Issue #59  Electric Heating October 11, 2006


Contents: Issue #59
Electric Heating

  1. Basics: Glossary Of Terms, System Types, Guide
  2. Design: Heat Loss, Comfort, Indoor Environment, Spec
  3. Unitary: Baseboard, Radiant, Fireplace, Portable, Storage
  4. Central: Forced Air, Ducts, Replace Furnace, Heat Pumps
  5. Controls: Stat Types, Programmable, Line Voltage, Setback
  6. Other: Ventilation, Air Quality, Air Cleaners, Humidifiers
  7. Issues: Inadequate Heat, High Bills, Inspect, Fuel Costs
  8. Kenís Top Pick: If You Have Time To Surf Only One Site

1. Basics: Glossary Of Terms, System Types, Guide

Glossary Of Terms (PDF FILE)
Chromalox, a North American supplier of electric heating, thermal systems, and control products, provides a glossary of common terms and acronyms used in this industry. (PDF)

Types Of Electric Heating Systems
Brief descriptions & benefits of electric resistance baseboard heaters, wall heaters, furnaces, radiant heaters, and heat pumps are offered by the US Tennessee Valley Authority.

Guide To Heating With Electricity
This Natural Resources Canada guide covers electric heating system selection, equipment, systems, heating costs, sizing electrical load, installation, maintenance, and lots more.


2. Design: Heat Loss, Comfort, Indoor Environment, Spec

Online Heat Loss Calculator
Stelpro, a Canadian manufacturer of electric heating systems, has a simple online calculator that determines the heat loss of a room based on dimensions, insulation levels, and local data.

Thermal Comfort
Arizona University shows you how the body gains and loses heat, and how different personal, building, mechanical and weather conditions affect comfort.

Healthy Indoor Environments (PDF FILE)
A CMHC guide summarizes current information on residential systems & equipment for heating, cooling, and ventilation, plus their effect on healthy indoor environments.

Specification For Electric Heating Systems (PDF FILE)
This sample specification for provision of electric heating units, cabinets, baseboards, sills, pedestals, infrared, and thermostats is from Whole Building Design Guide.


3. Unitary: Baseboard, Radiant, Fireplace, Space, Storage

Electric Baseboard Heaters (PDF FILE)
A BC Hydro fact sheet explains types of electric baseboard heaters, sizes, accessories, heating capacity, installation, operating costs, thermostats, and energy saving tips.

Electric Radiant
The Radiant Panel Association covers electric radiant heating objectives, locations, controls, installation, utility & costs, safety, product suppliers, plus lots more radiant information.

Electric Fireplaces
For information on electric fireplace benefits, visual appeal, installation, heat options, and lists of some suppliers, check out this article from the Oikos Green Building Source site.

Portable Electric Space Heaters (PDF FILE)
This BC Hydro fact sheet on portable electric space heaters describes features, considerations, safety, and operation of electric element, liquid filled, ceramic, metal rod, and quartz.

Electric Thermal Storage
Hydro Quebec explains what electric thermal storage heating is, effective capacity, integration, features & benefits, types of applications, and gives contact information for some suppliers.


4. Central: Forced Air, Ducts, Replacing, Heat Pumps

Forced Air Systems
This Tech Set on Forced Air Systems from PATH covers design & sealing of ducts, equipment size, location, home design, floor trusses, ventilation, thermostats, and filters.

Residential Duct Systems
NAHB provides a guide to residential duct systems that explains ductwork alternatives, selection, installation, operating costs, and design of the total HVAC system.

Replacing Your Furnace
For people who may be replacing their existing furnace, this CMHC fact sheet gives information on fuel choice, furnace sizing & efficiency, fan choices, fuels costs, and more.

Heat Pumps For Residential Heating
Canadian Institute for Research in Construction report from 1978 has a good description of air source heat pumps, their performance, and comparison of costs with electric furnace.


5. Control: Types, Programmable, Line Voltage, Setback

Thermostat Types
The Automated Buildings site explains thermostat types and features, programming, power, changeover, display, button type, service reminders, communications, and applications.

Programmable Thermostats
This US National Association of Home Builders technical brief gives programmable thermostat features, operation, ease of installation, attributes, costs, installation, warranty, benefits.

Line Voltage Thermostat Accuracy
A study showing electronic line voltage thermostats perform more accurately than bimetallic line voltage thermostats is summarized here on the Oikos Green Building Source site.

Thermostat Settings & Energy Consumption (PDF FILE)
From Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, a study on energy savings from thermostat setback shows the benefits of this relatively simple energy conservation measure.


6. Other: Ventilation, IAQ, Air Cleaners, Humidifiers

Ventilation Systems With Electric Baseboard Heating (PDF FILE)
Identify simple and effective ventilation system strategies that are suitable for new and existing homes with baseboard or radiant heating systems using this CMHC study. 1996

Ventilation & Air Quality In Electrically Heated Homes (PDF FILE)
A CMHC research report on electrically heated housing in Quebec shows that the needs of each house will dictate which type of ventilation system might best serve IAQ goals.

Air Cleaning Devices
American Lung Association explains types of air cleaners, air cleaning processes, considerations for buying & using them, filtration background, emerging technologies, and a glossary.

Home Humidifiers
For information on humidifiers, health & other problems of low humidity, benefits, choosing, types, setting up, maintenance, and whole house method, check out this page of Lowes site.

Humidifiers For Central Heating (PDF FILE)
An article from the HVCI association tells you why and when humidifiers are needed for central heating, load calculation procedures, and types of humidification equipment.


7. Issues: Inadequate Heat, High Bills, Inspect, Fuel Costs

Inadequate Heating
The Ontario warranty corporation provides construction performance guidelines on what is acceptable for the ability of heating systems to maintain adequate indoor temperatures.

High Electrical Bills
If you or your customers have concerns about higher than expected energy bills, BC Hydro explains a number of possible reasons, and some things that can de done about it.

Inspecting Electric Heaters
This old house enthusiasts Web site offers some basic tips for inspecting electric heating systems, including resistance elements, wall heaters, radiant panels, and baseboards.

Heating Cost Calculator
Natural Resources Canada has an online Energuide calculator to help you determine which heating system and which energy source will be most cost effective for a home.

Fuel Cost Comparison
This US Inspect site explains how fuels are sold, the amount of energy in different fuel sources, how to calculate operating costs, and formula to use for comparing different fuel sources.


8. Kenís Top Pick: Power Smart H.E.L.P. Sheets

H.E.L.P. Sheets
Power Smart provides fact sheets that describe basic systems operation and energy use, including appliances, heating, and electrical equipment, plus links to other energy related info.


Dittie For Today: On Learning Wisdom

By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
    - Confucius





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