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Thread: Wall mounted electric panel heater

  1. #16
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    500watt heater? ain't gonna do a thing for you unless you are standing over it with it between your legs. 5000watt? might help a lot. I've a mini split in my basement, heats well down to 20f (lowest this year)
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  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Kris Cook View Post
    What's wrong with continuing to use the 1500 Watt heater? You can always turn it down. I have a wood stove in my shop and haven't gotten around to hooking up my mini split yet. I have a 1500 watt heater that I set on low and it will keep the shop at 55 or 60 degrees overnight when it is 10 degrees outside. My shop is insulated about the same as yours. My walls are 6 inch.

    As Carl said - watts is watts. You can calculate the cost of running an electric heater easily. One kilowatt hour is 1,000 watts for one hour.
    So I picked up an oil radiator. The electric ceramic heater I have is older and has a cord that gets warm when it is on high, so I don't trust it to leave unattended.

    I put the oil radiator on medium (900 W) yesterday at noon. Shop was 40F. The shop warmed up to 45F by evening. We had a good amount of sun yesterday, temps in the high 30's. The back of my shop/windows gets SW exposure.

    At 7AM this morning it was 6F outside and the shop was 42F. We'll see how this maintains the next 24 hours as the temps are not forecast to get above 15F today and drop to the single digits again tonight.

    I calculated my cost @ 900W for 24 hours ~$2.50. So about $75/month. Not the cheapest, but I don't expect to run this the entire winter, just on these cold snaps.

  3. #18
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    That's a pretty good result, Jay. I may try the same now that I'm down to one property and one mortgage as of yesterday so a blip in the power bill will be less consequential. I have a nice oil heater sitting out there in the temporary shop. Maybe it will make actually doing things out there more palatable!
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  4. #19
    Jim,
    i forgot to mention I have a fan mounted at the top of the wall above the heater, angled down, to help circulate the air around the shop.

  5. #20
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    Good idea with the fan.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #21
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    I wonder. Circulating the air with a fan will create more uniform temperature. But also could increase the convection coefficient to the outside walls/windows. It might seem counter intuitive, but I wonder if it might take LESS energy without a circulating fan (granted it would not be as uniform, but that might not matter as long as it keeps the stuff you want above freezing, so place it near that)

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Beckett View Post
    I wonder. Circulating the air with a fan will create more uniform temperature. But also could increase the convection coefficient to the outside walls/windows. It might seem counter intuitive, but I wonder if it might take LESS energy without a circulating fan (granted it would not be as uniform, but that might not matter as long as it keeps the stuff you want above freezing, so place it near that)
    I never considered that aspect. It would be a test to try with and without the fan, on nights with similar outside temps..

  8. #23
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    You would have to turn the heater down to save any $, but the idea would be if there is one area that the heater is next to that you want to keep to a certain temp, you might be able to keep it at that minimum with a lower setting (assumes other areas you just dont care about). Or keep it at a higher temp with the same setting. Isolate part of area heated in effect, so you dont have to heat the entire space.

  9. #24
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    If electric or propane are your olny alternatives for power, I would suggest one of the new heat pumps from mitsubishi or similar. They should operate pretty well in your area and you get the added benifit of cooling in the summer. They are considerably more efficient than any resistance electric heating unit.
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  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    If electric or propane are your olny alternatives for power, I would suggest one of the new heat pumps from mitsubishi or similar. They should operate pretty well in your area and you get the added benifit of cooling in the summer. They are considerably more efficient than any resistance electric heating unit.
    Yes, MiniSplits are often recommended for this application. I miss mine and will have that back once I get a shop building up. There are many choices here, including quite a few that are more affordable than the Mitsubishi units which are a "top shelf" product. Some, such as a few from Mr Cool, are DIY installation, too, with full warranty.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #26
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    Does the garage/shop have a flat ceiling and is it insulated? Does it also serve as a garage or can the big door be blocked with semipermanent insulation?

    What is the claimed efficiency of a mini split at low outside temps? It should be better at low indoor temps so it's complicated. Also there's the exaggeration factor to beware of.

    Watts is watts so filled with oil or ricotta, same operating cost.

  12. #27
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    Tom, one of the neat things about current generation Minisplits is that there are units that operate efficiently down to -5F. I've even heard of some that can go lower, but I'm sure that comes with a substantial uplift in cost, too.

    In my case, the big door can't be blocked because it's the ONLY door into the garage/temp shop other than the little one into the laundry room from the house. If I were forced to use it more permanently, I'd insulate it. The only insulation I have now is actually the big door which is a really good, thick, insulated garage door that the previous owners likely paid a nice chunk of change for.

    The OP will have to comment on his environment, but he's in the same geography as me and would get the same benefits from whatever heating/cooling source. The Minisplit I had in the old shop was extraordinary in performance and made almost no impact on the electric bill compared to the resistance heat I had previously. I'm talking by magnitudes. And...AC, too.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    Does the garage/shop have a flat ceiling and is it insulated? Does it also serve as a garage or can the big door be blocked with semipermanent insulation?

    What is the claimed efficiency of a mini split at low outside temps? It should be better at low indoor temps so it's complicated. Also there's the exaggeration factor to beware of.

    Watts is watts so filled with oil or ricotta, same operating cost.
    https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com...rformance-data

    Counter intuitively, heat pumps CAN lift more energy from inside than is put in. COF > 1. They are designed to 'transfer' heat, not generate heat. Resistive heat is 1:1 as a heat generator.

    Low outdoor temps definitely limit efficiency (really it is the temperature difference, the bigger the difference the hard it is to transfer heat from one to the other). But for moderate climates it is hard to beat, and do not under estimate de-humidification and AC for a shop.

    Quite nice solution, as Jim points out some very cost effective DIY models available. I would always opt for the mini split over electric except for ease of installation and portability (my current codes do not allow it). One of the mini splits I installed took a day, which included the wiring (plus wait time for electrical inspection).

    Do keep them off the ground outside. Or cover the condenser unit. They can melt snow around it and build up ice (I had one on a concrete pad for a while which was no good in cold climate)

  14. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bender View Post
    Does the garage/shop have a flat ceiling and is it insulated? Does it also serve as a garage or can the big door be blocked with semipermanent insulation?

    What is the claimed efficiency of a mini split at low outside temps? It should be better at low indoor temps so it's complicated. Also there's the exaggeration factor to beware of.

    Watts is watts so filled with oil or ricotta, same operating cost.
    I'm in the same situation as Jim regarding the garage door. Flat ceiling, insulated to R30, wall R13, garage door R10

  15. #30
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    Jim
    Agree that a mini split is a great option but calculation is complicated.

    Jay
    That flat ceiling is going to pay off big.

    I think both shops would benefit by the addition of a man door. Then the big door would get only occasional use.

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