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but I am still curious as to what the actual ratings given to electric heating devices mean (or, in other words, in what consists the difference between two similar devices with different energy ratings).
Flying off on a tangent (as usual) - I don't know if this would apply where you live, but it would cost me about the same whether I heat my home with electricity or gasoline (assuming I actually had a stove that could safely burn the stuff.)
Quite so, but the OP does seem to be referring to electric heaters.Flying off on a tangent (as usual) - I don't know if this would apply where you live, but it would cost me about the same whether I heat my home with electricity or gasoline (assuming I actually had a stove that could safely burn the stuff.)
Maybe I can answer my own question. The gasoline engine wastes a lot of energy with heat production, and friction of more moving parts. Then cooling systems to get rid of the excess heat. The electric motor doesn't have all of this.Heating one's house, one wants to conserve as much heat as possible.
(...snip...) The price of 1MJ is about the same whether I buy it as gasoline or electricity (and electricity is really cheap here). The price per MJ of propane is not so different from gasoline either. It sort of makes sense. Energy prices have to be (or ought to be) competitive.
Aesthetics: to many people the flickering glow of a genuine wood fire is an important emotional/nostalgic feature that outweighs, at least sometimes, the inefficiency and extra expense. They find it comforting. Many bars and restaurants here have installed wood fires for this sort of reason.
Well, yes, but presumably a space heater is intended to heat the space . Radiant heaters heat the objects in the space, which tends to give people "corned beef leg" syndrome.I think the story about ceramic heaters is a load of codswallop slightly suspect. They might create a larger surface area so that the the heat transfer is accelerated, but if you want to heat an enclosed volume of air to a particular temperature, you have to put in a certain amount of energy, and that's going to cost the same amount no matter how you do it. One good option is to install a ceiling fan and run it very gently in "suck mode" to prevent all the warm air getting stuck near the ceiling.Personally, I rather like those inexpensive oil-filled electric heaters. They seem to provide a nice even temperature, and you can crank them down to a minimum to provide just enough heat in rooms that are not occupied.
suck mode" blowing up pressurizes the ceiling above the fan & accelerates heatloss?