has anyone used hydro-sil electric heaters?

I was looking through a copy of a woodworking magazine when I found an ad for hydro-sil electric heaters. My house has electric heat, but I don't use it, and installed gas heat for the primary heat source. Now the price of natural gas is going up. Has anyone bought/installed the hydro-sil electric heaters? On their web site they claim to have an energy-star rating with up to a 50% reduction in heating cost. I'm in Michigan, so it's going to get very cold soon...
P.S. Anyone using corn for heat? They actually make a corn burning stove. I was looking at one, and almost bought one. They're pricey though, with the one I looked at selling for around $2,400 per unit. It would almost be worth it, if it would be cheaper to run. If it caught on the price of corn would go up, that might make the farmers happy ;)
Thanks,
Steve
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<My brother in law, the corn farmer, said when I asked him why he didn't install a corn burning furnace, "Have you ever smelled burning corn?"
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This used to be easy to answer when the gas was so much cheaper, but energy is getting expensive in any form.
Electric heat is 100% efficient. Do the comparisons with the cost of electric at the present rate per Kw versus the gas at the efficiency rating for your heater.
1000 watts equals the same at 3412 Btu from the gas.
Any electric heater should do the same job. What makes the Hydro-sil so much better? If it is meant to be located on the window sill line, it will reduce drafts and perhaps make you feel a bit warmer at a given temperature, but a Btu is a Btu. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Not to sound like I'm selling product for them, but here's a link to their website www.hydrosil.com
They say that they've got an Energy-star rating from the U.S. government. That's usually a good sign isn't it?
The reason they say they are so much better is that thier units use silicon to store the heat, for more even heating- and the heating elements have a variable heat setting also.
The hydrosil units cost a whole lot more than a regular electric heating register. I've got a portable electric heater with a radiator that operates on the same princliple as the hydrosil but it doesn't seem to heat larger rooms.
Steve
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Usually it's a good sign, but to give an energy star rating to an electric baseboard is disingenious. Here's why:

All this means is, heat is produced, and some is "stored" and released slowly. You are NOT getting any "free heat" just more "even" heating.

Which is probably how they got an energy star rating, the consumer has the ability to adjust how much energy the unit consumes while it is actually on.
You have to understand, that when heating with electric, you are going to get X amount of BTUs *per* Y amount of electricity, and it does not matter if it's a 1200 watt ceramic plug in heater, or a 600 watt 220v standard electric baseboard, or a 3600 watt water filled or silicone filled fancy-arse unit with digital controls...
It'll all cost the same to haet the room from 50 to 70 degrees.

The unit seems to address some of the cons associated with standard electric baseboards... -They get VERY hot, causing an oder because they get hot enough to burn off the dust that accumuliates on them -You can't locate drapes or furniture above, or too close to them -They make cracking and popping noises, when all that metal goes from 60 degrees to 120 degrees in a matter of seconds - due to expansion
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At first view, the product seems good and well made. You have to look at the whole picture though.
They make the statement that they de-stratify the temperature in a room making it feel more comfortable. This may be true if it is below a window and it counteracts some of the draft often felt there. The longer length of the unit compared to most portable units is a plus for that.
They state up to 50% savings. They don't give details, but, read between the lines.The statement that they have "room to room technology" is vague. One advantage of electric heat is that each room is a zone. Each room can be set to a temperature suitable to its purpose. I have two bedrooms now rarely used. I'd have the heat way down there, not as easily done with other forms of heat.
The variable wattage may also be a help compared to the off/on cycles of most space heaters.
Is your original electric heat still in service? You may want to use that to supplement the gas heat by keeping the occupied rooms a bit warmer and setting the thermostat for the rest of the house back 5 or 10 degrees. Consider programmable thermostats if you don't have them. It is nice to have the bathroom heat come on 15 minutes before you sit on the throne in the AM.
My opinion? I'd proceed with caution. I'd consider other heat management solutions but if I had a problem room, I'd try other methods first. 1500 watt of heat is 1500 watt of heat. The $200 price difference for a heater will buy a lot of gas or electric. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome .
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