Space heaters can save you a lot of money. As supplemental heaters, they provide targeted heating, allowing you to concentrate heat in the rooms you’re occupying rather than wasting energy heating empty rooms in your home. They’re small and portable enough to go anywhere: your bedroom, your living room, even your office. There are a number of different space heaters, each employing different strategies to keep you warm. Some use diathermic oil, forced fan convection, or infrared radiation, but micathermic space heaters are unique. Instead of relying on one method, they combine two different methods in order to provide raise room temperatures very quickly. This makes micathermic heaters energy efficient and highly effective at keeping warm through the winter and beyond.
How Micathermic Heaters Work
Micathermic heaters use an electrical resistor that converts electricity into heat when it’s switched on. No electricity is wasted. They’re all 100 percent efficient. As it’s generated, the heat is absorbed by a series of metal coils encased in mica, a silicate mineral with several qualities that make it useful in heating applications.
First: it’s cheap to procure, which keeps costs down.
Second: it can withstand very high temperatures, as much as 392°F.
Third: it has high thermal conductivity, which means it’s good at transferring heat.
Fourth: it has a high watt density, which means it emits energy from its surface when it’s heated up. This is important because it means mica not only heats the air, like an ordinary space heater, but radiates infrared heat waves. It’s a combination of the two most popular home heating methods: a convection heater that provides radiant heating as well.
Convection Heaters vs. Radiant Heaters
There are three methods of heat transfer: conduction, convection, and radiation. Conduction occurs when two objects of different temperatures come into direct contact with one another. Energy from the warmer object is transferred directly into the colder object through the kinetic interaction between their molecules. If you’ve ever burnt your fingers on a hot stove, you’ve experienced conduction firsthand.
Conduction plays a minor role in convection heating. When a convection heater is placed in a room, it begins by warming the air molecules around it through conduction. The air molecules in direct contact with the heater star absorbing heat and as they warm up, they expand and rise up to the ceiling. As warm air builds up along the top of the room, it displaces the cooler air and forces it back down towards the floor, where it eventually comes into contact with the heater and starts absorbing heat. As they warm up, they expand and create and create a cycle of rising heat known as a convection current. Convection currents work slowly, but are high effective at heating rooms and other large spaces. They’re the primary heating method used in oil-filled heaters and baseboard heaters.
Radiant heaters use electricity or gas to warm metal coils inside the heater. Once he heaters are warm enough, they begin radiation infrared heat particles that get absorbed directly by the people and objects in the room. Infrared radiation is perfectly safe. It’s what you feel when you stand in front of a campfire. Everything on Earth emits some form of infrared radiation: people, animals, even rocks. Earth itself is heated by radiant energy from the sun. It’s the only heating method that does not require a medium to transfer heat. The heat particles from an infrared heater move out in a straight line until they collide with an object or person and transfer their energy directly to them, raising their internal temperature. None of their heat is wasted on the air. All of it is absorbed directly to you. It’s faster than convection heating, but also more limited. The further you are from an infrared heater, the less you feel it. You have to be close to it to feel its effects and it’s hard to heat a whole room with one.
Why Micathermic Heaters are Energy Efficient
When you activate a micathermic heater, the mica panels provide approximately 80 percent convection heat and 20 percent radiant heat. The mica panels transfers heat to the air and radiates infrared heat once they’re hot enough. They warm you and the room at the same time, and it’s fast. Once it’s been turned on, a micathermic space heater can reach its maximum heat output in as little as 60 seconds. It’s why micathermic heaters are energy efficient. They use less electricity in the long run because they’re better at providing heat in the short run. They spend less time warming up and more time is spends warming you, which keeps the ratio of electricity consumed vs. heat produced is very low.
NewAir micathermic heaters are also equipped with an automatic thermostat that monitors room temperature and heat output. Once you’ve set your desired heat level, the thermostat keeps the heater running until it’s been reached, then shuts the unit down to conserve energy. Then, if the temperature falls too low, it reactivates the unit and generates more heat, so the heater never draws more electricity than it needs to in order to keep you comfortable.
How Micathermic Space Heaters Can Save You Money
Besides consuming less energy, micathermic space heaters can save you money in other ways. Micathermic heaters come equipped with four caster wheels that keep the heating element from scorching your carpet and make it easier to move the heater from room to room. They’re equipped with an insulated handle as well, so you can wheel them about without touching the grill or heating elements. Micathermic heaters are pretty light. Because mica is so effective at transferring and emitting heat, very little is required to heat a room. NewAir micathermic heaters, for example, weigh less than ten pounds.
These two factors make micathermic heaters very portable, which makes them a great tool for anyone interested in zone heating, a home heating technique that concentrates heat in the rooms where it’s needed most. Start by turning your central thermostat down to 65-67°F, to the point where you have to wear a sweater to stay warm. (Lowering your thermostat by just one degree saves you approximately three percent on your heating bill, so the lower you can get it, the better.) Then use your micathermic heater to heat the room you’re in to a comfortable level. When you want to move to another room, unplug the heater and take it with you. That way you’re only heating the rooms you’re using instead of wasting heat on rooms that are empty.
Space heaters cost more to operate per BTU (British Thermal Unit) than a furnace, so this type of zone heating is more effective the more rooms you have. With your furnace maintaining a constant, low-heat level, the amount of power your micathermic heater will need to keep you comfortable should be relatively small in comparison to the cost of heating all the rooms in your house to the same temperature.
Zone heating can also be used strategically throughout the day. Since the price of electricity fluctuates over a 24-hour period, you can save quite a bit of money by using your furnace to heat your home during the day and using a micathermic heater to warm your bedroom at night, while you’re asleep. That way you use your furnace when it’s most efficient and your space heater when it’s most cost-effective.
Other Advantages of Micathermic Space Heaters
Micathermic space heaters have a few other features that make them great for home use. These features help keep you safe and make the heater easier to use.
|Protective Grills||Micathermic heaters have a protective grill covering the heating elements. The grill is cool-to-the-touch and prevents you from accidentally burning yourself. It’s especially useful if you have small children|
|Overheat Protection||The heater’s thermostat monitors temperature and is programmed to automatically cut power to the unit if it starts overheating, protecting you from fire|
|Naturally Insulated||Mica is an electric insulator. The mica panels keep the grill cool and protect you from shocks and electrical fires|
|Slim Profile||Mica panels are thin and don’t take up much space. They’re light enough that your micathermic heater can be mounted on the walls|
|Quiet||Micathermic heaters don’t produce any noise while they’re activated|
Micathermic heaters have an effective coverage area of 150 square feet, making them ideal for small to medium-sized rooms. To increase their effectiveness, make sure the doors are closed so their heat remains concentrated and isn’t lost to the rest of the house. Some even come with a remote control, so you can adjust the heat setting without getting up and walking over to it.