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My mother lives with us. We bought small electric space heater for her (sm)

Posted By: Me on 2005-10-18
In Reply to: How are you planning to deal with the oncoming high winter heating bills? - Inquiry time

as we usually keep the furnace at about 68 and keep a humidifier going. Makes a big difference. Older people get cold, so I have told her she might want to make sure and wear warmer clothes and don't hesistate to use the space heaters to provide comfort level in the family room and her bedroom for her.

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I run a small space heater at my feet sm
My CPU is under the desk and I tend to swing my left leg up to rest on that. The air from the heater, if I position it right, flows up between my knees and heats my hands. I can't work this time of year without it. Warm feet=warm all over.
I use an electric afghan, safer than a heater
Hi: I paid about $35 for an afghan-size warming blanket I think on Overstock.com. I just make a little semicircle of blankie and keep the foot pedal in there. To warm my hands, I use 2 gooseneck lamps from Target, they were $10 each, one on each side of my desk, amazing how much heat from a light bulb. Wise
space heater
Thanks for the helpful hint.  About how much did you have to pay, and where did you buy it?  (If you don't mind telling me.)
space heater
Thanks, guys and gals, for the great info about space heaters! I'll definitely stay away from the kind that cost our fellow MT's power bill to increase! Yikes! I'll probably go with a ceramic heater, like the Lasko mentioned in these posts. It seems to be the most efficient and the most cost-saving. :)
I use a space heater, but my CPU isn't under my desk.

Mostly I need the heat to warm up my hands, so I sit my heater on my desk top blowing directly at my keyboard.  The electric blanket is an excellent idea.  I may have to look into that.

One thing to consider, when I first plugged in my space heater, my circuit couldn't handle my CPU, printer, heater, going all at once and I tripped the circuit breaker.  So, I've had to run an extension cord from another outlet on a different circuit for my heater.  My house is pretty old though and needs some wiring work.

I have a space heater under my desk but

my computer sits on a "second hand" counter (bought at an discount home supply companyfor $35) that sits on 2x4s. I bought the counter top 2 x 8 feet marked down because of marks, etc., and placed all my printer, scanner, extra computer etc., on 2x4's cut down; i.e., 1 2x4 8 foot long give 3 sides (left,right, and bottom) to securely sit everything on top. I have 3 computers, a printer, a scanner, 2 transcription machines, a calculator, and CDs and a whatchamacallit for holding bills, etc. sitting on it. It's held up for 8 years.

I have a ceramic heater under my desk and it doesn't get hot enough to travel up to the counter.

Can you blow a hairdryer on low on it or a space heater on low? Might help. nm
Does anyone use a space heater under their desk? Is it safe? sm
My computer tower is also on the floor under the desk, could this make the computer itself too hot? I get so uncomfortably cold working in my lower level of my house, so I bought a space heater, but I can't get it close enough to warm my feet up, I would like it under my desk. Safe or not? Thanks in advance.
I use a DeLonghi oil-filled space heater that
But my feet were still cold. I found a surefire way to warm my feet on even the coldest days: I alternate between wearing my slippers (with indoor-outdoor soles on them), and my hiking boots which are my warmest footwear. I also alternate sox.

As I start to feel my feet getting too cold, I lay the alternate sox over the heater (safe when set on the low setting - plus I'm right there watching them). Then I set the pair of shoes or slippers I'm not wearing on top of the heater to warm up the soles.

After about 15-20 minutes, I put on the warm sox, followed by the now-warm shoes/slippers. Once on my feet, the thick rubber soles stay warm for quite a long time! My feet warm up right away, STAY warm, and circulation improves, thus continuing to keep the shoes warm. The hiking boots worked the best - several hours later, my feet were still toasty warm!
space heater vs furnace, a few opinions from the experts

Limit use of Electric Space Heaters
Here's a few opinions. There's one way, way, way down at the bottom, too. Hope it helps.


Limit use of freestanding or in-wall space heaters to short periods of time. Electric space heat can cost as much as 25 percent more than fossil fuel heat. Because of the high energy required, the use of extension cords with space heaters is not recommended. Also to avoid fire hazard, electric heater power cords should never be placed under a carpet or rug to be hidden from view.


Space heaters are a fairly inefficient way to convert electricity to heat. They can also run up the electric bill, and I'm not sure they're a good choice for the apartment-building lifestyle. However, if you owned a big home and controlled your own central heating, a space heater could be a good choice. If you spent your entire day, or most of it, in one room of the house (say, your satellite Grist office), you could turn off the central heat and use a space heater. And, of course, space heaters are a great option for rooms where there is no other heat source whatsoever -- certainly better than frostbite.

