I have a 4800 watt 30 amp construction heater. Those little ones with a circular
element and a fan.
I allow have a residential 2200 watt electric base board heater on a wall
My shop is 14x18 and well insulated but we get plenty of below zero days.
I'm wondering if either of these two heaters is cheaper to operate than the
I prefer the shop heater because it's up out of the way and the baseboard is
tough to keep clear because it is long and has tools in front like my bandsaw
and drill press.
Probably not enough difference between them to matter....
They are both essentially 100% efficient (even the energy it takes to
run the fan ends up as heat in the room). Sometimes your electric
rate schedule will penalize you for heavier use, but unless you have
really bad luck, the extra 2600 watts will not bump you into the next
It will take the same number of BTUs to heat the place either way, the
4800 watt unit will just do it faster, especially since the fan will
help even out the temp in the room better.
Being able to move the one to the area you are working may allow you
to keep the overall temp lower, which would help a lot.
So take your pick...
To heat your shop to a certain temperature takes the same number of
total watt-hours (or BTUS), just your 2200 watt baseboards will take
more than twice as long. So the cost is the same, but the heater will
let you put the heat exactly where you want it and the fan will
distribute it faster.
Installed a ceiling version of this (Dayton Electric heater) last
winter. Set to keep the shop ~ 55 degrees, it comes up to 70 or so very
quickly. Impact on electric bill was neglible.
My shop is also well insulated and is ~ 24'x13'
I considered this but passed due to the inevitable build up of saw dust
on the element and I didn't want to go the extra bux for the oil-filled
or antifreeze filled that are more like radiators since I would still
have the dust buildup problem
I was once told by a relative who worked for the power company that with
total electric homes - such as ours - you can figure the heat is pretty
much 100% efficient, i.e. 150 watts of a lightbulb is going to give you
about the same amount of heat as 150 of baseboard radiant heat.
Ergo, to maintain the same level of heat, your baseboard unit at 2200w
is going to have to be on a little more than twice as long as the 4800w
I'm sure that there will be differences between the two due to placement
and the fan but, again, nothing to really worry about.
If the temperature is outside and you have a window, you could install
one of those heatpump/AC units. It would cost you less than electric
for temps 30 degrees and above, plus it can cool the place during the
summer. You could always use your electric strip heat as a backup for
real cold days.
Please don tell em heat pump. He did say - 0 degree days. Heat pump only
good to the balance point of maybe 34-35 degree
after that strip heaters come on to help the heat load. Then you have to
worry about the reversing valve, Once it goes TU you have to call me or
someone like me to fix. It will be more than $200 to replace a reversing
valve. We sold them and service them in seattle and for last 10 did not
sell another. Very costly to maintain . Yup some will work for years but
not many of them. Also the air discharge at best is only about 105-107
degree. Not a very warm heat. And if it is below 0 and you come into the
shop you want heat. Hell you could fart and it would be warmer than the
heat pump. If you want to have a happy customer sell him a
window shaker with some strip heater in it. At least when it breaks down
it can be fixed in a hour or so. ( heater side)
On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 22:00:09 -0400, email@example.com (O D) wrote:
Second the comment regarding heat from the heat pump. Our house in
Dallas had one; coldest house I ever lived in, you never really felt
*warm*. Putting one's hand to the duct, it always felt like a cool breeze
-- not the kind of thing you want when it's cold outside. When the strip
heaters kicked in, the electric bill went through the roof.
If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough
Running electric heat in the 30-50 range will cost you an extra $200 a
winter in electric bills anyway. Heat pumps are good for certain
applications. I use them to heat my log home, but I have propane for
when it gets below 30 degrees. When I referred to the strip heat, I
didn't mean the window unit but the other heat crankers that were being
referred to. Just because something is 100% effecient doesn't mean its
the most cost effective (compare water heaters between electric and
gas). If he's in Michigan or Minnesota, the window unit wouldn't make
sense, but some areas it would have a dual purpose if the place needs
cooling during the summer. If electricity costs aren't a concern, go
with the electric blast furnaces that are being referred to. If energy
costs are a concern, its a reasonable consideration.
The electric bill would go through the roof anyway with the other
electric heaters that are being referred to.
In retrospect, I don't know how much more an all electric (non-HP)
heater would run over a winter, especially if its well insulated. I
just know its pricey. I had to run electric heaters in Huntsville when
it got too cold for a HP, even after supplementing with kerosene
I don't know that he's going to _maintain_ or warm as required.
Big difference between passive and active dispersal of warm air. Not the
least of which is that baseboard heaters warm the sheetrock on the walls
while the other, located closer to the action in the middle of the shop,
warms the air that makes you feel good.
Good point and one that I completely ignored. Most any of the sellers
of convection baseboard or other shop heaters have on-line guides
showing the recommended wattage/btu required.
IIRC there wasn't all that much difference in the recommended wattage
for my space (slightly larger than his) between the ceiling mounted fan
unit and the convection baseboard
The 4800 watter will definitely heat that space unless he's up north of
Bemidji perhaps. I've got 5000 watts with my Dayton in the NW Chicago
burbs and it works like a charm.
I use one of them cheapie 4800 watters. I'd prefer baseboard heaters
because they're quiet. But your case is what has stopped me all along
too...placing stuff in front of them yadda, yadda.
BTW... I'm thinking a 4800 watt would be 20 amp.
on 10/21/2005 11:40 AM Robatoy said the following:
You might get by - depending on your voltage but the Dayton G73
heater I installed last year is a 240/220V electric 5000w unit. The
intallation instructions specified a separate 30AMP circuit using No.10
wire. My unit is installed about 8 feet (total wire length)from the
shop's 100AMP panel.
4800 watts @ 240v = 20 amps
4800 watts @ 220v = 20.8 amps
You always want a reserve on a circuit and 20 amps will not give that to
On Fri, 21 Oct 2005 17:15:12 GMT, Unquestionably Confused
My 30Amp plug is right beside my panel at 7 feet so I could put the heater
directly in front of it. I also have 2 ceiling fans to move the heat down from
the +10 foot ceiling.
I put in the baseboard heater for the next guy. My shop is designed to be
converted to a rec room or bedroom if they don't want a shop.
Of course the way I work it's a Wreck room now.:)
Volts times amps give you watts. Every 1000 watts equal one KW you pay
the electric company for KW. Then you get 3.14 btu per watt. Go figure.
You can also mount the baseboard heater higher on the wall.
Small correction, the power company is paid for KW-hour, not per KW.
So you would pay say .07 (here in Louisville) to operate that 1000
watts for an hour. Or a 4800 Watt heater would cost 4.8* $0.07 per
hour, or about 34 cents to run for an hour, or $2.69 for the 8 hrs.
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