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Metered electricity


Ronbo

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We are in Sacramento got the winter and are on metered electricity. I have a 15,000 but heat pump that also has a heat strip installed. In addition I have a 1500 watt heater that is thermostatically controlled and has an eco mode. Which would be cheaper to operate? I know the compressor startup will use more electricity. The heat strip shouldn't come into play unless the temp gets so low the heat pump won't heat.

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Ron,

 

The heat pump wins and is popular choice for heating in my area where we seldom have freezing temps.

 

Your heat pump probably has a Coefficient of Performance (COP) somewhere around 2.5 versus strip heater COP of 1, making the heat pump 2 1/2 times more efficient. Assuming . . . . you're operating in the sweet temperature range. Typically, as you approach freezing, efficiency begins to fall off and the strip heater kicks in.

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Same as Jim said. The heat pump wins for efficiency. Check that the campground is not overcharging for electric. Find out the normal price and see if they are close, some will charge a little more but I have heard of 25% or more "surcharge". That may not even be legal but at least it is price gouging.

 

Enjoy your trip, have fun!

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In addition I have a 1500 watt heater that is thermostatically controlled and has an eco mode.

Information from the Home Depot website:

 

My heater has a temperature setting indicating ECO. It is supposed to be efficient, but it seems to not heat as much....... Why?
The ECO mode on your heater is a program that attempts to keep the temperature
strictly at a “warm” 68°F. This also helps with efficiency, as it is programmed to
1) Increase the wattage used to 1500W if the temperature drops below 64.4°F
2) Gradually reduce the wattage used as it approaches 66.2°F and
3) Stop heating when 68°F is achieved. This is considered an Economical
function, since in the ECO setting, the heater is almost never running on the full 1500 Watts. If this “warm” heat is not plentiful or is on constantly, and you fear it will increase your electric bills, we recommend you set it to the high or low setting and have it cycle off when your set temperature is achieved. You may also set the timer to allow your heater to shut off at the given hour increments you desire.

 

The heat strip shouldn't come into play unless the temp gets so low the heat pump won't heat.

When this happens the efficiency drops dramatically. The heat strips are just resistance heaters that work pretty much like any of the small portable heaters, but usually at a lower efficiency level. It is usually less costly to shut down the heat pump system once the heat strips come into play. I have a very similar system in my home-base and have monitored electric bills in both ways. In our home system the cost of heating more than doubles once the electric heat is applied to the heat pump.

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The ECO mode on your heater is a program that attempts to keep the temperature

strictly at a “warm” 68°F. This also helps with efficiency, as it is programmed to

1) Increase the wattage used to 1500W if the temperature drops below 64.4°F

2) Gradually reduce the wattage used as it approaches 66.2°F and

3) Stop heating when 68°F is achieved. This is considered an Economical


This setup might result in slightly lower electricity bills but it would be achieving that outcome through psychology not physics. By throttling the heater back when the temperature is closer to 68F there is an implicit assumption that you won't feel cold even if the heater can't quite get to 68 (because it's being throttled). On cold days the heater may run more often because it takes it longer to get the room temperature up to where you want it, or, as is noted in the text, it might run all the time because the throttled heating capacity isn't large enough to meet the heating demand. Having the heater blowing warm air most of the time is supposed to make you feel warmer even if the room temperature is still below the set point. But the physics doesn't change; it's going to take exactly the same amount of energy to warm the room to where you want it!

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