Ceramic heaters vs oil radiators

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Blues Driver

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Heating a 30' C.  The oil filled heaters are great but a real power hog.  Anyone using the Ceramic heater?  I'm not up for the catalytic propane type.
Thanks, Pat
 
The oil-filled types are no more or less a power hog than any other type with the same wattage rating. A 1500W ceramic heater uses the same amount of power as a 1500W oil-filled or 1500W infrared.  Ceramic element heaters are electrically safer than metal coil heaters, but have the exact same heating efficiency (100%). The oil-filled types nearly all use convection heat distribution, whereas the radiant types usually have a fan, but at the end of the day, you still get 1500 watts worth of heat. Period.

1500 watts is the max rated heater that can be plugged into a 15A/120v wall outlet, so it's the max rating for all such heaters.
 
Blues Driver said:
Anyone using the Ceramic heater?

I use two ceramic heaters in a 38' fifth wheel, and they will keep the interior comfortable for sleeping with outside temp down to about 35F. When I wake up I will use one cycle of the furnace and the ceramics will pretty much keep up from that point. I like them because they are smaller than the oil filled convective type. $18ea at Walmart
 
We use a ceramic heater for our 32 foot Class C, which keeps us comfortable overnight. I installed a secondary outlet for an extension cord, so if the pedestal will support it, we can run two.
 
Hey, if anyone is in Quartzsite in the next couple of months and wants one of these:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Utility-Milkhouse-Style-Electric-Space-Heater-DQ1702/642591645

Let me know.  It was only used for about 3 weeks, and I've been carrying it around because it's too good to just toss.
 
Blues Driver said:
Heating a 30' C.  The oil filled heaters are great but a real power hog.  Anyone using the Ceramic heater?  I'm not up for the catalytic propane type.
Thanks, Pat

First a little something the Ceramic heater companies lie about.. Efficiency  "Up to 30 percent more efficient" or "Will save you up to 30 percent" or some such lie (NOTE number is "Thin air" been a long time since I paid attention to an add for one).

Electric space heaters. be they radiant. Ceramic. Oil filled. Hot wire forced air or _____ all have one thing in common .. They are 100% efficient.. VERY RARE anything is 100% efficient but electric space heaters ARE. only exception is if it glow and light escape via a crack or window (I use light bulbs for heat in some areas)  Why is this

Well there are only two loss vectors.. Most all losses are expressed as HEAT and that is the desired product so the losses are recovered. Even the fan .. it moves air. which causes friction and that is converted to heat..

THe other loss vector (At least for my light bulbs) Is escaped light.  (Very low loss there).

As contained light strikes dark surfaces it too converts to heat.

SO from a watts/comfort basis there is NO advantage to Ceramic or any other electric heater over a differnet electric heater

But the Ceramics are a WHOLE LOT SMALLER which is why I use them. One of mine (ALas no longer made this puppy is at least 20 years old) Even if it's full on I can pick it up bare handed and not get burned.. the others likewie but they are plastic cased not steel.  I'd not wish to do that with an oil filled less I was very careful about where I grabbed it.
 
Blues Driver said:
Heating a 30' C.  The oil filled heaters are great but a real power hog.  Anyone using the Ceramic heater?  I'm not up for the catalytic propane type.
Thanks, Pat
You opened this topic/thread in "Boondocking", so you don't want any of the 120V electric heaters for boondocking. 

If you want very efficient heat while boondocking/dry camping you are pretty well limited to catalytic heaters such as:
--  https://www.amazon.com/Olympian-Portable-Catalytic-Camco-57331/dp/B000BV01CK?th=1
--  http://worldmkting.com/kozy-world-kwn149-10-000-btu-blue-flame-natural-gas-ng-vent-free-wall-heater/

The Kozy World has a floor stand option so it can be portable.  So does the Olympian. 

I have a Kozy World 15,000BTU (3 settings 5K, 10K & 15K btu) that I have used for 10 years.  I installed a quick disconnect to plug a 6' or 12' hose into to place the heater where ever needed.

