Electric panel heater help

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Hi All,

basically I live in Estonia, I have oil fried central heating, but oil has somewhat doubled in price since last year so the minimum order of 1500 litres which heats my house for 4 to 5 months of the year is now almost €1500. I am currently selling my house (or trying at least) so it doesn't make sense to shell out such money if I manage to sell the house in a month or two.
Obviously in Estonia in winter, temperatures in Dec and Jan can be as low as minus 30, which even for the oil fired central heating is a tough job to cope with. The house is breezeblock built with cheap big windows, poor insulation and in all honesty when it is 0 degrees outside, it's about 12 degrees inside without the heating on - not much fun. But I need to heat somehow and I am considering panel heaters or fan heaters and I would like to figure out what would be most cost efficient and also what will heat to a decent livable temperature. Buying electric heaters is cheaper in the short term and hopefully if I am not spending €300 on heating bills every month then it should be ok.
I have 5 rooms; 7m2 (bathroom), 8m2 (Kid's bedroom), 11m2 (kitchen), 20m2 (lounge) and 34m2 (bedroom). The kitchen and lounge are open plan. according to info on the web, I should be installing 750w, 750w, 1000w, 1500w, 2000w heaters respectively.
1. Isn't this going to use a lot of electricity?
2. Is it better to take say two 3.3kw heaters and move them around as needed? Or do they use far more electric than these panel heaters?
3. If I use panel heaters, I read that they should be on all the time at a low temperature in order to be more efficient rather than coming on and off with a timer when required - is this correct?

Your input & help is appreciated.

Tony.
 
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1. yes. Compare the prices for kW of oil and kW of electricity, adjusting for the efficiency of your boiler. You will usually pay more per kW for electricity.

2. a kW is a kW is a kW regardless of the type of electric heater. Larger heaters will cycle on and off according to the thermostat. Too small a heater will never overcome the thermal losses from the room and will never get the room hot enough. If you only heat part of the house you will lose heat to the unheated parts (and risk condensation and mould growth)

3. no, more efficient to use a timer when required, but again heat loss to the unheated parts of the house will occur. It is usually preferable to keep a low level background heat.

If you are having difficulty selling the house, why not insulate it? Loft insulation is very cheap, wall battens and insulation is fairly cheap if you fit it yourself, and secondary glazing is also fairly cheap if you buy online and fit it yourself (going by UK prices anyway). A nice well-insulated house will be more attractive to buyers.

If you're really desperate then the stick-on cling film secondary glazing that you shrink with a hairdryer is actually pretty effective at cutting down on draughts.
 
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Thanks for the comments.
Fixing the house is certainly a bigger job than a bit of insulation. In order to make this house more energy efficient it would need serious work to find all the leaks. I was here when the builders were making the original insulation bats (to the exterior - before the wood facade went on and the interior before the gysum was installed - and it looked good) but I guess without a blower test, there are obviously far too many areas where there are leaks - probably around he windows, doors etc. It would be a big job. i would knock it down and start again. But like I said, if the oil is on it is liveable - but I wont shell out this money. Basically i will sell the house just to pay off the mortgage, so it is a bargain price - it will go, thermally insulated or not.
I calculated (hopefully correctly) that if I have the main heaters on in the living areas for 12hrs per day average, and say 3hrs per day to warm up the other rooms when needed (before bed/ waking up etc) then I am looking at an additional €200 per month heating bill on top of that purchasing the heaters around €200 outlay. So 6 months down the line I would spend the same as the oil heating, but not all at once and if I sell the house sooner, then the better. Plus I can also sell the heaters later to recoup some outlay.

1. the 3.3kw fan heaters - if I stick a couple of these in the main areas are they better than panel heaters? I know here in Estonia they are €50 each instead of €80 for a 2kw panel heater.
2. So what do you think - 5 panel heaters or a few 3.3kw heaters?
 
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1. the 3.3kw fan heaters - if I stick a couple of these in the main areas are they better than panel heaters? I know here in Estonia they are €50 each instead of €80 for a 2kw panel heater.

Fan or panel heaters will produce exactly the same heat / have the same running costs per kWh.
 
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Yes, i know - that the kw for a panel heater or fan heater costs the same.
My question is not so much now about cost but heating efficiency. For example a 3.3kw heater must heat up the area quicker than a 2kw heater, no? And panel heater versus fan heater? Since this is a temporary measure, fan heaters are more convenient in that they are freestanding rather than panel heaters which I have to mount on the wall (which I can't do because of existing rads). In peoples opinions, is a fan heater better than a panel heater. Even panel heaters differ from make to make, but if you had a 2kw panel heater or a 2kw fan heater - which would you choose?
 
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i would definatly go for fan heaters bigger the better if the heat loss is say 1.5kw and your heater is giving out 2kw then you effectively have a 500w heater
with a fan heater you can aim the heat to warm an area first

i personally would buy a fan heater take daily reading so your not overly shocked at the consumption as its likely to be around 2-2.5 units an hour for say 10 hours at say 10p a unit is £2-£2.50 a day per heater
so say if you have 3 heaters that's £7 a day £49 a weeks £200 a month :eek:
 
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