwise I'll need to call my neighbor so he can serve me a little
    >>>> crow.
    >>>> Eric
    >>>
    >>> There are two kinds of electric space heaters, convection and
    >>> radiant. Convection heaters (attempt to) heat the entire room,
    >>> radiant heaters heat objects, including you. The oil filled radiator
    >>> is a convection heater, as are the heating coil plus fan heaters.
    >>>
    >>> Comparing convection heaters to convection heaters, there is no
    >>> difference in efficiency, 100% of the electrical energy does turn
    >>> into heat. The Department of Energy prefers the oil filled units
    >>> because their thermal mass makes them a more constant heat source.
    >>> Their heating elements cycle less, for what it's worth.
    >>>
    >>> But, radiant heaters should have more apparent efficiency in that
    >>> they require less energy to heat just you instead of the entire room
    >>> plus you in it.
    >>>
    >>> http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12600

    >>
    >> Correct, if you ignore one minor detail. Since a radiant heater warms
    >> you, rather than the air, you will always feel colder on the side away
    >> from the heater.

    >
    >And, the radiant heat will go right through any uncovered windows in its
    >radiation path.
    >

    Not necessarily. Glass is opaque in the infrared range. However,
    they WILL absorb the energy and if single pane will release half the
    heat generated outdoors.

    PlainBill
    , Nov 24, 2011
    #6
  7. nesesu <> wrote:
    > On Nov 21, 10:10?am, spamtrap1888 <> wrote:
    >> On Nov 21, 7:55?am, wrote:
    >>
    >> > My neighbor was telling me that his oil filled radiator type space
    >> > heater is more efficient than the kind with a fan and heating coils. I
    >> > told him that there is no difference, that all the electricity
    >> > consumed by the heater is converted to heat in the room. Even the
    >> > sound made by the fan vibrates the air which heats it up a little. So
    >> > if both were operated in a perfectly insulated room and consumed the
    >> > same amount of electricity the rooms would heat up the same amount.
    >> > Now I'm wondering about real world situations. Some frequencies of
    >> > light pass through walls, some through windows, some both, and some
    >> > neither. So I suppose the best heater is one that glows in a frequency
    >> > range that is completely absorbed by objects (including people) in the
    >> > room and reflected by the walls and windows. Are my asumptions
    >> > correct? I hope so. Otherwise I'll need to call my neighbor so he can
    >> > serve me a little crow.
    >> > Eric

    >>
    >> There are two kinds of electric space heaters, convection and radiant.
    >> Convection heaters (attempt to) heat the entire room, radiant heaters
    >> heat objects, including you. The oil filled radiator is a convection
    >> heater, as are the heating coil plus fan heaters.
    >>
    >> Comparing convection heaters to convection heaters, there is no
    >> difference in efficiency, 100% of the electrical energy does turn into
    >> heat. The Department of Energy prefers the oil filled units because
    >> their thermal mass makes them a more constant heat source. Their
    >> heating elements cycle less, for what it's worth.
    >>
    >> But, radiant heaters should have more apparent efficiency in that they
    >> require less energy to heat just you instead of the entire room plus
    >> you in it.
    >>
    >> http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm...

    >
    > That said, I have not yet seen an oil filled heater more than a few
    > years old that did not leak to some degree. Not sure what might happen
    > if the oil level drops to the point that the heater element starts
    > boiling it.
    >
    > Neil S.


    Are those things full of used chinese motor oil or something else you
    don't want to touch or have catch on fire?
    Cydrome Leader, Nov 28, 2011
    #7
  8. Guest

    On Mon, 28 Nov 2011 22:44:28 +0000 (UTC), Cydrome Leader
    <> wrote:

    >nesesu <> wrote:
    >> On Nov 21, 10:10?am, spamtrap1888 <> wrote:
    >>> On Nov 21, 7:55?am, wrote:
    >>>
    >>> > My neighbor was telling me that his oil filled radiator type space
    >>> > heater is more efficient than the kind with a fan and heating coils. I
    >>> > told him that there is no difference, that all the electricity
    >>> > consumed by the heater is converted to heat in the room. Even the
    >>> > sound made by the fan vibrates the air which heats it up a little. So
    >>> > if both were operated in a perfectly insulated room and consumed the
    >>> > same amount of electricity the rooms would heat up the same amount.
    >>> > Now I'm wondering about real world situations. Some frequencies of
    >>> > light pass through walls, some through windows, some both, and some
    >>> > neither. So I suppose the best heater is one that glows in a frequency
    >>> > range that is completely absorbed by objects (including people) in the
    >>> > room and reflected by the walls and windows. Are my asumptions
    >>> > correct? I hope so. Otherwise I'll need to call my neighbor so he can
    >>> > serve me a little crow.
    >>> > Eric
    >>>
    >>> There are two kinds of electric space heaters, convection and radiant.
    >>> Convection heaters (attempt to) heat the entire room, radiant heaters
    >>> heat objects, including you. The oil filled radiator is a convection
    >>> heater, as are the heating coil plus fan heaters.
    >>>
    >>> Comparing convection heaters to convection heaters, there is no
    >>> difference in efficiency, 100% of the electrical energy does turn into
    >>> heat. The Department of Energy prefers the oil filled units because
    >>> their thermal mass makes them a more constant heat source. Their
    >>> heating elements cycle less, for what it's worth.
    >>>
    >>> But, radiant heaters should have more apparent efficiency in that they
    >>> require less energy to heat just you instead of the entire room plus
    >>> you in it.
    >>>
    >>> http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm...

    >>
    >> That said, I have not yet seen an oil filled heater more than a few
    >> years old that did not leak to some degree. Not sure what might happen
    >> if the oil level drops to the point that the heater element starts
    >> boiling it.
    >>
    >> Neil S.

