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Old 09-25-2008, 02:29 PM   #1
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Default Electric vs Gas Infrared/Radiant Heaters

I'm looking for a more permanent solution to heating the garage. I don't have natural gas here so if I went with a gas heater I would need to do propane and have tank(s) installed outside.

I'm just wondering if anyone has ever used an electric radiant? Do they heat as well as gas and what are the costs of one vs the other?

I was thinking of installing a 8 or 10 of these http://www.heater-store.com/electric..._1357_prd1.htm

but I'm not sure if I should just go with two larger 15k or 20k BTU units.
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Old 09-25-2008, 05:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: Electric vs Gas Infrared/Radiant Heaters

Yes, that's why I like them. I'm just wondering if they are any more or less efficient than gas. I'm really trying to find someone who is using them to find out more.
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: Electric vs Gas Infrared/Radiant Heaters

Based on national average propane, natural gas, and electric costs: natural gas is least expensive to run, followed by electric, then propane.

FUEL / ENERGY CONTENT / UNIT PRICE / HEAT CONVERSION EFFICIENCY / COST PER MILLION BTU / COST PER HOUR (100,000 BTU/HR)

Propane 92,000 BTU/gal $3.00 /gal 80% $40.76 $4.08
Natural Gas 100,000 BTU/therm $1.54 /therm* 80% $19.25 $1.93
Electricity - 3,412 BTU/kWh $0.10 /kWh** 100% $29.31 $2.93
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Electric vs Gas Infrared/Radiant Heaters

My work installed 2 of them last year about 25 feet long each. Had them on propane tell the gas line came in we went thru about $500 in propane every 2-3 weeks. On Natural gas we noticed it heated up a lot faster and cheaper it was $700 for 2 months. Mind you thats using them 6 days a week 8 hours a day so your use would be way less.
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Electric vs Gas Infrared/Radiant Heaters

Does anyone have actual experience with the electric infrared heaters? What is used to control temperature? It looks like most places selling them have special control units, so I am assuming you cannot use a typical thermostat like is used for in house baseboard electric heaters?
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Old 10-02-2008, 03:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Electric vs Gas Infrared/Radiant Heaters

I'm considering several of these 5ft electric Fostoria units on Ebay.

Microsoft's Cash back program is giving you 30% off any Ebay Buy it Now item paid with Paypal. Its hard to turn down 30% cash back and 1% back on my credit card..

Dr V
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Old 10-02-2008, 04:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Electric vs Gas Infrared/Radiant Heaters

What's this discount now?
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Old 10-02-2008, 06:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Electric vs Gas Infrared/Radiant Heaters

You can read about it here.

http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?t=937306

If thats too many details for you, simply click on this link

http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=wii&go=&form=QBLH

Then click on "Wii". You'll notice a small graphic at the top of your Ebay screen that say 30% off cashback program. You now have an hour to purchase a "Buy it Now" and use Paypal to pay. You'll then get an Ebay message under My Ebay, Messages that says you've got cash back and instructs you to signup for the program. In 90 days the cashback will be available to transfer into your Paypal account.

Its usually 8% back, so 30% has people going gonzo. It wont last long before its back to 8%. Oh and there is a cap on the limit back. $200. So its good upto $600 of purchases.

Thats the nuts and bolts. Slickdeals is a great forum for finding deals. I've been on it for a long time and got some great bargains.

Good luck!

Last edited by vinculum; 10-02-2008 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Electric vs Gas Infrared/Radiant Heaters

I just picked up the Fostoria OCH-57-240V 3-pack with contactor box & thermostat for $529.99 Ebay Buy it Now. Got $159 coming back through the MS Cashback program, and an additional 1% off with my credit card.

Let see $529-$159 = $370.99 - $5.65 (1% of original total) + $35 shipping = $400. Not too bad considering it also comes with the contactor box & thermostat

On a side note, I had to use Internet Explorer instead of Firefox, as it wasn't showing up in Firefox. Others reported same thing.

I plan on using these for the front of my 60x40 insulated garage to heat the bay I work on cars and my workbench/tool area. I hadn't realized electric was cheaper than propane at this point. I'm currently paying 6.6 cents/Kwh in Pennsylvania. I know its going up very soon hopefully not too much. I've mulled over lots of heating options, and radiant electric has many benefits I wanted except cost to operate, but after running the numbers its not that bad at all. As Tesla once said. "The future is electric!"

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Old 10-03-2008, 04:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: Electric vs Gas Infrared/Radiant Heaters

I've been running the numbers comparing electric and propane, like Stitch did a few posts back and the results are alarming. Out in the woods, we dont have natural gas, so propane is the gas of choice for home heating. Last year my last propane fillup was $3.49/gallon. I didn't get a fill up yet this year, but I expect it to be the same and going higher as winter approaches. My electric rate is 6.6 cents per Kwh. Running the numbers shows that the equivalent cost for electric to produce the same BTUs as a gallon of propane is $1.76. Factor in 85% efficiency, as my home boiler is, and the cost drops to $1.50 electric vs. $3.49. Wow. Mostly everyone's opinion is electric is more expensive to heat with. Seems to me the cost rate of petroleum products will rise much faster than the cost of electricity. Food for thought eh?

