NewsBlaze search box Daily News header

Fools and Their Money - Expensive Space Heaters

By  

Don't pay a premium for silly electric room heater concepts, especially if they claim to use "less" electricity. For a given amount of heat that is scientifically impossible.

Every year as winter rolls around I look for TV and magazine ads for some fantastic new kind of electric space heater. Each year it is something slightly different.

One year they are oil filled.

Another year they are "radiant" heat.

Another year they look like old fashioned steam radiators.

But everyone is sold on the same false premise - that paying $100, $200, or, believe it or not, up to $400 for the very latest kind of portable electric heater will keep your room warmer and use less electricity.

Unfortunately, as anyone who completed a decent basic science class in high school can tell you, any heater expensive enough to be safe, or a set of light bulbs, or a large TV and stereo, will all generate exactly the same amount of heat for a given wattage.

A watt measures energy consumption (and what you pay for electricity) a safe $30 electric heater using 1000 watts produces exactly the same amount of room heat as a $450 1000 watt "radiant-oil" heater.

A 200 watt TV, 200 watt computer, 200 watt monitor, and four 100 watt light bulbs will also produce exactly the same amount of heat in the same room and use exactly the same amount of energy.

A side issue is the question of CFL (compact florescent lights) which give lots of light but use little power - they also give little heat. That's great in warm weather or outside but inside you might want to swap them out in winter, you'll get additional heat in a room without buying anything new (if you kept your old bulbs the CFLs replaced.)

There really are differences between various space heaters. But those have nothing to do with the cost of operating the heater or their efficiency. If a more expensive heater actually uses less electricity then it also produces less heat, unless you know Harry Potter personally.

The differences which are important are all related to safety - a switch to shut the heater off if it is tipped over, a fan and grill or other feature which keeps the surface cool enough to touch, radiant heat which warms distant people or objects before their surface warmth heats the air, and so on.

The bottom line is simply this, pay enough to get a safe space heater but remember spending anything more than that because of some gimmicky advertising words is simply a waste of money if all you are looking for is heat.

Would you like more practical consumer stories such as this on NewsBlaze.com? If so, contact the editor with a comment for me.

John McCormick is a reporter, /science/medical columnist and finance and social commentator, with 17,000+ bylined stories. Contact John through NewsBlaze.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Top Stories News

Empower Nepali Girls NGO switches focus to support devastated communities in Nepal, after the recent earthquakes, changing the lives of hundreds of Nepali.
Assam State Premier League Organizers are putting the finishing touches to the venue for the inaugural football match and opening ceremony.
Women's rights are a wonderful thing, but women still want to be treated like ladies. Here are the top ten chivalrous things men can do to set themselves apart.
The decision although taken in 28th March of this year, the matter came to public notice when Deputy Director Information and Public Relation (hills),
These agents are brought to Camp Liberty while getting close to the camp requires going through multiple checkpoints that is only possible with assistance from the Iraqi security forces.
A rifle and several rounds of ammunition and other items were recovered in possession from them. Assam has lost at least 18 one horned rhinoceros in this year so far which were poached.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site