    >
    >Are those things full of used chinese motor oil or something else you
    >don't want to touch or have catch on fire?

    Where do you think they're putting all that pcb tainted oil?
    , Nov 29, 2011
    #8
  9. wrote:
    > On Mon, 28 Nov 2011 22:44:28 +0000 (UTC), Cydrome Leader
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >>nesesu <> wrote:
    >>> On Nov 21, 10:10?am, spamtrap1888 <> wrote:
    >>>> On Nov 21, 7:55?am, wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>> > My neighbor was telling me that his oil filled radiator type space
    >>>> > heater is more efficient than the kind with a fan and heating coils. I
    >>>> > told him that there is no difference, that all the electricity
    >>>> > consumed by the heater is converted to heat in the room. Even the
    >>>> > sound made by the fan vibrates the air which heats it up a little. So
    >>>> > if both were operated in a perfectly insulated room and consumed the
    >>>> > same amount of electricity the rooms would heat up the same amount.
    >>>> > Now I'm wondering about real world situations. Some frequencies of
    >>>> > light pass through walls, some through windows, some both, and some
    >>>> > neither. So I suppose the best heater is one that glows in a frequency
    >>>> > range that is completely absorbed by objects (including people) in the
    >>>> > room and reflected by the walls and windows. Are my asumptions
    >>>> > correct? I hope so. Otherwise I'll need to call my neighbor so he can
    >>>> > serve me a little crow.
    >>>> > Eric
    >>>>
    >>>> There are two kinds of electric space heaters, convection and radiant.
    >>>> Convection heaters (attempt to) heat the entire room, radiant heaters
    >>>> heat objects, including you. The oil filled radiator is a convection
    >>>> heater, as are the heating coil plus fan heaters.
    >>>>
    >>>> Comparing convection heaters to convection heaters, there is no
    >>>> difference in efficiency, 100% of the electrical energy does turn into
    >>>> heat. The Department of Energy prefers the oil filled units because
    >>>> their thermal mass makes them a more constant heat source. Their
    >>>> heating elements cycle less, for what it's worth.
    >>>>
    >>>> But, radiant heaters should have more apparent efficiency in that they
    >>>> require less energy to heat just you instead of the entire room plus
    >>>> you in it.
    >>>>
    >>>> http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm...
    >>>
    >>> That said, I have not yet seen an oil filled heater more than a few
    >>> years old that did not leak to some degree. Not sure what might happen
    >>> if the oil level drops to the point that the heater element starts
    >>> boiling it.
    >>>
    >>> Neil S.

    >>
    >>Are those things full of used chinese motor oil or something else you
    >>don't want to touch or have catch on fire?

    > Where do you think they're putting all that pcb tainted oil?


    Ha, I figured they used all that stuff up in foods and to polish rice by
    now.
    Cydrome Leader, Nov 29, 2011
    #9
  10. Guest

    On Tue, 29 Nov 2011 05:18:44 +0000 (UTC), Cydrome Leader
    <> wrote:

    > wrote:
    >> On Mon, 28 Nov 2011 22:44:28 +0000 (UTC), Cydrome Leader
    >> <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>nesesu <> wrote:
    >>>> On Nov 21, 10:10?am, spamtrap1888 <> wrote:
    >>>>> On Nov 21, 7:55?am, wrote:
    >>>>>
    >>>>> > My neighbor was telling me that his oil filled radiator type space
    >>>>> > heater is more efficient than the kind with a fan and heating coils. I
    >>>>> > told him that there is no difference, that all the electricity
    >>>>> > consumed by the heater is converted to heat in the room. Even the
    >>>>> > sound made by the fan vibrates the air which heats it up a little. So
    >>>>> > if both were operated in a perfectly insulated room and consumed the
    >>>>> > same amount of electricity the rooms would heat up the same amount.
    >>>>> > Now I'm wondering about real world situations. Some frequencies of
    >>>>> > light pass through walls, some through windows, some both, and some
    >>>>> > neither. So I suppose the best heater is one that glows in a frequency
    >>>>> > range that is completely absorbed by objects (including people) in the
    >>>>> > room and reflected by the walls and windows. Are my asumptions
    >>>>> > correct? I hope so. Otherwise I'll need to call my neighbor so he can
    >>>>> > serve me a little crow.
    >>>>> > Eric
    >>>>>
    >>>>> There are two kinds of electric space heaters, convection and radiant.
    >>>>> Convection heaters (attempt to) heat the entire room, radiant heaters
    >>>>> heat objects, including you. The oil filled radiator is a convection
    >>>>> heater, as are the heating coil plus fan heaters.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Comparing convection heaters to convection heaters, there is no
    >>>>> difference in efficiency, 100% of the electrical energy does turn into
    >>>>> heat. The Department of Energy prefers the oil filled units because
    >>>>> their thermal mass makes them a more constant heat source. Their
    >>>>> heating elements cycle less, for what it's worth.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> But, radiant heaters should have more apparent efficiency in that they
    >>>>> require less energy to heat just you instead of the entire room plus
    >>>>> you in it.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm...
    >>>>
    >>>> That said, I have not yet seen an oil filled heater more than a few
    >>>> years old that did not leak to some degree. Not sure what might happen
    >>>> if the oil level drops to the point that the heater element starts
    >>>> boiling it.
    >>>>
    >>>> Neil S.
    >>>
    >>>Are those things full of used chinese motor oil or something else you
    >>>don't want to touch or have catch on fire?

    >> Where do you think they're putting all that pcb tainted oil?

    >
    >Ha, I figured they used all that stuff up in foods and to polish rice by
    >now.

    Duzzat mean I should avoid brown rice?
    , Nov 29, 2011
    #10
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