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Electric Heat???

OSCO1923OSCO1923 Member Posts: 5
A family friend of mine is renting a cottage in CT through the winter. It is only for a couple of months, and she is concerned about her heating situation.

She is forced to use electric, and I am stumped for any suggestions.

The baseboard she is using now stays at a cool 60 DEG no matter what.

The dyson heating and cooling ring seems cutting edge and sexy, but I am not sure if it is worth the money.

It will be a costly winter nevertheless. Any suggestions for a cost effective electric heating solution?
You pick up a piece of old iron and it tells a tale.


  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    edited August 2013
    What energy sources are available there?

    LPG?  Fuel oil?  Wood (chips, chunk, pellets)? At what cost for each?

    I was thinking of an air source heat pump, but I see this is just a rental.  Not much you can do there to add heat other than more electric resistance heaters (if the service and wiring will support those) or adding a wood or pellet stove.

    Are there a lot of windows?  She might be able to add some thermal blinds or drapes
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 6,540
    60 degree water in baseboards

    If this cottage has hot water heating, then it may have outdoor reset which will lower the temperature of the water coincidental with the outdoor temperature. In the summer, of course the water will be cold, and on the coldest day of the year, the water will be very hot.

    I would get the heating system working properly and not rely on electric heat.--NBC
  • OSCO1923OSCO1923 Member Posts: 5

    The baseboards are just heating elements, electric.

    The only sources of energy available is electric. I think she will just have to go with regular free standing heaters and insulate the place. Thermal blinds and drapes will definitely help, door sliders and shrink wrap windows will make a huge difference.

    Thanks for the help!
    You pick up a piece of old iron and it tells a tale.
  • SpenceSpence Member Posts: 316
    Electric Heat

    You would be well-served to consider a mini-split heat pump for your cottage, especially one with a high HSPF. For example, a mini with an HSPF of 9.5 would transfer 2.78 times the amount of heat that it would use in electricity, a 10.2 would transfer 2.98, and you have air conditioning too. And, as suggested by the others, make the load smaller by insulation and other weather sealing measures. These measures should absolutely be done before you do your heat loss/gain calculations, so you can take advantage of the benefits of smaller capacities.
  • ZmanZman Member Posts: 3,516

    Electric heaters all basically have the same efficiency.

    If you use portable radiant heaters and only heat the room you are using you will save some money. I  would turn the baseboard down to a lower setting and get a small portable unit to make the room feel warmer. For just a couple months it probably is not worth doing more than that.

    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Small portable units

    Radiant works better than convection.

    The Presto Heat Dishes look a bit silly, but really work quite well - heat goes only where you point them.
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 7,122
    edited August 2013
    First question

    Is what is the kwh rate?

    If the rate is low then use at will. Is there some previous bills with occupancy usage to compare/prepare for?

    Using electric to offset electric is silly to me a btu is a btu. Being electric baseboard you can only turn up the room your in.

    Edit: That is depending on how the electric base boards are zoned. Usually by rooms, or at the very least by floor.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 6,693
    The electric rates

    in Connecticut are horrendous, thanks to some really idiotic actions by our legislators and DPUC.  That said...

    As has been said, if you have to use electricity, and you can't do something like a heat pump -- and this is a rental, so probably you can't -- you really haven't much choice in the matter.  Local space heaters or radiant heaters will be your best bet, assuming the wiring can support them.  The idea is to heat as little space as possible.  Then supplement by wearing enough warm clothes (it may sound silly, but long underwear works wonders) and using things like duvets or comforters to cover up while you are sitting still.

    Don't be taken in by fancy electric heaters, though.  As Zman noted, the efficiency of electric resistance heat is the same regardless of the fanciness, and an inexpensive milk house heater running at 1650 watts will get you every bit as warm as a fancy ceramic whiz-bang costing five times as much and running the same 1650 watts.

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • TonySTonyS Member Posts: 849
    edited August 2013
    Install Ductless

    heat pumps. She will easily be able to heat the home down to 5 degrees outdoor.

    Size the heat pumps for the heating load.

    Her heating bill will be 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of resistance heat.

    sorry, missed the part where she was renting. she will have to use a window vented heat pump
  • JackJack Member Posts: 940
    An alternative

    Would be a propane fired Rinnai Energysaver. Easy install and easy to take with her on the way out.
  • jonny88jonny88 Member Posts: 1,139

    I totally agree with Jack.I just installed one for a customer in a mobile home.Installation was easy ,valve kit that came with unit was excellent and a very happy customer .
  • SpenceSpence Member Posts: 316

    How much does 100,000 BTUH of electric heat cost? If you pay, for example, $0.17 per kWh, then 100,000 BTUH of electric resistance costs $4.98. A heat pump with a COP of 3.5 costs $1.42 for the same 100,000 BTUH.
  • ZmanZman Member Posts: 3,516
    Couple months....

    The OP is looking for a 2 month solution.....
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • SpenceSpence Member Posts: 316
    Two Months

    Got it now. For some reason, I thought the family friend was the landlord, not the tenant. My error. The easiest solution: Macy's is having their annual sweater sale this week.
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