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Topic # 105299 1-Jul-2012 15:58 Send private message

I'm having trouble heating the house that I'm currently renting.  The lounge, which is the only room that I'm interested in heating at the moment, is quite large and there is an A-frame roof which is very tall.  Because I'm only renting I can't install anything like a heat pump.

Over the years I've collected a few different types of heaters: oil heater, small fan heater, ceramic heater with fan.  All of these heat the air which then goes straight up to the high ceiling and we don't feel it at ground level.  The master bedroom is on the second floor just off the lounge and the difference in the air temperature between the lounge ground level and the lounge ceiling is remarkable.

Someone suggested I get an infrared heater, which I understand is also called a radiant heater.  These operate by heating the people and not the air.  Sounded good so I visited Mitre 10, Bunnings and The Warehouse.  All had radiant heaters of different sizes and ratings but nobody could explain to me the difference between them.  Hopefully someone here can.

I was looking at a smallish three bar radiant heater, with a 2400W rating for $49.99, and comparing it with a four bar radiant heater with a 2200W rating for $117.  The four bar was about twice the size of the three bar, and on castors.

My question was if the smaller, cheaper heater put out more heat than the larger more expensive heater, why would anyone buy the bigger one?  Or was I missing something?  Was it perhaps 2200W per bar, in which case I can understand the larger heater generating more heat (2200 x 4 bars verses 2400 x 3 bars)?  the shop assistants couldn't answer my question.

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  Reply # 649110 1-Jul-2012 16:04 Send private message

MurrayM: I'm having trouble heating the house that I'm currently renting. ?The lounge, which is the only room that I'm interested in heating at the moment, is quite large and there is an A-frame roof which is very tall. ?Because I'm only renting I can't install anything like a heat pump.

Over the years I've collected a few different types of heaters: oil heater, small fan heater, ceramic heater with fan. ?All of these heat the air which then goes straight up to the high ceiling and we don't feel it at ground level. ?The master bedroom is on the second floor just off the lounge and the difference in the air temperature between the lounge ground level and the lounge ceiling is remarkable.

Someone suggested I get an infrared heater, which I understand is also called a radiant heater. ?These operate by heating the people and not the air. ?Sounded good so I visited Mitre 10, Bunnings and The Warehouse. ?All had radiant heaters of different sizes and ratings but nobody could explain to me the difference between them. ?Hopefully someone here can.

I was looking at a smallish three bar radiant heater, with a 2400W rating for $49.99, and comparing it with a four bar radiant heater with a 2200W rating for $117. ?The four bar was about twice the size of the three bar, and on castors.

My question was if the smaller, cheaper heater put out more heat than the larger more expensive heater, why would anyone buy the bigger one? ?Or was I missing something? ?Was it perhaps 2200W per bar, in which case I can understand the larger heater generating more heat (2200 x 4 bars verses 2400 x 3 bars)? ?the shop assistants couldn't answer my question.


I am pretty sure that all of those types of heaters are as efficient as one another. eg the energy but in = the energy that it puts out. I think a oil radiator would be best in your situation as the heat is in a thermal mass, rather than it just heating the air. A infrared heater I believe heats objects in the room, so they also may perform ok. But it sounds like the house may not be well insulated, or there are lots of gaps in it, as it shouldn't really matter too much if you have a high ceiling. With a high ceiling in a brand new well insualted house, the heat will fill the whole room, as there is less heat loss.



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  Reply # 649116 1-Jul-2012 16:10 Send private message

Thanks for the reply. I forgot to mention that there are definitely draughts in this house, but none that I can easily identify and block. I read somewhere that infrared heaters are good for draughty areas because they heat the surfaces of things and the people rather than the air, which is why they are very commonly used as patio heaters.

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  Reply # 649123 1-Jul-2012 16:17 Send private message

Get a Dyson heater. As other Dyson products, not the cheapest one, but a lot smarter than those other heaters.





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  Reply # 649130 1-Jul-2012 16:24 Send private message

freitasm: Get a Dyson heater. As other Dyson products, not the cheapest one, but a lot smarter than those other heaters.



Pretty sure they only heat the air though, so not really much different from a cheap $30 heater. They do look very nice though.

