Feb 28

Knowledge is Power

I am not a fan of winter, so I have really been enjoying the extremely mild weather this season. Not only do I not have to bundle up in multiple layers just to walk my dog, I am also saving on my home heating bill which is always nice. However Mother Nature didn’t want us to get too comfortable and has thrown in some bitterly cold days just to make sure we are paying attention. It is those colder days when I rely on my electric space heater to keep me cozy without the need to crank the heat up in the entire house.

There are many options available when it comes to space heaters, some are good, some are bad and some are just plain ridiculous.

Take for instance the recent popularity with Quartz or Infrared heaters, these heaters do work and are good for spot heating but will not heat an entire room. I caution you when looking for a quartz infrared heater as you need to know what you are looking for otherwise you could end up thinking you are buying a true quartz infrared heater but end up with a forced air electrical space heater that was wrapped around a fancy infrared marketing pitch. To help you understand what I mean and to make sure you are spending your hard earned money on the right product here is some information.

A true quartz/infrared heater works like this; there is an electrical element that sits inside a clear tube made out of quartz crystal. When the electric current flows into the wire it heats the tube. The quartz crystal traps the heat inside, causing the element to get even hotter. As the element gets hotter it begins to emit a large amount of infrared light. This light is then projected into the room where it continues until it hits a solid surface which then absorbs some of its energy, warming the object. These types of heaters are good for spot heating but are not good for overall room heating as they do not produce enough heat to warm the surrounding cold air in the room.

There are some heaters on the market that claim to be a quartz infrared heater but are really just a forced air electrical space heater. Here is how these units work; a fan draws the air into the unit, the air is then circulated around the inside of the unit until it passes over copper pipes or plates which have been heated by infrared radiation inside the unit. The heat from these pipes or plates warms the air as it passes over and through them and then the warmed air is forced out of the unit, which in turn heats the room.  The problem with the claim that these heaters are a quartz infrared type heater is that the only infrared used in these heaters is to warm the copper pipes or plates which then warms the air inside of the box. Unlike a true quartz infrared heater, it is the warm air that warms the room not the infrared light as mentioned above.

If you don’t want the hassle of trying to figure out exactly what you are buying and don’t want to spend a lot of money on an infrared quartz heater or one that claims to be an infrared quartz heater, purchase a truly portable electric heater or forgo the portability aspect all together and install linear convector baseboard heaters in every room for the ultimate in comfort. If you really want to make a statement in style, choose an electric fireplace to heat a colder room. True electric heat products, including portable heaters, baseboard type heaters and fireplaces have come a long way in function and design and can easily warm most rooms in your house. With so many size and style options to choose from, you are sure to find exactly what you are looking for at a price to fit any budget.

 

About the Author

Karyn

has written 48 blog posts

I am the Director of New Business Development, responsible for the on-line initiatives for Dimplex North America.

Comments (17)

  • D'Arcy O'Neill on February 28th, 2012 at 5:31pm

    How does one determine heater size[es] for a given square footage, please? For example my house is three floors Base/Main/Upper approx. total 1,100 sq.ft.

    Thanks….

    • chad on February 29th, 2012 at 3:57pm

      Hello D’Arcy,

      A safe rule of thumb is to presume you require 10 Watts for every square foot you are looking to heat. So, as your home is 1,100 sq.ft. you would require 11,000 Watts of electric heaters. Heaters should obviously be sufficiently dispersed throughout the rooms in your home to ensure maximum effectiveness.

  • Terry on March 14th, 2012 at 7:01pm

    And your new LC Convector Baseboard Heaters work five times better than an Edenpure at one fifth the cost!

    • Karyn on March 19th, 2012 at 1:03pm

      Hi Terry

      We are happy to hear you are enjoying the benefits of our new high performance LC heaters. Thanks for reading and posting and we hope you continue to connect with us online.

      Karyn

  • Clarisse Gamble on March 17th, 2012 at 12:30am

    I’ve just attended a home show, where a competitor told me that they have had numerous calls from people who have linear connector baseboard heaters in their homes, to have had them overheat to the point of scorching walls above the heater.
    This of course concerns me, as I have these heaters in my new home. I’d like to know why this problem has occured and how frequently HAS it been an issue. It concerns me as to them possibly being a fire hazard.
    I have no written information on these units, and am asking for information as to their efficiency, and safety.
    This is very important, as I am in a garden home complex, and there are 8 new homes with these systems in them.
    Thanking you in advance for your reply
    C. Gamble
    .

    • chad on March 19th, 2012 at 2:50pm

      Hello Clarisse,

      I have updated the post to accompany your issue, please take a look at the bottom of the post. That should help answer your comment.

  • Dave on May 11th, 2012 at 1:37am

    I’ve been reading lots of issues on both the excessive heat on the walls and buzzing noise on Dimplex LC heaters. I am presently renovating my basement and really had my heart set on the attractiveness of the heaters. What do you have to say to reassure me I’m not going to have issues?

    • chad on May 11th, 2012 at 3:57pm

      Hey Dave,

      We’ve had a 3rd party testing performed on our LC/LPC heaters. The tests performed indicate that the products are operating safely within CSA and UL standards. There are installation recommendations and a review of the Owner’s Manual on our website, would validate this is the right product for your application. You can visit this link (http://bit.ly/Kfn9IQ) to get to our LC product page.

