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Thread: Electric Heater

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    Question Electric Heater

    Hi Folks,

    As we move through autumn towards winter, I am looking to get a second heater for my summerhouse in the garden. It does have insulation in the floor and ceiling, double glazing windows and doors, but the wood is only 44mm in the wall and can't be insulated. As such, in the winter, it needs heated. We use it as a bar, so we never let is drop below 8'c, even in the coldest months which does cost a biut in electric to heat. But it has to be done.

    We have a Haverland heater in it which is programmed to heat through the day (when needed). However, there were times last year, (at one point we had a realy really cold 2 weeks where the temperature never went above 2 dgrees. At this point, the heater was on constantly, but we also sued fan heater to supplemnet it which was on a smart plug. This was used when we weren't in the summerhouse as well (such as like 3am! when it was super cold).

    However, I'm not overly keen on fan heaters. So I am looking another heater which will only be used to supplement our electric radiator when it gets really cold. I have looked at free standing oil radiators for example.

    Howerver, are there any which can be connected to a smart plug and when it turned on, the heater will come on as well? And when turned off, it jsut goes off. Those I have seen, only go into standby when turned on and need manual intervention to get the heat on. This wouldn't be useful for me.

    So open to ideas

    The Haverland was expensive, so don't really want to get another one of them given their cost. We are looking one that is about 1500w.

    Thanks folks.
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    Re: Electric Heater

    Maybe something SMART might be helpful - https://www.screwfix.com/p/tcp-frees...te-2500w/112rh

    You can set times through the app etc. Not sure if its any good for you but an idea anyway
    Jon

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    Re: Electric Heater

    The one above is 2500W, here is the 1500W version : https://www.screwfix.com/p/tcp-frees...te-1500w/866rh
    Jon

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    Re: Electric Heater

    Every oil heater I've ever used comes on according to the thermostat setting, if the smart plug cuts power then it's off, when it puts power back on and the radiator is below the temp you set it will just stay on until it hits target?

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    Re: Electric Heater

    I was looking at delonghi ones and amazon ones and reviews all say that they don't do this. Thank they require manual intervention to actually heat. Maybe I need a 'dumb' one with no smart controls on it at all.
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    Re: Electric Heater

    Random thoughts:

    - Consider only heating the specific things which need to be heated. It can be much cheaper.

    - Maybe buy/borrow a thermal camera to look for particularly cold spots - thermal bridges, missing insulation etc?

    - Heat pump? High upfront cost, significantly lower long-term cost. Retain the resistive heating as a backup for days when it's double-digit negatives.

    Ideally you should look at options to reduce heat loss, then consider additional heat requirements. Otherwise you just might be forever annoyed & just thrown money into extra heat.

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    Re: Electric Heater

    If you can get cheaper off-peak electricity, then it sounds like a storage heater is the traditional device for this. Heat up a block overnight, and slowly let the heat out during the day.

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    Re: Electric Heater

    My sister recently built an art studio in her garden, & it's heated with IR panels. Not sure whether they'd be suitable for your use case, but here's a link to the type she used:

    https://www.suryaheating.co.uk/what-is-infrared

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    Re: Electric Heater

    Thanks for the feedback folks. A few points to throw out there:

    There is no way for me to insulate this anymore than it currently is. This is the cabin for reference (or the build I got) - https://amrlogcabins.co.uk/product/pool-house-cabin/

    It received a thin insulation the roof - which was the most the company could put in. It got 50mm or 75mm kingspan in the floor. The walls had nothing as there is no way to add any.

    So unfortuntely, I have no option but to pay what it takes to keep the temperature up - most of the time, I just maintain 8 degrees overnight to ensure nothing freezes etc.

    As it is used as a bit of a mancave and bar, there are electrical stuff in it and lots of liquids etc. So therefore, I need to ensure that it doesnt dip below freezing in the coldest weeks of winter. That is what this additional heater will help with. It wont be sued all year or autumn/winter year round. Just really cold times.

    Heat pump is a bit of a no go unfortunately due to teh radiator etc that would be needed (and the size it would need). IR isn't suitable because I need it to heat the room itself to ensure liquids etc don't freeze.

    I'm still struggling to find one that will work with a smart plug lol. But I have found others that you can programme directly. I've been looking at the Delonghi Dragon 4 - I like the 10 year warranty it comes with.
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    Re: Electric Heater

    I literally had a cheapo 2500W running off an old-skool mechanical timer so it clicked on/off during the night, the thermostat then chose if it needs to be heating or not - Not sure why there's an issue with the smart plug side of things?

    Something like this - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/233331893940
    Last edited by Rob_B; 13-09-2023 at 05:42 PM.

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    Re: Electric Heater

    I had just read that the thermometers on them were quite poor. So I was instead going to set the smart plug to manually turn it on and off at key moments during the night (for example). But maybe they perform better than I think!
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    Re: Electric Heater

    The thermostats aren't exactly degree perfect but set it to the level you want, if the smart plug turns on and it's colder then that then the heater will turn on, nice and easy.

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    Re: Electric Heater

    I have a 2.4kW delonghi free standing one with an adjustable thermostat dial and no timer. It works fine. You can stick it on a timer plug and it will do its thing. It is basically on or off, and turns itself off if the temp is ok until such time as it determines it needs to come on again. Combo of air convection (no fan) and radiation. Not sure if it has an oil bar in it but it gets up to temp quick and cools relatively quick so is a good adaptive solution vs proper oil heaters which take ages to get up to temp and then stay hot for ages after you turn them off, which makes them less ideal for a temporary use barn like this.

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    Re: Electric Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_B View Post
    The thermostats aren't exactly degree perfect but set it to the level you want, if the smart plug turns on and it's colder then that then the heater will turn on, nice and easy.
    The issue with many that I'm reading, is that if you turn them off at the wall (same as turning offr smart plug) and then on again, reviews are saying that they dont actually turn on and begin heating. not until you ahve manuaklly told it to do so. To do this, you need a 'dumb one' that likely has a manual on/off button and none of these digital buttons/timers etc. Which i am struggling to find (or struggling to find a reliable one).
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    Re: Electric Heater

    If you buy one like the one I linked to it'll work, I've done exactly that but with a mechanical timer rather than a smart plug. Same theory, the plug turns power on/off and the heater decides if it's cold/warm and will turn on (or not) based on its thermostat setting.

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