Space heaters run on electricity generated by burning something or splitting atoms or capturing hydropower or tapping into the energy of wind or sun (optimal but unlikely). Radiators run on water heated by burning oil or gas. Because your radiator burns fuel on site, odds are it is more efficient than your space heater. (Again, we're guessing here, since we don't know the specifics.) With electric space heaters, about two-thirds of the heating energy from the original fuel is lost during transit to your room.


Ask the Energy Guy


2004 Average

04/05 03/04 Average


313 396




Season to date



2005 2004 Average

2005 2004





1266 1027


Season to date

Q: A couple of issues ago you talked about electric space heaters. Are they less

expensive than gas?

A: Maybe. Unless you have a geothermal heat pump, electricity

is not the most economical way to heat a home. But

depending on the size of the electric space heater and how

you use it, you may be able to increase your comfort and

save a little money this winter.

There are two basic types of electric space heaters;

Convection heaters heat the air and usually have a fan

to blow warm air around. Radiant heaters warm objects.

Some people like to feel warm air move so they use a fan

driven heater. Others will use a radiant heater to avoid

drafts from moving air. The cost to operate the heater will

depend on wattage, temperature of the room, and length of time

itís on. The higher the wattage, the colder the room, and the

longer itís on - the more it will cost.

A 1500-watt heater will cost around $.10 an hour to operate.

Your much larger gas furnace may cost $.45 - $.75 an hour to

run. To be comfortable yet not spend more money the trick is to

save gas by turning down your thermostat while using the electric heater. If you just

use a portable heater for short periods, and you turn down the thermostat at the same

time, you should be fairly comfortable and save on your heating bills. Check back

next month for more on electric versus gas heating

Q. Would it be more efficient to use an electric heater for one room than to keep the whole house warm with central heating?

 A. I can see why you would think using a space heater would be an energy-saving solution, especially with higher gas and oil prices. But in Vermont, electricity is still the most expensive way to heat. A typical portable electric space heater could actually increase your energy costs by as much as $50 a month.

A better approach is to make your home's "envelope" and central heating system work as efficiently as possible. Make sure your home has sufficient insulation. Prevent air leakage between indoors and out by sealing any holes between the house and outdoors or the attic, especially where chimneys and plumbing enter. Gaps around door and window frames and drafts under doors should also be sealed. Repair cracked glazing on windows and replace weather seals if necessary. You can find low-cost, easy-to-use weatherization kits and supplies at your hardware store. Be sure your furnace filter is clean, seal and insulate heating ducts, and have your furnace or boiler professionally inspected, cleaned and tuned each year. Vacuum or dust heating vents and move furniture away from them so heat can circulate. Finally, close doors to any rooms you don't want heated and turn down the thermostat in those rooms.

Gas vs. Electric Heat
The Dollar Stretcher
by Gary Foreman

I live in the Midwest and am bracing for the high cost of heating my home this winter. My question is about buying/using a space heater. Is there a way to find out if running an electric space heater would be cheaper than the gas I use to heat the home? Is there a formula for this? How would I figure it out. I've taken all the other precautions such as insulation, furnace tune-up, weather-stripping etc. I figure I can keep the heat turned to about 67 - but a space heater might be good for the family room-kitchen, the area we use the most. Thanks, 
Cheryl R.

Cheryl appears to be serious about reducing her heating bills. And, she's right. According to the Federal Trade Commission, nearly half of our utility bills goes to heating/air conditioning. So controlling those expenses is worthwhile.

Cheryl can compare heat generated from gas or electric. To get a fair comparison we'll determine the cost to generate 1 million BTU's of heat with both fuels.

A furnace with a seasonal heating efficiency of 80% will use 12.5 therms to produce the million BTU's. MGE (Madison Gas Electric in Madison WI) was charging consumers $1.50 per therm in October, 2005. We'll use them as our example. At a cost of $1.50 per therm heating with gas would cost $18.75 (12.5 therms X $1.50).

An electric heater would consume 293 kilowatt hours to produce the million BTU's. At a cost of $0.11 per kWh (also from MGE) that's $32.58.

So heating with electric is more expensive than natural gas. And, that's usually the case since a lot of electric is generated by burning natural gas.

But, Cheryl's recognized that gas vs. electric is only half of the equation. Could heating a smaller area (kitchen/family room) with a higher cost fuel (electric) be a good idea?

