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Thread: Electric Fireplace Heat

  1. #1

    Default Electric Fireplace Heat

    I have a 1600sq ft house in Massachuettes that is heated with natural gas (hot air). I was looking at buying an electric fireplace this winter to heat the room I will be in most of the time. I need to know if it will save me money or not by lowering my thermostate and using the fireplace for several hours a night.

    I need to understand how to figure out an approximate cost for the fireplace and how much my electric bill will go up and my gas bill would go down. Is there a formual to do that?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The thing should list how many watts it uses. That would be listed per hour. SO, multiply that value by 24 and you get per day, and 30 to get per month. Now, if it has a thermostat, it might not be on all of the time. If you look at your electric bill, that would get you your cost per KW (thousand watts). You can figure out a worst case cost if it was on all of the time. It probably won't save you any money, but may make you feel more comforatable. Depends on what you do with the rest of the house, and how easy it is to close off that one room. In most places in New England, electric costs are worse than other forms of heat, but who knows this season.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    JAD has the idea. I use small electric heaters myself, but left Massachusetts in 1964. Souther Cal. now.

    My oil-filled electric radiator lists 1500 watts. That is 1.5 KW. Our electric costs 16 cents per KW hour. SO running that heater costs us 24 cents per hour ( max , because it does cycle on and off with t-stat)

    A cold winter month, our electric bill goes up about $50. We have gas forced air, but do not turn it on at all, so I have no comparison as to what the gas heat would cost if we used it instead of the electric.


    I think there would be some savings if you are just wanting to keep one room warm and toasty at night, and not heat the whole house. The trade off is if....the next morning......you needed to heat the rest of the house back up from 55 to 75.

    Usually, your electric utility company has an energy guru phone number who can give you " big picture" answers to questions like this. Give them a call.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default electric

    Usually, your electric utility company has an energy guru phone number who can give you " big picture" answers to questions like this. Give them a call.

    He also has a vested interest in making electric the preferred power source.

  5. #5
    Rancher
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    He also has a vested interest in making electric the preferred power source.
    Not always, the HVAC contractor for my house said I needed 2 each 4 ton heat pumps, the Electric co said 1 each 5 ton would do it.

    Rancher

  6. #6
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    I didn't realize that heat pumps were common in MA. I thought the winters were too long and cold for that to be efficient, because when it is too cold for the heat pump, you are left with electric strip heat....which is expensive.

    As far as sizing, you can't do that over the phone, and I hope the HVAC guy didn't just pull that number out of a hat. I'm sure his experience gives him some "rules of thumb" to use, but the really correct way is to do a formal Manual J heat load calculation.

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