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265 posts

Ultimate Geek

#116022 15-Apr-2013 22:23
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I need to by a new electric heater that can heat up a medium sized lounge. I have a one-year-old kid running around so it needs to be safe to the touch and not cause burns, but at the same time put out radiant heat so the cat can sleep in front of it.

I think the solution might be a micathermic heater. Information on them is scant, but the warehouse actually has quite a good heater guide It says that micathermic heaters “combine technology from both convection and reflective heating” and “no glowing parts, making them really safe to use” which seems perfect to me.

Does anyone have any practical experience with these? Do they really heat that well without becoming too hot, and provide radiant heat that the same time?

I found a few models at the usual suspects of the Warehouse, Noel Lemming, and Mitre 10. Any model recommendations?

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Uber Geek


  #799971 16-Apr-2013 07:39
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Is it your own home? Is a wall hung heat pump an option? They don't get that hot themselves but warm rooms well, and a toddler can't reach them.

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Ultimate Geek


  #799981 16-Apr-2013 08:03
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We've got 2 at home. They do a great job I reckon, pretty much instant heat.  The main one we use is in our master bedroom which is usually on a timer + thermostat over winter (half an hour before bed and half an hour before waking up). 

When standing in front of it, you get warmed up very quickly and have to move on, I can't say that I've ever touched the heater before while it's been on (in terms of child touch safety). Maybe next time it's on (current weather wise it looks likely!) I'll give it a go...


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Ultimate Geek

  #799993 16-Apr-2013 08:24
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@timmmay: it is a family owed home, so a heat pump is possible, but there is still the initial cost to consider, a few hundred bucks for a heater versus a thousand plus for a heat pump (I know it might be worth it for the long term savings).

@tanivula: Thanks. What brand do you have? I think a surface temperate of 55C (the legal tap water temperature limit) should be OK, just dont want instant burns!

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  #799998 16-Apr-2013 08:39
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I've got a Goldair GMH200, 2000 watt, last years model. Cost a $100.00 from Bunnings.
Almost instant heat and warms our lounge nicely. I'm very happy with it.

The unit does get extremely hot, have burnt myself a few times huddling over it.

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  #800004 16-Apr-2013 08:47
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Oncop53: @timmmay: it is a family owed home, so a heat pump is possible, but there is still the initial cost to consider, a few hundred bucks for a heater versus a thousand plus for a heat pump (I know it might be worth it for the long term savings).

A heat pump will be $3-4K installed. It was worthwhile to me for the massive heat output in my large house (10kw lounge 7kw dining area) and the reducing in heating costs. Before I had heat pumps we paid $400 per month in power and the house was always cold. After heat pumps heating costs maybe $300 and the house is really warm.

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  #800338 16-Apr-2013 16:59
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Any heater of a certain heat rating will produce the same heat irrespective of the type of heater, except for a heat pump (which transfers heat energy rather than produce it). The type comes down to your preference. You might be better off with a few small fan heaters spread around the place and set to use say 1 element instead of 2, but then you usually do not get a thermostat and they smell when dust burns on the element.

Before we got our heat pump in December we used a few 1kW 7-fin heaters and placed a CPU fan on top of it running at 9V so it is not too fast, and blowing the heat down and across the floor. I've done that for a couple of years and it works great.

Radiant heat is good to quickly feel like you heat up, but long term you need the area to be heated up. With convection heaters you end up with lots of heat at the ceiling and cool down before it can heat you up, but blowing the heat down and along the floor works well to heat the floor and surroundings. You will find the heater will stay fairly cool as you constantly blowing the heat away from it, and the thermostat will measure the actual room temperature instead of the heater.

It is not very healthy sitting in front of a radiant heater, you hear up from the front while your back is cold. They do heat you up fast though.

EDIT: 5-fin, not 7-fin.

You can never have enough Volvos!

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