With more than 50 percent of electricity used in the average house dedicated to heating and cooling, your selection of a heating system may weigh heavily in your electricity bills and your environmental effect. Oil heaters offer an efficient means of heating in some specific situations, but they seldom represent the very energy efficient way of heating the whole house.

Inefficient Electric Resistance Heating

Despite their name, oil heaters actually get their electricity. An electrical heating element warms up the oil, which remains trapped inside the heater and underfloor heating throughout the area. Like most of electric-powered heaters, oil heaters are 100 percent efficient since 100 percent of the energy they have is changed into heat. What this means to take into consideration is the vastly inefficient process of burning coal or another kind of fuel to produce the power used by the heater. Generating energy by burning these fuels is only about 30 percent efficient, as stated by the U.S. Department of Energy, making electrical resistance heaters of all kinds the least efficient way to heat the house.

Heat Storage

Despite the inefficiency of heating with energy, oil-filled heaters do provide the best energy efficiency of all portable electric heaters, as stated by the U.S. Department of Energy. This efficiency relates to the oil in the heater acts as a moderate. The oil shops the warmth to radiate warmth and help warm the space even when the heater is off. On other forms of electrical heaters, there is no heat-transfer moderate, so the units stops radiating heat once the electricity is switched off.

Localized Heating

In some cases, oil heaters may offer greater efficiency than the most energy-efficient furnace. If you merely want to heat one room or only need to heat a seldom used space for a short time, a portable oil heater makes a whole lot more sense than running the furnace to heat the entire house. By warming just yourself and your immediate environment, you truly save energy when compared with heating unused or unoccupied spaces.

Oil-Fired Furnaces

If used to power a furnace rather than just acting as a transport medium inside an electric heater, oil can serve as a highly efficient fuel for whole-house heatingsystem. In the United States, oil furnaces must have a minimum efficiency rating of 83 percent. A furnace that meets this minimum efficiency score serves as a more efficient means of heating the whole house than using portable oil-filled heaters as a result of the bad energy efficiency of heat.

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