Q:

Are Sunbeam electric heaters efficient?

A:

Quick Answer

As of 2015, Sunbeam offers three types of electric heaters that use electricity efficiently but are not as cheap to run as gas and oil heating units. Their small size and easy operation, however, might make them a viable option for heating a small space periodically.

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Full Answer

Almost all electric heaters claim to provide 100 percent energy efficiency. This value reflects the fact that electric heaters turn nearly all the electricity they draw into heat through electrical resistance. However, this rating does not account for losses at the power plant when heat is converted into electricity. It also does not account for energy lost when transmitting electricity from the power plant to homes.

As a result, electric heaters powered by electricity from a natural gas power plant use natural gas less efficiently that gas-powered heaters, which use generated heat without conversion. All electric heaters, including Sunbeam's, cost more to operate that heaters that burn fossil fuels.

However, electric space heaters have some advantages. Their small size makes them easy to carry around. Since they run on standard wall outlets, there is no need to purchase fuel. They are also safe to use; electric heaters do not generate carbon monoxide or any other chemicals. For warming small rooms that need a moderate amount of heating on occasion, electric space heaters can provide an affordable and convenient option.

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