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  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Val in Wisconsin needs some help with heating. What can we do for you?

    VAL: Hi. Have a question regarding a quartz infrared heating system.
    TOM: Alright, how can we help?
    VAL: Well, it’s that time of the year where you close up your house and then you get your bill and you think you’ve done everything you could and you still want to stay warm. Can’t find a lot of information on it. I have gone to the local hardware store that’s selling them. They also have some advertising in the Sunday papers. Is it really worth spending the $400 that these units cost, paper and from the hardware store, to offset your cost? It’s electrical and I’m not real sure how to convert the kilowatts to the thermal units, so I’m at your mercy of, geez, do I buy it or do I just turn up the thermostat.
    TOM: Well, how much is your heating bill on average every month?
    VAL: Well, it varies depending on – we had it programmed into the thermostat.
    TOM: Mm-hmm. And how much do you think you’re going to spend on heat this winter?
    VAL: Well, we’re probably going to spend …
    TOM: Because heating oil has come down again and gas has come down again.
    VAL: Well, that leads to, you know, kind of is electrical cheaper in the winter than the gas?
    TOM: No. Look, here’s the way that gas …
    LESLIE: And electrical is going to be expensive.
    TOM: Yeah. The cheapest is going to be gas; followed by oil and or propane about the same; followed by electric. The radiant heat or the quartz heaters are good space heaters but I would never recommend you use it for your primary heat source. We like space heaters for unused rooms that don’t have to be heated all the time or, say, a basement where, you know, you’re going to use it a short period of time during the year but you don’t really need to fully go out and heat it because they have a low installation cost. But in terms of substituting that type of heat for your central heating system, there’s no way it’s going to be more efficient than that and, as you mention, they’re very expensive, so the payback on that is going to take a long time.

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