Any personal recommendations for energy efficient but kickass electric heaters?

Any personal recommendations for energy efficient but kickass electric heaters?

Our condo has prohibited gas liquido estufas. So going to be an expensive winter already tainted with general price increases everywhere else.

Looking for one that can heat a 30m3 living area with an A or more efficiency. I know there may be a tradeoff so if a kickass heater is less than A but can be turned off and on as needed because of this kickassness, please do recommend.

Electric heaters are going to be more expensive than gas, maybe about double at a very, very rough guess (I could be wrong), but that depends on the case.

To answer your question, I suspect most electric heaters have a similarly high efficiency of 90% or 95% so it won’t make much difference which one you chose or what letter is on it. (I don’t know this for an absolute fact.)

If instead of using direct electric heaters that just convert electricity into heat, you use a heat pump, you can increase the efficiency by a factor of about 3 - 4. Heat pumps are >300% efficient because they use the energy to transfer air around and take energy for free from the outside. So their running costs are about 4 times lower than a plug in electric heater setup.

However, the up front cost of installing heat pumps is also MUCH higher, as well as more hassle to get it done, and occasionally it isn’t possible. The hassle is both at the stage of figuring out how to do it, and at the installation.

If you own your own house, and you plan to live there for a lot of years, the heat pump option would normally be best as you will likely save a lot of money in the long run, but start sorting is out right now well before it gets cold.

If you are renting an apartment and only planning to live there for a short time, a heat pump makes less sense. In such a case a plug in electric heater, combined with wearing jumpers and coats at home, and hoping the neighbours have the heating on, could get you through a couple of winters.

Thankfully Chile hasn’t got expensive gas and nuclear in its electricity grids, just cheap coal, hydro, wind and solar, so electricity prices haven’t gone nuts like in Europe.

You might have a look here. Or here. Not too many options available, especially since the electricity overconsumption tariff kicks in during the winter months.

First: I don’t consider any locally available space heaters to be really Kickass© and only because of a …ahem…certain somebody do I ever need a kick above my central heating settings here in the XIIa region. But of the available items I’ve liked, and not just in Chile but Europe as well, I’d consider DeLonghi “Oleoelectrica” types. In theory it should be adequate for a 20-30m3 room but I never trust how those ratings are created.

We continue to use ours at a very low setting just to dry washed clothes or for warming up the clothing for a certain somebody on really crisp days. Since these are oil-filled units there is no exposed part that is dangerously hot.

Here are the specs in English for one of those DeLonghi models available in the country. There are also several Third World copies of the DeLonghi models (Sindelen, etc).

Thanks for the replies. Keep them coming.

I am still renting so unfortunately heat pumps and mounted combo units are out of the question.

We may try to reason with the admin of the condo as there is no law that prohibits gas licuado for space heating in the type of condo/depto we live in and to top it all, they permit parafina and all the fire hazard and poisoning potential in enclosed spaces that has. Not to mention the crappy Chile electrical system in each depto, the main switch for each of 80 deptos (behind locked basement doors as this is how the power is cut for those behind on gastos comunes) would probably be tripped constantly during cold days driving the conserges insane.

We have quite a few of those oleoelectric heaters. They usually have two elements, a 2kW one and a 1kW one. Since 3 kW is a lot, I cheated, and rewired the switches so that only the 1 kW element is connected, regardless of what is selected. We can get away with that where I live because it never gets that cold, only damp, and that amount of heating is enough to take the chill off. And two or three 1kWs heat more evenly than a single 3kW.

There are gas heaters with balanced flues available these days, which at least eliminates one of the risks of gas appliances, ie CO poisoning. I know at least one apartment block in Serena where this type of Calefon was retrofitted in all the apartments at the behest of the SEC. And the Sello Verde is supposed to be mandatory.

The other danger is the use of portable gas cylinders, which are potential bombs if badly connected.

We’ve had good luck with Kendal brand heating/cooling products, although not an electric heater. We have 2 gas heaters, a portable AC and an air cooler by them and haven’t had any problems.

Compare that to an air cooler we bought that was that brand Rec something or other that is sold in Tottus and Falabella. In less than a week, it was leaking water all over the floor. We took it back for a refund.

Gas heaters are bad for your health because of nitrogen oxides and maybe carbon monoxide as well. There have been studies about this recently. I wonder if you can reduce this risk by moving further away? I am not sure

Parafin I assume bad for your health as well, but just guessing.

Electric are better for your health.

I have a 1kW heater for my office and it works quite well. When I go in there in the morning it can be 10C so I just set it with the heater blasting heat directly onto me about a foot away and that works fine. And then as the room heat up I move the heater steadily further away or rotate it round a bit or take off one of the jumpers etc until eventually after maybe an hour or two the room is at 17C or 18C. The key here is that this heater blasts a stream of heat in a specific direction so you can be quite comfortable at 10C sitting in the right spot. With many electric heaters, this is not the case.

It’s funny how cold we get in a hot country. I was in a house in Coquimbo, and there was no heating at all. I guess it’s just far north enough that you can get away without heating, at least if you’re fairly poor.