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  Reply # 649132 1-Jul-2012 16:29 Send private message

MurrayM: Thanks for the reply. I forgot to mention that there are definitely draughts in this house, but none that I can easily identify and block. I read somewhere that infrared heaters are good for draughty areas because they heat the surfaces of things and the people rather than the air, which is why they are very commonly used as patio heaters.


Yes they do, but if you are losing heat with draughts and lack of insulation, or through the windows, then the room as a whole, will still be as cold. However if you are in front of the heater, it will be heating you, so it may feel warmer.
Renting a cold house that you can't improve, isn't easy. Ideally you would want a heat pump, or underfloor heating, or install a wood burner. Perhaps the landlord should be helping you with one of those options, as I belive the government has had some grants in the past.

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  Reply # 649134 1-Jul-2012 16:31 Send private message

mattwnz:
freitasm: Get a Dyson heater. As other Dyson products, not the cheapest one, but a lot smarter than those other heaters.



Pretty sure they only heat the air though, so not really much different from a cheap $30 heater. They do look very nice though.


They only heat the air, which is exactly every other heater does... But instead of heating the air that goes straight up to the ceiling, it actually pushes the air through the circle, creating a fan effect, without the buffeting. It pushes the air ahead, not straigh up like other passive heaters.








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  Reply # 649137 1-Jul-2012 16:43 Send private message

mattwnz:
MurrayM: Thanks for the reply. I forgot to mention that there are definitely draughts in this house, but none that I can easily identify and block. I read somewhere that infrared heaters are good for draughty areas because they heat the surfaces of things and the people rather than the air, which is why they are very commonly used as patio heaters.


Yes they do, but if you are losing heat with draughts and lack of insulation, or through the windows, then the room as a whole, will still be as cold. However if you are in front of the heater, it will be heating you, so it may feel warmer.
Renting a cold house that you can't improve, isn't easy. Ideally you would want a heat pump, or underfloor heating, or install a wood burner. Perhaps the landlord should be helping you with one of those options, as I belive the government has had some grants in the past.

The landlord is seems very reluctant to spend any money.  Hopefully we won't be here for much longer, it's our first winter in this house, it has taught me a valuable lesson when we get around to looking for our own house!

I decided to try one of the radiant heaters, the cheaper $49 one.  I've had it on for the last 15 minutes and so far it is working much better than the other types of heater.  We can really feel the heat and it's also practically instantaneous.  We'll see how it goes this evening.



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  Reply # 649142 1-Jul-2012 16:54 Send private message

freitasm:
mattwnz:
freitasm: Get a Dyson heater. As other Dyson products, not the cheapest one, but a lot smarter than those other heaters.



Pretty sure they only heat the air though, so not really much different from a cheap $30 heater. They do look very nice though.


They only heat the air, which is exactly every other heater does... But instead of heating the air that goes straight up to the ceiling, it actually pushes the air through the circle, creating a fan effect, without the buffeting. It pushes the air ahead, not straigh up like other passive heaters. 

Apparently infrared heaters don't just heat the air like other heaters, they actually heat objects (and people) in the room.  According to http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/heating-and-cooling/infrared-heaters3.htm "Infrared heat skips the air and directly heats bodies far more efficiently."

Also http://www.air-n-water.com/infrared-heaters-pros-cons.htm says: "Whereas other heaters warm things up by warming up the air around an object or person, infrared heaters warm directly. Infrared heaters produce heat very rapidly, and the heat is easily directed to an object in a very precise beam. They are very useful when you're stepping in from the cold and want to warm up quickly. Infrared heaters are also great for heating you if you're sitting stationary on your couch, since they heat right onto you."

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  Reply # 649143 1-Jul-2012 16:57 Send private message

The most an appliance can draw through a 3 pin plug is 2400W so that is the total not the value for each bar.

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  Reply # 649147 1-Jul-2012 17:05 Send private message

freitasm:
mattwnz:
freitasm: Get a Dyson heater. As other Dyson products, not the cheapest one, but a lot smarter than those other heaters.



Pretty sure they only heat the air though, so not really much different from a cheap $30 heater. They do look very nice though.


They only heat the air, which is exactly every other heater does... But instead of heating the air that goes straight up to the ceiling, it actually pushes the air through the circle, creating a fan effect, without the buffeting. It pushes the air ahead, not straigh up like other passive heaters.




Radiant ones also heat the surfaces, so the surfaces then radiate out that heat. Fan heaters can't do that, they just heat the air, so if you have draughts, that heat can quickly be lost. But those dyson ones do look very nice, and a friend has one of their fans which I believe work in a similar way.