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Old 10-05-2008, 11:09 AM   #11
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Default Re: Electric vs Gas Infrared/Radiant Heaters

vinculum, where did you find the 3 pack? I'd like to grab it also, maybe two packs!!!
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:06 AM   #12
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Default Re: Electric vs Gas Infrared/Radiant Heaters

http://stores.ebay.com/DWD-Components-Corp

He has a 5-pack of heaters too for $919 (2 contactor panels). You'd only get the max $200 off this package with the microsoft cash back. You might be better off with 2 of the 3-packs. Then you could get 30% off each purchase. I can't believe the 30% is still good, but it is. I bought a Wicked Laser green laser pointer. Its unbelievable, you can see the beam itself for miles outside! (New toys!)

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Old 10-06-2008, 09:03 AM   #13
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Default Re: Electric vs Gas Infrared/Radiant Heaters

Very cool! I just ordered the 3 pack. If it works out I'll probably get another 3 pack and 2 more so I can have 8 all together.

Thanks for the tip!!!

I just got the drywall and insulation done in the ceiling last night so I'll probably mount these on an angle on the walls. I was hoping to mount two on each end of the "work space" which is 30 wide by 40 deep. The only thing I worry about is the garage doors are on the one end. If I put the garage door up I wonder if it will cook the paint off the door since it would be so close.
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:33 AM   #14
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Default Re: Electric vs Gas Infrared/Radiant Heaters

Good deal. Now we can both figure it out together! Did you sign up to get the 30% off? I see they dropped it to 20% now.

I like the idea of chain mounting them and being able to angle them. I don't quite have placement figured out, i need more garage time to go stare at the ceiling. I too have garage door concerns. A pair of 16x10 doors with a 3ft space in between I have a workbench. I could put it over the workbench, or at the end and angle it towards the bench and door openings. I like the latter, because I plan on having an air hose reel on the ceiling above the bench eventually. I also have to figure out conduit and paint the wall before i attach conduit. It could be a cold winter before I get mine properly connected. I did not see much information online about the contactor box, so i assume its easy to figure out for those familiar with electronics.

In your case I would tend to think, Yes, You would cook the paint off the garage door! You'd have to discipline yourself to not put the doors up when the heater is on, or find alternative placement. Maybe an automatic shutoff when the garage door opens wouldn't be too difficult to figure out.

I've seen some nice triac based temperature controllers, expensive though. Also wire cages over the heaters might be a good idea. $30 ea.

I have no idea how these are being shipped, haven't heard anything from the seller yet. I'll see what the truck brings first before figuring out everything else....I'll keep you posted.

Dr V

Last edited by vinculum; 10-07-2008 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:51 AM   #15
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Default Re: Electric vs Gas Infrared/Radiant Heaters

I did get the discount. Great deal!

I have a large space to heat so I'm hoping to have a nice combination of these along with my 200,000 BTU bullet heater. I figure I can go out and turn on the bullet, ceiling fans and radiants. At some point the radiants should help to cut down on the bullet heater use.

I just finished drywalling and insulating the ceiling so I will probably angle mount them on the walls, which aren't finished yet. I have 12 and 14 foot ceiling heights in a 40 x 60 space. I know these radiants aren't going to heat the entire space but I'm hoping that four of them could do half, 30 x 40. If that's the case then I can get another contractor pack plus 2 more and MAYBE have clean, quiet heat most of the time.

I'm in West Chester, so I'm not to far from you. We should have the same weather temps so this will be interesting to see how they work out.
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:51 AM   #16
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Default Re: Electric vs Gas Infrared/Radiant Heaters

I'm sure with that 200,000 BTU bullet and ceiling fans you should have no trouble heating. But I can see why you'd want to get away from the unvented bullet heater. I have a large unvented portable propane heater. My issue with using it is that it puts out major moisture in the air, to the point where the water can drip and pool. I've also used a kero bullet heater, but the fumes really stink.

Did you get the 57" heaters? I see in your original post, you were looking at 24" versions.

West Chester, You're only a short drive away. My Mother commutes to Concordville daily from West York.

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Old 10-07-2008, 09:50 AM   #17
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Default Re: Electric vs Gas Infrared/Radiant Heaters

I bought the 57 inch units.

Believe it or not the fumes aren't to bad from the bullet, especially if I run heating oil in it. Still, it's loud and I want a nice quiet garage.

I have a bunch of friends who moved our to York. I get out there sometimes for car shows and other events.
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:34 PM   #18
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Default Re: Electric vs Gas Infrared/Radiant Heaters

I emailed the seller and he said the units are shipping directly from the factory and individually boxed.

Seems to be a car show every weekend somewhere in York. I used to take my prostreet camaro out to them, but with the cost of racing fuel I can barely afford to drive out of the countryside to the main roads! My next motor wont have as high of a compression ratio. For now the car sits in the corner of the garage until other projects are completed.

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Old 10-08-2008, 10:28 AM   #19
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Default Re: Electric vs Gas Infrared/Radiant Heaters

FYI, My heaters came today via UPS. Everything looks good. I measured the resistance of the elements at 20 ohms, which is correct for 3000 watts @ 240 volts and ensures the filament inside isn't open. Next up planning and a hefty trip to Lowes for wire & accesories. I might need to get a 10% off coupon from Ebay for that!

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Old 10-08-2008, 08:32 PM   #20
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Default Re: Electric vs Gas Infrared/Radiant Heaters

How long did it take for your stuff to arrive? I haven't heard a peep out of them so far and its been four or five days. Figured I would have received shipping information by now.
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