|Green Benefits of Electric Heat
- Convert 100% of their input energy to heat
- Produce NO carbon monoxide – there is no combustion or ventilation to become blocked
- Make efficient zone heating possible – providing adequate heat without overheating
- Are ideal for supplemental heat by providing controllable heat output
Environmental Impact of Electric Heaters:
Electric heaters operate without combustion; no particulates or other by-products are released into the air. Electric heaters are 100% efficient meaning these heaters covert 100% of their input energy to heat. Electric heaters do not waste heat, now the money it costs to generate that heat.
Natural Resources: Electric Heaters reduce consumption of wood and fossil fuels
Electricity is generated from a variety of sources including fossil fuels, nuclear, and a variety of renewable sources like hydro, wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. The result is an aggregate of both clean, renewable sources and non-renewable, polluting sources. As of 2007, 28% of all electrical generation came from clean, non-fossil fuel generation (Energy Information Administration). That represents a 28% reduction of fossil fuel consumption for an electric heater compared to a gas heater that derives 100% of its energy from fossil fuels.
Wood burning stoves and fireplaces consumed almost 20 million cords in 1999. One cord - a volume equal to a stack of logs 4'x4'x8' - can be used to make between 1,000 to 2,000 pounds of paper, depending on grade of paper and type of pulp. For newspapers, a cord of wood is equal to 2,700 copies of an average 36 page daily newspaper. A "rule of thumb" is that an acre of land may yield an average of 10-15 cords of wood when harvested at maturity (Wisconsin Paper Council). Therefore, in 1999 wood burning stoves and fireplaces consumed approximately 2 million acres of mature forest in the United States alone.
Indoor Air Quality: Electric Heaters contribute NO particulates or emissions to the indoor environment
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists poor indoor air quality as the fourth largest environmental threat to the United States.
Combustion of fossil fuels and wood produce a variety of pollutants that can adversely affect indoor air quality. Homeowners must be vigilant to assure an adequate draft is maintained and venting is kept clean and free of obstructions to ensure that potentially harmful toxins do not back-up into the house.
Wood smoke is of particular danger as it contains over 200 chemicals and compound groups. The emissions are almost entirely in the inhalable size range. (Environmental Impact of Residential Wood Combustion Emissions and Its Implications, John A. Cooper, APCA Journal, Vol.30 No.8, August 1980). The EPA estimates that the lifetime cancer risk from wood stove smoke is twelve times greater than that from an equal volume of second hand tobacco smoke. (The Health Effects of Wood Smoke, Washington State Department of Ecology)
Carbon Monoxide: Electric Heaters produce no carbon monoxide because there is no combustion or ventilation to become blocked
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a flammable, colorless, odorless, tasteless toxic gas produced during incomplete combustion of fuel - Natural Gas, Oil, Coal, Wood, Kerosene, etc. During normal combustion, each atom of carbon in the burning fuel joins with two atoms of oxygen - forming a harmless gas called carbon dioxide. When there is a lack of oxygen to ensure complete combustion of the fuel, each atom of carbon links up with only one atom of oxygen - forming carbon monoxide gas.
Carbon Monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). "CO poisoning from the use of fuel burning appliances kills at least 200 people each year and sends more than 5,000 to hospital emergency rooms for treatment," according to Chairman Ann Brown of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Zone Heating: Electric Heaters make efficient zone heating possible by providing adequate heat without overheating
Most of our electric heaters provide supplemental heat for up to 400 square feet.
Gas fireplaces on the other hand typically produce 30,000 BTU/hour or more, while the average gas furnace generates only 90,000 BTU to heat the entire home. This high output can result in overheating of average sized rooms, uncomfortable occupants, and wasted energy.
By using only the required amount of energy, electric heaters allow homeowners to warm the areas that experience the most occupancy (i.e. family room) and reduce the primary heating system temperature for the remainder of the home. Turning the thermostat back 10°F to 15°F for 8 hours can save about 5% to 15% a year on the heating bill - a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is at least eight hours (U.S. Department of Energy. "Thermostats and Control Systems". A consumer's Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. 2008).
Supplemental Heat: Electric Heaters are ideal for supplemental heat by providing adequate, controllable output
Gas and wood fireplaces can interfere with effective overall heating depending on their proximity to the homes central thermostat. Fireplaces are typically a focal point in a high traffic area such as a family room, where the central heating thermostat is also usually located. The high heat output generated by gas fireplaces (even on the low setting) can dramatically affect thermostat readings and effectively shut off the heat to the rest of the house. Furthermore, few individual rooms require, or can absorb, the high heat output of a gas or wood fireplace and can overheat the room making it uncomfortable to enjoy the flame.
Electric heaters on the other hand, provide even, thermostat controlled supplemental heating to rooms up to 400 square feet. This is more than adequate for most family rooms and since they provide only the amount of heat required they are more cost effective than gas.