  • Dave on May 12th, 2012 at 7:50pm

    So I bought a 1500w LC to see try for myself so I could be sure before choosing heaters for my basement renovation. I have come to realize that I think there is a lot of misinformation out there. First off, my 1500w is silent. Not even the tic tic tic of a normal baseboard heater. The difference with the linear convector is how it works. The heat coming out of the top of the unit is very hot. It should be, the room isn’t going to heat up if the heater doesn’t heat up the air. If you put your hand directly in front of a normal baseboard you’ll find it’s pretty hot too. The wall heat wasn’t anything to be concerned about. I could hold my hand on the wall directly above the heater and it was just warm. The back of my hand however got very hot, as that’s where the heat is coming from. I could also hold my hand on the front face of the heater, it was quite warm but at no point did I worry about burning myself. The biggest surprise was the heat output through the top of the heater. It almost felt like a fan forced heater. I think these will heat the rooms very well and I’ve bought enough to complete my basement. Just take a few safety measures and keep the area clear above the heater as it does work differently than a standard baseboard heater.

  • Dennis HOshield on March 14th, 2013 at 2:52am

    Hello …. I have been looking at purchasing an LPC5020W31. I believe this is a 2000 watt 50″ unit. Given all else equal … would a 2000 watt unit running at 50% capacity for most of it’s time … cost about the same as a 1000 watt unit running full blast all the time? I have quite an open floorp lan … living room/dining room is one long room adjacent to a front entrance and kitchen with a pass through. We spend most of our time in the living room portion. I was looking at one of these for supplemental heating, and though of putting a 50″ unit on the baseboard area of the pass through area. (it is about the only open space to mount something like this!) New construction, 6″ walls, well insulated.

    Although ‘concern’ about the hot walls is a little prevalent here, I thought of maybe tiling the wall over and/or around the unit, to take advantage of it!

    I think I would prefer the ability to have 2000 watts available on occasion, but suspect it will be running at something significantly less, most of the time.

    The spot would be perfect for the Onyx Glass panel, but too pricy, and probably not enough BTUs.
    Thanks for your informative posts!
    Dennis

    • Ashley on March 25th, 2013 at 8:33pm

      Hi Dennis, thanks for your comment! I actually see that you ended up making a purchase, but I thought I’d answer all the same. Yes, a 2000W running at 50% is equivalent to a 1000W running at 100%. The LPC5020 is an excellent choice as the built-in electronic thermostat will deliver maximum energy efficiency. It also features a learning control that allows it to produce the exact proportion of heat to match the amount of heat being lost from the room to the outside. Your open plan may effect this a little, but even still I would expect the heater to run at something less than 100% regardless. Assuming that is the case, the LPC will find the best heating profile to give you the temperature you want using the least amount of energy possible.

      With regards to wall temperature, the LPC will mitigate some of that for the same reasons that I describe above. In other words, because of the LPC’s sophisticated controls it runs consistently at lower temperatures rather than full-on, full-off with a conventional baseboard and thermostat. For this reason, I would simply install the LPC on your wall as is. If you’re happy with the performance as we think you will be, great, if not you can make changes to the wall at that point. The concerns you mention have come from LC heaters using conventional on/off thermostats; that basic control is often the limiting factor in the heater’s performance. We’re confident that the LPC will suit your needs and give you the comfort you’re looking for. Thanks and have a great day!

  • Dennis Hoshield on March 18th, 2013 at 11:59pm

    I agree with Dave, above. There is a lot of misinformation out there, as far as the ‘overheated wall’, and noise. This may have been an issue, but I just installed my first one today, and it is SILENT. As for the heat above the wall, I was hoping it WAS so hot that I couldn’t hold my hand on it, but that was far from the case. Warm? certainly … Hey .. it’s a HEATER, folks! Scorch the wall? … no way. If it scorches the wall, you have dirty air … the draft in the heater may indeed heat up the dust and deposit it on the wall .. especially if it has cigarette smoke, that tends to be a bit tacky. I was actually considering tiling the wall behind and above the heater… it’s on a short wall under a kitchen/living room pass-through. I’m going to hold on that, and spend the money on a couple more heaters, and a wireless controller.

    I might get to the point where there is enough of these to qualify as a ‘whole house’ heating system, where my electric provider will install a 2nd ‘electric heat’ only meter, and save an extra 3cents/kw/hr. We will have to see how much we run these, vs propane, to see if they help with overall expenses. No doubt they will help fight the propane bill! :-)

    Dennis in Michigan

    • Ashley on March 25th, 2013 at 8:41pm

      Hi Dennis, we’re glad to hear that the LPC is performing so well for you and helping you keep the propane bill down! That is always a good thing. Thanks very much for your comment and have a great day.

  • Deb O'Neill on December 14th, 2013 at 9:38pm

    Just bout a dimple heater and dimplex wall thermostat.
    The heater comes on warm, but not hot.
    What am I doing wrong?

    • Ashley on December 16th, 2013 at 8:36pm

      Hi Deb, thanks very much for getting in touch with us. The issue you are experiencing could have a number of causes. The best way to troubleshoot and address the issue is to give our customer support line a call at 1-800-668-6663 and one of our representatives will be happy to assist you. I hope this helps and have a great day! – Ashley

  • Audrey on December 15th, 2013 at 10:49pm

    Hi, I bought a LPC 2000W and it was so silent… for 2 months. Since 2 days ago, it became so noisy I wake un evey 5 minutes during the night because of clicking sounds. Is there something to be done about it?

    • Ashley on December 16th, 2013 at 8:49pm

      Hi Audrey, thanks very much for contacting us, and I apologize for the issues you are having with your heater. The issue you are experiencing could have a number of causes. The best way to troubleshoot and address the issue is to give our customer support line a call at 1-800-668-6663 and one of our representatives will be happy to assist you. I hope this helps and have a great day! – Ashley

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