Additionally we have used catalytic heaters for the last 14 years and love them. Quiet, efficient and use not elect.

You MUST provide proper venting if you use a heater like these.  Open a window an inch or two and open the ceiling vent. 

 
Totally agree with Al. When boondocking, electric heaters are not very practical. We've got an Aquahot furnace, with both gas and electric modes, but unless we're camping in very cold temps, we just use our 15,000 BTU Big Buddy catalytic heater. It's designed for indoor use and has three heat settings. It has a very quiet, battery powered fan (I hardwired ours to the house batteries) and it'll run off those little disposable propane bottles, but I plumbed ours to run off our coach's LP tank. Compared to a typical LP furnace, they just sip propane.

Kev
 
Has anyone experienced ill effects from Carbon MO from one of the catalytic htrs?
Pat
 
Blues Driver said:
Has anyone experienced ill effects from Carbon MO from one of the catalytic htrs?
Pat


Pretty sure the concern with catalytics is oxygen depletion not CO output
 
Blues Driver said:
Has anyone experienced ill effects from Carbon MO from one of the catalytic htrs?
Pat
The primary output from the catalytic heaters are Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and water vapor.  No problems with Carbon Monoxide (CO) and I have never triggered the CO detector from a catalytic heater. 

As a precaution though I installed a CO detector in the living area and in the bedroom area.  I also have a dual sensor fire alarm. 

Just in case some folks don't know, there are two types of fire detectors or alarms.  One detects smoke as in smoldering stuff (smokey), and the other detects the whatever comes off of a flame, typically with little smoke.
 
Back2PA said:
Pretty sure the concern with catalytics is oxygen depletion not CO output

I would agree with that and the better units have a O2 Sensor that is supposed to shut them off before the lack of 02 shuts YOU off. but.. do you want to trust that sensor with you life.
Because  that's exactly what you are doing.
 
John From Detroit said:
I would agree with that and the better units have a O2 Sensor that is supposed to shut them off before the lack of 02 shuts YOU off. but.. do you want to trust that sensor with you life.
Because  that's exactly what you are doing.
That's why proper ventilation is required.
 
X2 on what Gary said, 1,500 W is 1500W is 1500 W!

For reference a 1500W electric heater is about 5,200 BTU.
 
John From Detroit said:
yes it is and that is also why we read of the deaths of folks who forget that every winter.
But the vast majority are NOT from a catalytic heater.  The ones I always read about are from various devices that put out lots or quite a bit of carbon monoxide.  Charcoal used for heating, stove being used for heat, unvented gas space heater in a sticks and bricks, gas generator placed where the exhaust will come up into the RV.  I can't remember ever reading about anyone dying from using an Olympian Catalytic heater. 
 
AStravelers said:
I can't remember ever reading about anyone dying from using an Olympian Catalytic heater.


Nor can I. I have however read several reports on deaths from kerosene heaters
 
John From Detroit said:
I would agree with that and the better units have a O2 Sensor that is supposed to shut them off before the lack of 02 shuts YOU off. but.. do you want to trust that sensor with you life.
Because  that's exactly what you are doing.

So far as I am aware, none of the catalytic heaters have a buitl in O2 sensor. There is another type of "ventless" heater called blue flame heaters. The Big Buddy and Mr. Buddy heaters are typical of this type. These usually (always?) have a buitl in O2 sensor.

While that O2 sensor is a nice safety feature, it will prevent the heater from operating at all, when you are at a high elevation. The cutoff point varies, but is generally between 6,000 ft. and 7,000 ft. Remember, that Yellowstone Lake is at 7,732 ft., and it gets cold there.

Joel
 
Oil-filled heaters are champs at warmth, but that power consumption can be a real drawback. Have you considered ceramic heaters? They're efficient and generally more energy-friendly, offering a good balance between warmth and cost.
 

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