In our example electric generated heat is 70% more expensive than gas generated heat ($32.58 / $18.75). As long as her kitchen/family room area is less than 30% of the cubic footage of her house she'll save money by using the space heater to heat it and turning down the thermostat on the furnace.

Remember that this is just an example. We've made some assumptions. For instance, furnaces are measured based on their AFUE rating (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). It's also known as "seasonal heating efficiency." We chose a furnace rated at 80% efficiency.  Cheryl's could be more or less efficient. That would affect how many therms of gas are consumed.

The selection of space heaters will make a difference, too. There are a number of types available.

According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources a radiator-type heater could be best for Cheryl. It works well in a room that gets constant use. And, since the surface area isn't extremely hot, there's less danger of someone (think children) getting burned.

There's also a formula that Cheryl can use to figure the cost of running a space heater. She'll need to know the size of the space heater in watts. Divide that by 1,000 to get kilowatts. So a 1500 watt heater is 1.5 kilowatts.

Multiply the answer by the number of hours per day the heater is in use to determine how many kilowatts are used per day. Suppose that it's running from 8am until 10pm. She'd multiply 1.5 kilowatts by 12 hours and be using 18 kilowatts per day.

Her electric bill will show how much she pays per kilowatt. Let's use our $0.11 rate. The 18 kilowatts per day multiplied by $0.11 costs Cheryl $1.98 per day to run the heater.

Make no mistake, the furnace is the most efficient way to heat the entire house. But, according to the National Association of Home Builders the average home is 2,200 square feet. That's a lot of space to heat.

And, if you'll study your home, most homes do not have someone in every room 24 hours a day. Each family has a pattern of use. One or two rooms might be in use for much of the day. Other rooms rarely are used except for sleep. Cheryl might find that she can lower the thermostat on the furnace to 60 degrees and use space heaters to raise the temperature in occupied areas.

Chances are that a lot of us don't want to go through all the calculations. You really don't need to. If you only have one or two rooms occupied, it will almost certainly be cheaper to keep your thermostat lower and put a space heater in the occupied rooms. Just remember to take the appropriate safety precautions when using space heaters.


I turn into a prune when I have a space heater in my office, all that dry air dehydrating me!

I just bought a new electric can opener at Wally World

and, get this, it comes with a "Users Manual."

This is the el cheapo $6.74 can opener and I'm thinking "hmmm, am I missing something here?"

My take on this is that if you don't know how to plug in and use a $6.74 electric can opener, there is a very good chance that you probably can't read to start off with.

It's 4 pages!

HOW TO USE: (Page 3)

1.  Raise lever, place can under the guide bar and against the geared wheel (See DIagram A to identify parts)

2. Press down on lever to pierce lid of can (Daigram B). This automatically starts thye cutting action. the can opener will continue to cut until the lid is completely severed from the can.

3 Grasp the can, then raise the lever to release the can.

4.  Carefully slide the lid away from the magnet, using caution to avoid being injured by the sharp edge of the lid.

I'm sure they do this so some stupid bozo won't sue the company because they weren't instructed on proper use of the can opener.

We all like different things in our lives, we small talk them here

just as we would do around the coffee pot in the office before work or on breaks.  It's too bad the someone who doesn't want to talk about a certain subject can't just walk away....like they would in the office, I'm sure. 

 NOW go and enjoy your night.  Steak and veggies for dinner here. 

I buy the Equirer, have for years, my mother bought
and now there are more than the Equirer who are considered rag papers. I would much rather read the rags than watch, oh say a show like Entertainment Tonight that everything talked about is boobs, booties and the like. Give me a break. I love the tabloids and guess I come by them honest, reading since a young child.
Weird, isn't it? I had two Rose of Sharon bushes, one I bought for my mother
and planted it in her yard. The other I bought for myself and planted it in my yard. My mother passed away in 1993 and my bush died a month later. My father passed away in 1996 and that bush in their yard died a month later. Both passed on in August, 3 years and 5 days from one another. Makes you wonder.
Just bought this computer so you never know if it is the ethernet card or mother board or Comcast.
I had this on another computer and it was the modem that time.
I bought Dragon for myself to try on a few small accounts...
first of all, understand that no VR works until the user has trained his voice. If you think you are going to get a doctor to sit down and "read a training paragraph" and then not expect his transcription fees to decrease... .well guess again. I can hear it "the machine is doing all the work."  Even the best Dragon was bulky and slow but I am an extremely fast typist. On my best dictator I can almost do a 1:1 rate. Dragon is not set up to do the amount of production an MT needs. It is for a few piddly letters here and there. It makes you want to pull out your hair, waiting for it to think through a sentence, then post it, when you are already down the page. And the editing is horrible. Very bulky and slow. The big guns, like Dictaphone, deliberately set out to make editing easy. They know docs have to continue to dictate if Dictaphone is going to stay in business. But Dragon is a different story. Very slow on the back end editing. I wasted $800 and hours upon hours of training.
MedQuist? Ctrl+shift+F, period, space, tab, period, space, space, change all. nm
I meant "One space or two", not "l space or two" nm
I bought a wedge at Michael's for about 59 cents. Bought one for my SM
Lanier station so I could see the display and one for my keyboard.
Our electric went up 68% and gas sky rocketed. sm
I have gas heat and with the heat wave and humidity now and in the summer, my air conditioner will be running and my monthly bill is $380 just for air conditioning. My heating bill in the winter runs about the same.

