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Old 09-12-2009, 08:06 PM
 
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Besides price? I have a mobile home w/o a heating system and I don't want any type of ductwork, so no heatpump or anything.

Looking at baseboards I find the normal standard kind then there are these pricier hydronic. After searching online some say they are no more efficient than the other, but some say- yes.

Do you have any experience or know someone who has these?
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:15 PM
 
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If you have an electric water heater and you're using an electric base board there is no difference. You don't need duct work to get a heat pump. You can get mini split systems.

http://www.energysavers.gov/your_hom.../mytopic=12630
Mitsubishi Electric - Mr. Slim Split-ductless
Fujitsu Ductless Mini-Splits: Wall Mounted Systems
Air Conditioners, (A/C), Packaged Heat Pumps and Central Air Conditioning (AC) Units for Home Healing and Cooling Systems. Residential and Commercial Heating and Cooling Equipment by Goodman Manufacturing available in 14 SEER and 13 SEER ratings for
SANYO HVAC
LG HVAC (http://www.lghvac.com/products/products_categories.asp?type_seq=5 - broken link)
Duct-Free Split Systems - Carrier

They're a little more expensive upfront but can be as high as 3.5 times (some even slightly higher depending on outdoor temps.) more efficient at moving heat than resistive type heat or hot water type systems that use electric water heaters.
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Old 09-13-2009, 05:21 AM
 
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Electric resistance baseboard is 100% efficient as every unit of energy used produces heat. I don't see how it would be more efficient by heating water. That too would be 100% efficient. It may be a better way as Hydronics is typically the most comfortable without big temperature swings but not any cheaper if both sources of energy are electric.

Last edited by thecoalman; 09-13-2009 at 05:29 AM..
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Old 09-13-2009, 10:42 AM
 
Location: At the local Wawa
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I've been wondering the same thing. I, too have electric baseboards and an electric water heater. I live in a very rural section of northwest NJ (in the mountains, where it gets Upstate NY-style cold) and there is no natural gas here, plus electricity is 18 cents per kwh. My bill in midwinter to heat my small house is $600 a month. Its only $200 in the summer, but thats mostly the cost for the damn electric water heater to stay at 120 degrees!

I'm currently doing research into pellet stoves, heat pumps, and also replacing my old electric baseboards with Hydrosil baseboards. The reviews, like you said, have been mixed. Some people say that they don't reduce the bill at all. I'm not looking for more even heating- I need my darn bill to come down!

One thing I would do is replace older thermostats with the new digital ones. Make sure its rated for line voltage (240 v, at least 20 amps minimum, you want thick wires). I found these will pay for themselves, as you can really get a tight programming schedule. I like the heat at 68 in the morning when I wake up, but I can sleep at 62 or so.
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Old 09-13-2009, 01:23 PM
 
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Thanks for the input. I'm lost when it comes to why the water heater has anything to do with a baseboard that's in the kitchen- but I'm not really knowledgeable about this stuff.

My research shows I need a heater size of 10 watts per square foot. So for example my kitchen would need at least a 1540 watt heater (11x14). But since I have lots of windows, I should go with more wattage. So I'm looking at one of these two. Price is way different...which would you buy?

Fahrenheat 96" standard baseboard heater 240 volts, 2000 watts, 6825 BTU/HR, 8.3 amps for $60
or
Fahrenheat 94" Hydronic Liquid Filled baseboard heater 240 volts, 2000 watts, 6826 BTU/HR, 8.3 amps for $357


As you can see- all the specs are the same except price.

What would you do?

Phish Head, I feel your pain. I moved from New England because it was over 250 monthly just to heat...and it was still cold. Heating oil just got too high. Here electricity is really cheap compared to many parts of the US. My bill is not over 50 except in the winter it goes up to 100. Last year we had a plug in oil filled radiator from Home Depot for each room. Those were just temporary but now it's time to get a real system.
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Old 09-13-2009, 05:18 PM
 
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I've never had electric heat baseboards but from what I've heard the electric element ones seem to give a drier feel than the hydronic ones. The electric element will heat up faster than the hydro loop but they should both cost about the same usage wise. With really high electric rates the payoff for a heatpump will come faster. If your electric bills are that low I would be less inclined to worry as much about the power bill. That's me though. I would imagine the price difference is the quality and the extra parts associated with a hydronic system. An electric resistance heat element is pretty simple and will just need the safeties that keep it from getting too hot and/or burning anything down or messing up an element.