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  Reply # 649157 1-Jul-2012 17:50 Send private message

No one has mentioned LPG heaters, so here goes for completeness. They produce a huge amount of heat both radiant and convection. Great solution, but not for NZ. The by product is water and lots of it. In dry countries that is fine, but not here. Would love to see someone develop an LPG heater which captures the moisture. Yes you can vent it outside, but there goes lots of heat as well. (More about moisture down below.)

Portable/mobile aircon units have a window kit for the exhaust. Efficiency is not as good as a split unit, but you will still use about 40% the power for the same heat output.

The concern with a radiant heater is that you get heated from the front but your back is cold. They are more suited to outdoors where convection heating is pointless. Health-wise a fan heater is better, and an open element is worse (burns dust). Personally I like a fan behind an oil fin heater.

It is easy to find the drafts and cheap to treat. Wet your hands and pass then along door and window frames, you will very quickly find the leaks. Along the bottom of a door you can put a rolled towel. Works for a window also if the issue is along the bottom of the frame.

If you have condensation you will have cold. Firstly condensation forms on a cold surface which you will not be able to do anything about since the landlord is not interested. But then in the morning when that condensation starts evaporating the temperature will drop further as liquid needs to absorb energy to turn into gas - just like how an LPG cylinder cools down when you use it. This you can control to some extent by running a dehumidifier, but also cut down on significant drafts or else it will be pointless.




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  Reply # 649158 1-Jul-2012 17:54 Send private message

Niel: No one has mentioned LPG heaters, so here goes for completeness. They produce a huge amount of heat both radiant and convection. Great solution, but not for NZ. The by product is water and lots of it. In dry countries that is fine, but not here. Would love to see someone develop an LPG heater which captures the moisture. Yes you can vent it outside, but there goes lots of heat as well. (More about moisture down below.)

Portable/mobile aircon units have a window kit for the exhaust. Efficiency is not as good as a split unit, but you will still use about 40% the power for the same heat output.

The concern with a radiant heater is that you get heated from the front but your back is cold. They are more suited to outdoors where convection heating is pointless. Health-wise a fan heater is better, and an open element is worse (burns dust). Personally I like a fan behind an oil fin heater.

It is easy to find the drafts and cheap to treat. Wet your hands and pass then along door and window frames, you will very quickly find the leaks. Along the bottom of a door you can put a rolled towel. Works for a window also if the issue is along the bottom of the frame.

If you have condensation you will have cold. Firstly condensation forms on a cold surface which you will not be able to do anything about since the landlord is not interested. But then in the morning when that condensation starts evaporating the temperature will drop further as liquid needs to absorb energy to turn into gas - just like how an LPG cylinder cools down when you use it. This you can control to some extent by running a dehumidifier, but also cut down on significant drafts or else it will be pointless.


Probably because they are not really pushed these days due to all the moisture they emit. Apparently they should only be used in well ventilated areas, which means opening the windows, which will let in cold air anyway. But they do produce a good amount of heat.

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  Reply # 649183 1-Jul-2012 18:42 Send private message

LPG heaters should only be used in old draughty houses and garages. Otherwise may as well park the car inside and leave it running, its the same thing pretty much.




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  Reply # 649258 1-Jul-2012 21:23 Send private message

mattwnz:
freitasm: Get a Dyson heater. As other Dyson products, not the cheapest one, but a lot smarter than those other heaters.



Pretty sure they only heat the air though, so not really much different from a cheap $30 heater. They do look very nice though.


mattwnz is correct - I have one merely as a conversational piece of furniture in the house. Actually is NO different to a $10 fan heater from the warehouse with exception that you can adjust the temperature. Adjusting the temperature does not actually control the power draw, only how often the unit turns on and off to keep the room the right temperature. The power draw is the same 2000W constant. 

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  Reply # 649373 2-Jul-2012 09:56 Send private message

I used to have a similar problem in a previous house I rented where the air from the heater would just go straight to the roof and barely any heat would be felt down lower.

I ended up just rigging a typical 'cooling' fan up on the roof blowing in the direction of the couch. With the fan on it's lowest speed it pushed the air away from the roof and the room heated a lot better.

A pretty budget solution but when you're a student you deal with stuff the best you can with the materials you have :)




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