Electric room heaters


Sister has a condo that is all electric. Heating consists of elements in the ceiling. Not exactly efficient.
Years ago installed electric baseboard heaters. Works, but not very well.
Would like to find something to assist her in having a decently warm living environment. Wondering what is on the market that performs well and in relatively inexpensive. Same applies to electric consumption.
No option to change to any other mode of heating.
Related side factor being she has two pet cats she'd prefer not to endanger.
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All resistance heating is about the same in terms of basic efficiency. However, the comfort level can vary. As you pointed out, ceiling heat is poor in that regard. Baseboards are fine. Space heaters are fine. If your sister owns the condo, perhaps she would be amenable to increasing the insulation and changing windows (or adding storm windows). Simple things like door gaskets can make a big difference. In other words, reduce the heat loss and then it won't cost as much to maintain a comfy temperature.
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Might also want to try space heaters in the form of oil-filled radiators. I use two of these in my home (office, for daytime comfort without heating whole house; bedroom, for same at night) and they are quite safe with pets.
Jo Ann
Charles Schuler wrote:

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Jo Ann, there is nothing wrong with that concept, but again ... all resistance heating is much the same when it comes to basic efficiency (near 100% ... ignoring the loss in the supply circuits).
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Agreed. My points (not very well made, admittedly), were meant to be that #1, it may be easier to approach on a room-by-room, as-needed basis, rather than a whole-house fix; and #2, that if space heaters were an option, this particular type is safer with pets than many others.
Jo Ann
Charles Schuler wrote:

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Jim wrote:

All resistance type electric is 100% efficient. Heat pumps do a little more. The less than 100% part happens at the power plant in the wire between there and your home.
Having it in a ceiling may end up being a little less efficient. Likely more heat will end up going up through the ceiling than if you use baseboard or better yet floor heat.
What exactly do you mean when you say "Not exactly efficient." and "Works, but not very well."
--
Joseph Meehan

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Jim wrote:

I would use a couple of space heaters that are strategically placed in the locations she occupies the most. They are relatively inexpensive in stores like Home Depot and Lowes.
Make sure the heaters have UL approval. I prefer the type of space heater that has a 2-prong connector (no ground), I think they are safer. Throw the heaters away and get new ones once per year. Check the sockets and plugs routinely to insure there is a good connection. You can do this by checking to see if the plug molding feels warm. Turn the heaters off and then unplug them every night before you go to bed or whenever you leave the house.
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On 5 Dec 2006 18:19:26 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:
Throw the heaters away and get new ones once per year.
Why????
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Karl S wrote:

I have a heater that shorted out on me once--sparks all over the place. I also have a friend that had that happen. He claims that if he hadn't of been there it would have caused a fire for sure. In his case, he used to sometimes sleep with the heater on. So, that's scary.
That's one problem. The other problem is that plugs carrying high current tend to develop a higher resistance over time and heat up. You can replace the plugs when that happens, but heaters are very inexpensive nowdays and often only cost about $20.
Of course, if you don't use the heaters much, replacing them once a year might be a little drastic.
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On 5 Dec 2006 18:19:26 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

He means that if the plug is warm, that is BAD** and unsafe. Room temperature is normal.
I'm not saying I agree with the rest of the post.
**This also works with cars. Had a car that stalled and wouldn't restart easily. Felt the battery terminals. One was hot. Should be room or outdoor temperature. A bad connection makes heat. Cleaned connection inside and tightened bolt and everything fine for years after that.

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What is the real complaint? Drafty rooms? Never get hot enough? Uneven heat? Blankets and a space heater will cover up most of that, but the real solution is probably something else. Maybe even a ceiling fan to distribute the heat more evenly.
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The "black box" heaters with the ceramic element are supposed to be safe, and efficient.
Also consider a vaporizer or humidifier. Moist air feels warmer.
--

Christopher A. Young
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