The hydronic system is probably a bit safer or can be mounted closer to, for example, curtains. I don't really see myself how either one can put off "drier" heat but I could see how if the electric one gets hotter quicker it could feel drier till the air mixes when you're close to it. Maybe people or owners of both systems can chime in and give you better examples.
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Old 09-14-2009, 02:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VegasGrace View Post
Thanks for the input. I'm lost when it comes to why the water heater has anything to do with a baseboard that's in the kitchen- but I'm not really knowledgeable about this stuff.
Typically the hot water in a Hydronics system is supplied by a boiler which can be fired by gas, oil, coal or even wood. This water is pumped from the boiler to rooms depending on demand. I'm not familiar with any supplied by a hot water heater and I wouldn't think it would be very practical but like i said I'm not familiar with such systems.

I did a search before my first post and I see they have standalone Hydronic electric baseboard which is what I was assuming you are referring too, if that is the case you're hot water heater won't have anything to do with it. Instead of the electric heating element directly providing heat it would heat the water inside the unit. This is going to provide a much more comfortable enviroment becsue the water will heat up and maintain a temperature for much longer. Instead of that on/off heat you'll get a sustained heat.
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Old 09-14-2009, 03:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phish Head View Post
plus electricity is 18 cents per kwh. My bill in midwinter to heat my small house is $600 a month. Its only $200 in the summer, but thats mostly the cost for the damn electric water heater to stay at 120 degrees!
That electric rate is ridiculous, some kind of surcharge because of where you're at?

You're a prime candidate for coal heating because you're right near the source which is Northeastern Pennsylvania. I'll give you some comparison numbers, these numbers are cost per million BTU and adjusted for efficiency so they are quite accurate:

Electric: @18kwh = $52.75
Pellets: @300/ton = $22.73
Pellets: @250/ton = $18.94

For the coal you have a few options, I'm guessing bulk delivery in your area is going to be about $250 per ton but you'd have to call around and find out. You could drive here and get it for about $140 per ton.

Coal Bagged (picked up) @$300/ton = $15.05
Coal Bulk (Delivered) @$250/ton = $12.54
Coal Bulk (picked up in NEPA) @$140/ton = $7.02

FUEL COST CALCULATOR!!! - Energy, Coal News and Discussion

You're looking at probably a 3 hour ride to get here and it's proabaly only worth it with larger truck.

They have units for any needs, for example you mentioned you live in a rural area so I'd assume longer power outages are not uncommon? In your case a hand fired hot air might best as they require no electric. Similar to a wood stove but much less work and much longer burn time. A wood stove might get 5 hours if you're lucky, these can go for 24 hours if they are turned down low. They do make combos but be wary of wood stoves that say they can burn coal. You can burn wood in a coal stove but you can't burn coal in a wood stove and those that base their design on a wood stove that try to burn coal usually are not that great with coal.

Other than that they have anything to fit the needs of anyone from small inserts for fireplces, to hot air stokers similar to a pellet stove to fully automated boiler systems that include domestic hot water coils.

If you're looking for that tax credit there is one unit that has been qualified for it because they successfully tested pellets/corn in it:

The efm 520 Stoker-Boiler Qualifies for a $1500 Tax Credit - e-f-m Heating

Those aren't cheap though and the price may be a little shocking.
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:44 AM
 
1,492 posts, read 4,563,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
I did a search before my first post and I see they have standalone Hydronic electric baseboard which is what I was assuming you are referring too, if that is the case you're hot water heater won't have anything to do with it. Instead of the electric heating element directly providing heat it would heat the water inside the unit. This is going to provide a much more comfortable enviroment becsue the water will heat up and maintain a temperature for much longer. Instead of that on/off heat you'll get a sustained heat.
Yes, standalone...from Lowes/Home Depot. I didn't know there were kinds that were fed from a water line.

So comfort is the difference..... now it's making some sense. The hydronic baseboards are 6 times more expensive ($60 versus $360; standard versus hydronic).

Do you think it's worth it? That's just such a big difference when the utility bill will be the same either way.

$240 for the baseboards for a 2 bedroom home versus $1500 going hydronic?
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by VegasGrace View Post
Do you think it's worth it? That's just such a big difference when the utility bill will be the same either way.
For that amount money no, just so it's clear I don't see how they could be more efficient with water. Might be something I'm overlooking.
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