Re: Propane heaters?
One thing I'll say for electric heaters: they are all 100% efficient; there are none any more or less efficient than another. You will always get as much energy as heat output as there is in electric input. A 1500W fan forced heater will put out 1500W of heat. So will a 1500W ceramic heater or a 1500W radiant heater.
Where you *may* notice an efficiency is with radiant heat -- but that efficiency is conditional on not trying to heat the room. Rather than heating the air then heating you, it heats you directly. So you will feel warm right away whereas with convection/fan-forced, it takes a while before you feel warm. During the first little while, radiant may be more efficient in that you feel warm before the room is really warm. So if you aren't trying to maintain a warm room, 750W of radiant heat may be as effective as 1500W of fan-forced (and from that perspective more efficient). On the other hand, if you ARE trying to maintain a certain air temperature, neither will be more efficient. Bottom line is to go with whatever makes you the most comfortable.
(Sidebar: if you are heating your home with electric resistance heat -- not a heat pump -- CFL light bulbs save no energy versus using incandescent bulbs during the heating season. All the energy used by either goes to heat the home; since CFL uses less energy it produces less heat which must be made up by the heating system.)
A heat pump is considered to be more than 100% efficient, because the energy output into your home (in the winter when heating) or out of your home (in the summer when cooling) is greater than the energy required to operate. Of course, it's awfully hard to cozy up to a heat pump on a frosty morning.
(Sidebar #2: All electric devices in your home contribute all of the energy they use toward heating your home, except for any light, sound, or other radiant energy that escapes to the exterior. All forms of energy decay toward the infrared spectrum, what we perceive as heat. The light produced by a light bulb? As the light is absorbed by objects, the light energy decays to infrared and the objects are heated. Your stereo system? As the sound is absorbed by objects, the acoustic energy decays to infrared and the objects are heated. The remote control for your RC drone? Some of the radio waves sent out by the transmitter are absorbed by objects... I think you get the point.)
Last edited by Fencepost; 12-11-2013 at 01:34 AM.
The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.