Here in New England the occurrence of Labor Day is like flipping a huge switch from summer to fall, even if summer is still in full swing. That’s because we all know the heating season is right around the corner and it’s time to examine the heating budget for another winter.
One of the ways to save money on your heating bill is through the efficient use of space heaters. But it really helps to know exactly what type of space heater best suits your needs before you buy so you won’t be disappointed when you plug it in.
The type of electric heater someone purchases usually depends on a combination of the following factors: Tolerance for noise, the number of people you’re trying to keep warm, room size, and safety. In this article the focus will be on quiet space heaters.
The number one complaint about space heaters, by a wide margin, is noise. What makes an electric heater noisy is the fan, so if you eliminate the fan, you eliminate the noise.
Here are four examples of highly rated, quiet, fan-less heaters.
On the low end of the power scale is the New Air AH 400. As the model number implies, it has a maximum output of 400 watts. This is a flat panel, oil filled heater that works best for small areas such as under a desk or in your cubicle at work.
The low wattage and heat retention properties of the heating medium (oil) allow the New Air to operate at a cost of about 4½ ¢ per hour.
The next suggestion is the Soleus Air MS 09. Two heat settings of 400 and 800 watts and on demand oscillating (side to side) motion enable the Soleus to heat an area slightly larger than the New Air. The radiant heat source provides almost instantaneous heat and the dish shaped reflector concentrates the heat exactly where you want it.
The Soleus Air is a good choice for work benches, computer stations, or any setting where you want to heat just a couple of people and not the entire room.
The next two silent operators are both from DeLonghi. One is the Delonghi TRD0715T Safe Heat Oil Filled Radiator and other is the DeLonghi HHP1500 Mica-Panel Heater.
The DeLonghi HHP 1500 has a sleek wall hugging design with removable casters for wall mounting away from kids and pets (hardware included).
Although it isn’t mentioned in the standard product description, it’s interesting to note that the DeLonghi flat panel mica heater actually employs a precise amount of oil as the heating medium.
Two heat settings and an adjustable thermostat with a maximum output of 1500 watts qualify this heater for whole room use up to 150 square feet.
The Delonghi TRD0715T Safe Heat Oil Filled Radiator is just one of 13 radiator style heaters offered by DeLonghi. All have variable heat settings up to 1500 watts plus an adjustable thermostat.
Oil filled radiator heaters are recognized by most colleges and universities as the safest type of space heater and are often specified as the only acceptable method for heating dormitory rooms.
In addition to quiet operation, all of the products mentioned here also utilize a radiant heat source. Radiant heat is, by nature, a non-drying form of heat. Also, any heater without a fan won’t stir up dust and air born allergens.
Among the things that we do know about electricity is that faulty electrical system is almost always the cause of fire and injuries whether in commercial or residential infrastructures. This means that even at the first sign of electrical problems, have them fixed immediately, before things lead to a more serious problem.
However, you have to remember that with any electrical repairs, it always remains as one of the most risky tasks no matter how experienced you are. Therefore, you have to have the skills and knowledge to do the job, use the right tools, and most importantly observe safety measures before you start any electrical project.
Given that, you must turn off the circuit breaker before you start any electrical job. To make sure you have turned off the right breaker, use a voltage tester and if the light on the tester does not lit up, that means the wire is not live and that you are ready to begin your job.
To avoid electrical problems such as electrocution or fire in your home, make sure to be vigilant for any potential electrical hazards. Do not forget to keep your appliances away from water, check for correct wattage light bulbs, and check the insulation on a cord.
Additionally, see to it that there is a regular electrical inspection in your home. In order to determine the last electrical inspection date, check the door and cover of your electrical panel as these are the places where stickers with a date, signatures or initials are found.
It is always advised that you let any electrical repairs done by professional electrician no matter how simple the job may be. Do not take any risks especially if you are inexperienced when it comes to electrical problems as it is, again, a very dangerous job. If you ever decide to hire an electrical contractor in your area, make sure to choose the one that is qualified and licensed to do the job.
