Monday, October 29, 2012

Be Careful When Selecting Space Heaters

    The leaves are almost gone and, even though we had a wonderful Indian Summer over the past week or so, the temperatures are dropping.   You need only look in the pages of newspapers or magazines to be reminded that winter is on the way.  Looks like those Amish craftsmen have been hard at work over the summer building those fake “crafted” fireplaces.  There is a new ad that caught my attention this year. 
   The ad for EdenPURE Heaters promises to cut your heating costs and features a testimonial by none other than Richard Karn. You may remember him from TV’s Home Improvement.  In this full page ad Mr. Karn gushes about this product’s efficiency and emphasizes its laudable “American Made” pedigree.  It has been my experience that if they need a full page ad with more text than a John Grisham novel to explain the product benefits, I may want to be careful before giving out my credit card info.
   The EdenPURE heaters employ technology that has been around a long time.  The heaters use an infrared lamp to heat a large panel of copper.  The air passing over the copper panel is heated and circulated through the room.  This same principle is used in many space heaters, not just the EdenPURE models.  Like most others, the EdenPURE will keep you warm when used as directed but will it really save you more money than the others?
   If you walk through any big box store and examine the electric space heaters looking closely at the label you will find information on how much electrical current the device will draw.  This is usually measured in watts or kilowatts per hour.  Most all space heaters made for the home market will use between 1000 to 1750 watts per hour.  The EdenPURE electrical consumption is about 1250 watts per hour or in the low end.  The big difference is that the EdenPURE heater prices start about $200 and go up while models that will give about the same efficiency can be purchased for less than $50.
   Space heaters can help to take the chill off a cold room.  They can also be used to actually save money if you choose to heat only one or two rooms in your home to a comfortable level leaving the rest of the house much cooler. Most of us don’t live like that.  For sure you don’t want to be warm and toasty watching your favorite TV program in the family room one minute and cold and frosty when you go to the kitchen to get a snack.
   My advice is to use space heaters to warm up cool spaces but don’t count on saving much money on electricity, gas or oil without major changes in how you actually live in your home.  In all cases, never plug more than one heater into your wall socket and never use extension cords.  Keep the unit way from drapes or other combustible materials and never leave them on when you are not home.


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