And then I’ve heard that once you go to the south people heat their homes properly. This might be true because I saw houses with the heating on in February! (on cloudy, wet days).

Mewanwhile in Scandanavia everyone is cosy in their well insulated houses while I have four jumpers on in the morning and evening of a winter day.

The fact that a Russian gets cold on the Chilean central coast is quite revealing. :hushed:

On a trip to Chiloé, my husband and I stayed a few times with people that rented out rooms in their houses. They had these huge wood stoves that also served to heat the house. I am sure one house had some metal tubes that transmitted heat to the other rooms. I’m looking for pictures of a setup like that but haven’t found anything yet.

fwiw this graph shows temperatures inside my unheated office for the last year. In La Serena currently at 22°C. Some heating, but not much, is needed in this area to dispel the humidity, which can make it feel colder than it actually is.

Thanks for sharing that. So looks like about 15C when you go to your unheated office in the morning. For a while I found that my typing speed was slowed down at 15C and I would very occasionally make mistakes because my fingers were seizing up with the cold. I never could find the right gloves to solve the problem and I was having to heat up to 17-18C for this reason alone. However, for some reason, I eventually got used to it and now I´m fine with 15C. I had to bring the temperature down a degree or two more each year!

I think you can get used to it.

You may have heard that, and there is much " south" with enormous variability, but I submit that in much of the south – that is south of Osorno – the concept of heating homes properly is not widespread. That is the charitable way of saying that the prevailing practices suck.

Some new construction, primarily among the adinerado, does feature an attempt to install insulation, and central heating. Certain insulation practices may be required under national norms but in actual practice decent thermal insulation in the south has a long ways to go before some degree of competence can be achieved. Combine that with construction practices that promote enormous cold air infiltration and you have Chile Mierda.

Let’s remember that of the 10 cities in South America with the worst air pollution, at least seven of them are in Chile. And that is largely due to the poor performance of wood burners. Also, there is no limit to how improperly a chilenito can operate a wood stove – meaning high levels of monoxide and particulate pollution. And many homes in " the south" may have a dirty-burning wood stove as the primary heating source. Sometimes those are supplemented by an additional electrical space heater or two. But the result all too often is one room being heated decently (or excessively) and the rest of the house downright cold.

So I’d have to say that " homes heated properly" may exist but it’s not common.

thanks for sharing your viewpoint

Indeed, merely personal observation.

Some years ago I did some work for a university in Valdivia, which for the purposes of the thread we could include in “the south.” While I find some aspects of the city to be intriguing, it is still very much progress-resistant Chile, and its wood-smoke pollution can be suffocating.

If you have absolutely nothing better to do, and may have some bizarre interest in the subject matter, there is a paper CALEFACCIÓN EN EL SECTOR RESIDENCIAL DE VALDIVIA (CHILE): ANÁLISIS DE UNA ENCUESTA EN 2025 HOGARES by Schueftan and González (2014).

Schueftan and González had previously published another study on the economics of residential heating in the region, finding that “wood heating was six times less expensive than by electricity.” This was a measure of the caloric values of the fuels consumed in a residence rather than the costs of the heating artifacts (stoves, heaters).

This 2014 paper discusses some of the issues associated with attempts to move to improved residential heating while improving air quality. Among other observations, as of the date of the study, it was revealed that less than 3% of surveyed users purchased “certified” firewood. The concept of such certified firewood was (and is) an attempt to assure that sufficiently dry wood will be used, since the traditionally high level of somewhat moist stove-wood contributes enormously to both particulate and gaseous pollution. This reminds us of the unsatisfactory residential heating problem comprising shortcomings in the heating devices but also in the unwillingness of residents to conform to prescribed lower-pollution practices.

This study concludes with the observations that the combination of the higher efficiency wood stoves and the certified wood effort has not brought about desired results: “Se encuentra que los efectos de las políticas de recambio de estufas y de prohibición de uso de leña húmeda son limitados” ==> “The effects of stove replacement and wet wood ban policies were found to be limited.”

My observations of the characteristic residences of Valdivia revealed that these rarely had more than one “main heater” – being the wood stove, which could not effectively heat all the occupied living spaces. Newer and more efficient wood and pellet stoves, and additional (usually electrical) space heaters in a home were seen as an expression of the relative wealth of the residents.

The difference between the heating scheme for a typical residence in the central region, versus that of a home in the “south” is that in the latter there is typically one, and only one, adequately heated room. A hundred or so years ago that single-room being heated was not uncommon in much of the US.

Perhaps others could join in with relevant observations, again with an eye on providing insight for those who may have in a brief lapse of judgment considered moving here.

I said the same in a post here last year, Chile is energy-poor, and the habit of burning anything combustible that fits in the estufa, including wet wood and plastics, caused the serious contamination seen in southern towns. Electric or Gas heating is unaffordable for the majority of Chileans. Poor-quality uninsulated housing don’t help either.

The Pellet initiative was crippled by serious shortages last year , which in my SIL’s family, living in Osorno, forced them to go to bed at 5PM in order to keep warm. The alternative, burning wood, was to risk a swingeing fine for air contamination.

However, unlike colder climes, there are not too many reported deaths due to hypothermia here…