March 15, 2017 in Uncategorized
What’s the best way to go about heating a building with electricity? Want to know what electric resistance heating is and whether it makes sense to use it?
Energy.gov calls electric resistance heating 100 percent energy efficient because all of the incoming electric energy gets converted to heat.
Sounds great, right? However, the U.S. Department of Energy says most electricity comes from coal, gas, or oil generators, and those generators change only about 30 percent of the energy into electricity. The Department of Energy says that causes electric heat to many times be more expensive than heat that comes from combustion appliances, or the more common types of heating that come from propane, oil, and natural gas furnaces.
Electricity as heat
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, if electricity stands as the only option for a heating system, it’s a good idea to use heat pumps. The Department of Energy says heat pumps are better than electric resistance heating because heat pumps only use half the electricity that electric resistance heating does.
The Department of Energy says dry climates with either hot or mixed temperatures are the exception because those climates don’t have a lot of days where heat is needed.
According to the Department of Energy, electric resistance heating is plausible when people add on to their home when it wouldn’t make sense to extend their current heating system to heat the new portion of the home.
The Department of Energy says that centralized forced-air electric furnaces could provide electric resistance heat, as could having heaters in each room of a building. Of the electric resistance heating systems that it discusses, the Department of Energy ranks electric furnaces as the most expensive. The Department reasons that the ducts that electric furnaces use lose heat, and extra energy is needed to distribute heated air throughout the home.
The Department of Energy explains that an electric furnace doesn’t overwork a home’s electrical because the furnace’s heating elements will kick in in stages. Those elements, as the Deparment of Energy lays out, are a set of three to seven electric resistance coils. Energy.gov also says that electric furnaces have a built-in thermostat that the furnace uses in order to not overheat.
Electric thermal storage heaters
Of all the types of electric resistance heaters it goes through, the Department of Energy lists electric thermal storage heaters as one of the more efficient types. The Department of Energy explains that electric thermal storage heaters help consumers save money because they help the consumer take advantage of the fact that some electricity providers charge more during the day and less at night.
The Department of Energy says that resistance heaters that have their elements in ceramic are most common.
The Department of Energy says that a thermostat is necessary to control any electric resistance heating system. Energy.gov also says that baseboard heaters use a different type of thermostat than other heating devices.