Will an Electric Space Heater Save You Money?

  • Transcript

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

    GEORGE: Oh, well, thank you for taking my call.

    TOM: You’re welcome.

    GEORGE: I had a question about some electric panel heaters that I saw …

    TOM: OK.

    GEORGE: … in the back of Popular Mechanics.

    TOM: Alright.

    GEORGE: The little ad advertisement was, you know, save at least 50 percent off your heating bills and it says that it’s a low-powered draw panel heater that you just simply bolt to the wall. It’s supposed to cost you pennies a day and I was kind of curious as to if you have any thoughts on that.

    When compared to using gas to heat your home, is this really going to be the big, you know, the big energy – or excuse me – the big monetary savings, using these electric panel heaters in rooms as opposed to your natural gas heater and a programmable thermostat? You know, they can shut heat down when you’re not using it.

    TOM: Do you remember the name of the product?

    GEORGE: Well, I know the website that was referred to. It was the letter E – Eheat.com and they sell them for about $100 a piece and it was basically off of an ad that I saw in the back of Popular Mechanics.

    TOM: George, I think the kind of product that you’re talking about is essentially a space heater. It mounts to the wall and it has a …

    LESLIE: It looks pretty cool.

    TOM: Yeah. It usually mounts to the wall and it has – I should say off the wall a little bit so that air flows behind it. It sort of creates …

    GEORGE: Right.

    TOM: … a convective loop, which is fine. I mean, you know, you could have an electric heater sitting on the floor that will do the same thing; this is just a wall-mounted. However, this is not designed to heat an entire house. It’s really designed just to put in some additional heat to one or two rooms, perhaps a bathroom or a basement.

    LESLIE: Or a room that has a lot of windows or…

    TOM: Mm-hmm.

    LESLIE: … not enough insulation.

    TOM: Yeah. Maybe like a Florida room or a place like that. So I think it’s a pretty efficient electric heater but in fact, it is an electric heater and not designed for the entire house; just designed for those rooms where you just need to add some additional heat.

    GEORGE: Yeah. In reading the ad – and that was why I asked you guys first, because it is a hefty investment at $100 a heater and the ad, you know, I think kind of overpitched the product but that’s why I was kind of curious and wanted to ask the question first.

    TOM: Alright. Well, we hope we helped you out.

    GEORGE: Thank you very much.

    TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. Protecting against the overpitch; a wise Money Pit listener.

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