How to efficiently heat a home using electricity?
All electric heaters are equally efficient: they consume 1 kWh of electricity to generate up to 1 kWh of thermal energy, but the type of heat distribution in each of them is different.
Before buying an electric heater, it is important to find out for what purpose it will be needed: whether it is quick heating of the room or keeping the heat for a longer time. You will not waste electricity if you choose the right heating device.
To select an electrical heating device of a suitable capacity, it must be kept in mind that the capacity required to heat each square metre of a room with 3 metre high ceilings is approximately 100 W, which means that an electric heater with a capacity of 1000 W or 1 kW is suitable for a room of 10 sq m.
An electric heated floor system consists of a heating cable laid under the floor.
Electric heating mats that are suitable for regularly shaped rooms are also available, while heating cables can also be laid in irregularly shaped rooms.
Heated floors ensure a steady temperature throughout the room: there is no warmer air layer forming near the ceiling, as is the case with traditional heating devices.
Electric floor heating is often used only for heating individual rooms, such as the bathroom or the kitchen, and not the entire home.
If floor heating is to be used as the primary heat source of the home, it is advisable to choose a heated floor system with a circulating liquid heat carrier, such as water or antifreeze. A system of this type is often connected to the heat pump.
A convection heater heats up a room relatively quickly with a warm air stream that flows through the openings on the top of the heater, but the air stream generated by it also moves dust in the room.
Most convection heaters come equipped with a thermostat, which allows you to adjust the heat intensity and the time of the operation of the device, so that it maintains the set temperature in the room.
Models with an additional fan that facilitates the warm air circulation in the room are also available.
A convection heater is suitable in cases when there is no primary heating in the home or when it does not ensure the necessary temperature in the rooms.
The principle of an oil-filled radiator is similar to that of a district heating radiator: it is filled with a liquid heat carrier – oil, which, when heated, transfers heat to the metal body of the heater.
An oil-filled radiator heats the room more slowly, but it requires more time to cool down after switching off and is therefore suitable as a long-lasting source of heat.
The heat output of an oil-filled radiator depends on the size of the surface or the number of sections: a room will be heated faster by a device with a bigger number of sections or fins.
Oil-filled radiators with a thermostat and an additional fan are also available.
An oil-filled radiator is well suitable for cases where the existing heating system is not able to ensure the required room temperature.
An infrared heater reaches the maximum capacity within seconds, rapidly generating heat in its radiant heat-transfer area.
It does not heat the air, but objects, surfaces and bodies in its radiating area, which then give up heat and warm the space.
An infrared heater can cause so-called thermal discomfort as rays only heat one part of the room while the other part remains cooler.
An infrared heater is suitable for places where there is no need to warm the entire space, but only the part where the person is staying, such as in the garage and on the veranda.
An inertia heater is a storage electric heater equipped with a heat accumulator or storage device: a ceramic plate or special material bricks with a built-in heating element.
The price of this type of heater is higher, but it cools down over a longer period of time.
An inertia heater is equipped with a thermostat and sometimes with a presence sensor that lowers the room temperature where there is no one in the room and an open window sensor that automatically turns off the device during airing.
It should be noted that if you choose this type of heater, the temperature in the room will require a longer time to change if necessary than when using other electric heaters.
An inertia heater is suitable for a home where electric heating is the only source of heat.
The higher the heat loss of the home, the more energy it needs to maintain the heating temperature. To keep heat, it is advisable to seal the windows and doors and insulate the exterior walls, the attic and basement floors.
When installing electric heated floors, high quality thermal insulation of the floor is essential in order for the thermal energy to be used efficiently.
The higher room temperature you will set, the more electricity you will consume. The desirable temperature when staying at home is from +20 ˚C to +22 ˚C during the day and 3 ˚C to 4 ˚C lower at night, and during the rest of the time when you are not at home the desirable temperature is from +16 ˚C to +18 ˚C.
When airing the room, switch off the heating in this room if possible and open the windows completely before the surfaces of the furniture have time to cool down.
When purchasing a heating device, it is advisable to choose a heater with temperature control options – a timer that will allow you to set the schedule for the heater operation and a thermostat that will make it possible for you to set and maintain the desired room temperature.
When installing electric heated floors, it is recommended to use a smart thermostat that allows you to control the room temperature remotely using a smartphone or tablet and automatically adjusts the room temperature so that it is warm when you return home and the energy is used efficiently.
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