Electric in wall heat vs. furnace - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 11-29-2012, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all, just wondering if anyone has experience running in-wall heat similar to these? I'm doing a theater/finished basement build (thread here) and am having a hard time justifying doing a $10k furnace vs. the in-wall electric units (~$2k). Appreciate any thoughts.

Mike
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post #2 of 16 Old 11-30-2012, 09:11 PM
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Noise? Not that the Cadets are all that noisy but the noise becomes more noticeable when they cycle. IOW, when they're running you don't notice their noise until they stop, and vice-versa.
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post #3 of 16 Old 12-01-2012, 01:03 AM
 
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At 17 amps a piece, you are better just going with a hvac.
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post #4 of 16 Old 12-01-2012, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

At 17 amps a piece, you are better just going with a hvac.

Would you mind elaborating a bit on this? Our electrician is the one recommending the in-walls and I'm having a really hard time justifying the additional ~$8k for the furnace. Thanks!
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post #5 of 16 Old 12-01-2012, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Noise? Not that the Cadets are all that noisy but the noise becomes more noticeable when they cycle. IOW, when they're running you don't notice their noise until they stop, and vice-versa.

Thanks, olytedy. Noise is definitely a consideration. I haven't seen any reviews saying that they are overly noisy (this page says they are "whisper quiet," though I doubt that smile.gif ).
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post #6 of 16 Old 12-01-2012, 08:36 AM
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No question these will be too noisy. IMO you'd be making a mistake. If you must use electric go baseboard. At least it's quiet. Another consideration is air conditioning. Do you have any plans for that?

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post #7 of 16 Old 12-01-2012, 03:10 PM
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I have Cadet in wall heaters throughout my house including basement. All of mine are 1K watts although I do have a few older 1.5K watt ones in the basement not the 4K like you are thinking about. You can definitely hear them, but like Olyteddy said, the cycling is when you will really notice them, once they are running, you tend to tune them out. How many of those are you thinking about in the theater room? I think one would be plenty and once its up to temp, with you guys in there and the insulated walls, its not going to cycle that much.

I personally love the Cadets as you can set each room's thermostat which is nice in a basement that isn't always in use. Plus they are fairly efficient and here in WA it is cheaper to run the electric Cadets than a gas or propane furnace.

One more thing, someone mentioned air conditioning... I checked out your proposed floor plan and In a theater with an open back in a basement in WA, I don't see how you could possibly need A/C. I'm in Gig Harbor and in the dead of summer with a relative living in our basement full time, it never got over 70. If you had a fully enclosed and double insulated theater, that might be a different story.
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post #8 of 16 Old 12-01-2012, 10:44 PM
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Here's another option for resistance heat (fluid filled baseboard): http://www.cadetco.com/show_product.php?prodid=1010 These are especially effective if you have exterior walls they can be placed on, as part of the functioning of baseboard heaters is they create a curtain of warmth from floor to ceiling. Hence the reason they are usually found under windows. A good rule of thumb for resistance heaters is 10 Watts per square foot, a 1000 Watt heater being suitable for a 10' X 10' bathroom, say. Baseboards are often sized at 5 to 8 Watts per square foot, at least here in Western Washington.
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post #9 of 16 Old 12-01-2012, 10:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjh222 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

At 17 amps a piece, you are better just going with a hvac.

Would you mind elaborating a bit on this? Our electrician is the one recommending the in-walls and I'm having a really hard time justifying the additional ~$8k for the furnace. Thanks!
If it was me, and looking at the long term savings and rate of return, I would spend the $8,000 for a hvac or mini-split heat pump system. Especially with the cost of electric in a lot of areas.
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post #10 of 16 Old 12-02-2012, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I just posted a similar reply in my basement/theater build thread, but also wanted to thank everyone here for their thoughts. I've decided that I'm going to give the Cadets a shot (still deciding on model, but considering this one), with the following factoring into the decision:
  • About 2/3 of the space is below grade and maintains a pretty comfortable temperature year-round. Similar to electricmanscott, we don't anticipate needing heat many days of the year and when we do, it should be minimal.
  • There will be a 37,000 btu fireplace in the main bar/game area and there is a pass-through into the theater nearby.
  • Cost ... furnace is an incremental $8k. Gregzoll, the long term cost and rate of return is definitely top of mind, but an incremental $8k would take a long time to recover given expected usage.
  • Ability to keep heat off in unused rooms. With the Cadets we can keep them off when not in use (extra bedroom, gym). The furnace pricing we received was for only 1 zone; additional zones would be significantly more.
  • We have no need for A/C. We have it in the remainder of the house and we rarely need it there. The basement always stays cool during summer.
  • olyteddy, I like the specs on the product you link, but am trying to keep the heat looking like normal heat registers. Thank you for the research!

Thanks again everyone!
Mike
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post #11 of 16 Old 12-03-2012, 04:16 PM
 
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Your cost is not going to change whether you heat part of the house or all of it. It is actually an old wives tale, that contains to be spread.

Yes up front seems a lot to spend, but with rebates and the immediate return of a quiet more rfficient choice, than throwing your money out the window with the less efficient choice is yours.

If it was me, I would be going with cost savings and forgetting about thise old wives tales.
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post #12 of 16 Old 12-04-2012, 07:55 AM
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How does only heating part of your house not save $$$? I'll agree that only heating 25% doesn't cost only 25%, but it will surely cost less.

Now if you're only trying to heat when you're in a room and you're in there daily, you might not save money.
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post #13 of 16 Old 12-04-2012, 08:02 AM
 
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Nick the hearing of the home is thw same. The furnace does not know if it is the whole house or part, because it is a "dumb" appliance.

The costs are still the same regardless. Also keeping the home at the same temp throughout actually extends the lifespan of the structure, so that you are not allowing mold and mildew spores to thrive in the Winter, and Dust mites and allergians during the Summer.
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post #14 of 16 Old 12-05-2012, 08:34 PM
 
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the only way to go ... is with a natural gas furnace... thats very clean energy good for the evironment.. and keeps you really warm... also at the same time get air condition unit hooked up .. then your all set.. will add to the resale benifits of your home as well...
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post #15 of 16 Old 12-06-2012, 05:34 AM
 
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Heat pump would be more efficient with a hybrid system, if electric rates are lower than NG or Propane. My Father in Law stated that a group of residents in Land O'Lakes, got together and got 76 cents per gallon on LP, vs. the $1.46 or so that it was being sold at from their local distributor.
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post #16 of 16 Old 12-06-2012, 10:04 AM
 
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if you can afford the capital cost of a thermal in ground heat pump excellent choice.. ( heat exchange in the ground ) vs air heat pump not so great..

gas blows electric heat away ..... also way more comfort electric heat is dry...

nat gas boiler and radiator system is excellent as well
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