Are you planning to buy a watt meter?
If your answer is in the affirmative, there are things you need to know before making your purchasing decision – like, its basic features and the different types of wattmeter available in the market.
For an outlander, a watt meter is an electric power measurement instrument used to measure Watts1 for any AC power circuit. There are hordes of wattmeters thronging the marketplace – from Heathkit, Collins, Swan, Drake, and Nye Viking – to MFJ, Diawa, Vectronics, Autek, Coaxial Dynamics, Palstar, Bird, and Kenwood. Almost all these manufacturers say theirs is accurate on frequency, while rendering the highest reading. What is the real story, let us find out. Types of Wattmeter Before narrowing down your choice of a standard wattmeter, you might want to explore the different types of wattmeter available in the market today.
1. Electrodynamics Wattmeter This wattmeter is one of the oldest and most frequently used to measure electric power in AC circuits. It consist of a pair of fixed or current coil, and a movable coil known as potential coil. The current coil is positioned in series, whereas, the potential coil or the movable coil is placed in parallel. Such an arrangement enables rotation of the potential coil by a limited angle, to an axis perpendicular to the fixed coils. Additionally, a needle is positioned in the wattmeter to indicate electric power.
2. Electronic Wattmeter This instrument is used to measure power at frequencies above the range of Electrodynamics Wattmeter. It is further divided into Vacuum Tube and Digital Wattmeter, depending upon the features and functions performed by the wattmeter.
3. Vacuum Tube Owing to its traditional design, this instrument can measure electric power in the nonlinear region of grid voltage and plate-current curves.
4. Digital Wattmeter This simple, yet optically isolated wattmeter is used to make accurate measurements of "real" power consumption, despite the presence of large reactive and DC components in the current drawn by the monitored load.
So there, now that you know about the different types of wattmeter, here are some tips to help your purchasing decision while buying a wattmeter from a trusted manufacturer.
o If you are planning to buy a wattmeter from manufacturers like Coaxial Dynamics or Bird Electronic Corporation, it might be worthwhile to know that their "accuracy classification" claim of + or – 5% of full scale when the needle is mid-scale is correct .
o If you want a measuring instrument that provides protection from the inverse attenuation effect, go for a cheap, cross-needle Putt-Putt wattmeter.
o To measure the power of a single appliance or at a specific outlet, use the plug-in wattmeter. This instrument can be extensively used around your office or computer rooms, for testing the usefulness of an outlet and the power consumption of electronic items plugged into it. Plug-in wattmeters are able to detect damaged electronics or bad electrical wiring, by calculating the power flow through a single outlet. One of the simplest and easy-to-use wattmeter in this category includes the Kill-A-Watt EZ from the PowerMeterStore.
o Professional-grade, portable wattmeters like the Test Equipment Depot and the Bird Model 5000-EX digital wattmeter fulfill the "on-site troubleshooting" needs of electricians, electrical repair crews, and system troubleshooters.
o To stay on top of your electric bills, use digital wattmeters that evaluate the overall power consumption of an electrical system. These instruments have readouts that display where and how power is being consumed. Some advanced models even allow the power monitor to render small changes in the electrical power flow. Digital wattmeters like the Energy Detective and the EIG Shark 100 are quite a rage in the marketplace. The former is used to monitor a home office or small business, where the latter is used for more robust applications, such as large businesses or IT rooms.
o Digital radio frequency (RF) wattmeters like Thomas Scherrer OZ2CPU are used to measure accurate RF power and gain in amplifiers, bandwidth in filters, transmitter power, Standing Wave Ratio (SWR), and return loss.
o Some wattmeters like Palstar's PM2000A have a dual movement meter system that measures and displays forward as well as reflected electric power.
Finally, whatever decision you make, please be reminded that wattmeters play an important role in the maintenance of large electrical systems. By measuring the overall wattage of a system, these instruments act as one of the first lines of defense versus electronic wear. Also, how you will use the instrument is an important consideration while deciding on the type of wattmeters you need.