That is $4500 a year for gas and electric. So, I would take your oil contract any day compared to my bills.
Wow, that's really high for electric
We have total electric (includes heat, air, and all appliances), and our bill is around $200 in the winter, $100 in summer. We get a break on the rate for having total electric. I feel lucky......
electric bill
Yes, our electric bills have been outrageous. Last month was $199.00, and my new bill came in and is $256.00 also! I too live in California, and we get shafted with the utilities in this state. During winter months my gas bill was as high as $175.00 which is almost five times what it used to be 7 years ago, and my paychecks keep going down in the transcription field!.
About $125 in PA - total electric, about
Pretty happy here, bill runs about the same in winter and includes heat :)
Oil filled heater
I use a DeLonghi oil filed heater, bought at Lowe's for I think $30-$40.  Sits right next to my chair, very safe, uses very little energy.  Plus I can rest  my hands on it when there is a pause in dictation. It's about 6 x 15 inches but when I'm sitting down, it comes up to my elbow.  Love it! 
Move to Arizona. Don't the heater too much here!!!nm
Some sort of heater device
I read about a device you can buy for the deep cystic-type acne. I believe the machine was about $200, but it is supposed to be a miracle cure for treating deep cystic acne. The drawback would be that the device has to be held on each cyst for a couple of minutes I believe, so hundreds of cysts like you describe would take a long, long time to treat. I would ask the dermatologist if he thought finasteride would have any effect. That drug shuts down the part of testosterone that causes male pattern baldness. Maybe it would have an effect on acne, too. I think I'll research that for you.
Used to, but compared electric bills
I used to never turn my computer off. Then my grandchildren visited me for 3 wks. Because I did not want them playing on my computer (they had their own laptop), I kept mine off when I was not working. When the electric bill came it, it was almost $60 less, so from that point on, I began turning it off between the hours of 5 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. plus my days off (and I get more done around the house as well) -- continued with the same savings. Figured I can buy a new tower for $720 a year in savings.
I think those descriptions are for electric and gas (heat)...

Not internet.  Internet is different because it is not based off of square footage.  To me, that would sound like because my living room is larger than my office, I use the internet more in my living room, which is untrue.... Plus, I never use the internet in my bathroom or kitchen. 

I write off the percentage that I use it, that is how my tax guy said to.... I mostly use the internet for personal use about an hour a night and a couple hours on weekends.  Otherwise it is work only.  That is where I get the figure for 75% work, 25% pleasure use. 


small mentality usually means small pocketbook
Still make more than you and I but that is deserved. They've put the effort forward and educated themselves.

Ditto, electric went from $120 to $205 in this nonstop heat!- nm
But, yes to all that you have and the room, electric, heat, just remember though
you have to keep the house for at least a year or two once you start claiming it, if you think you may move in the next year, don't take the write off, just on your text books, software, computer, that you can but not the room itself. See your CPA for further details as to why.
Has anyone used the Eden Pure Heater as a supplement?

I hear Paul Harvey advertise this heater on the radio all the time and I am considering it for our house for this winter. I just wonder how much it might really save us since we use propane to heat and this is an electric heater. It sounds good according to what I have heard and read but obviously I don't really know.

I am in my home office most of the day and thought I could turn our furnace down low as there is no need to heat the entire house when I spend at least 8 hours a day in my office and I am the only one at home during the day. I could just close my office door and use this heater and maybe save some $. We have a 1600 sq. ft. home, one level, and we spent about $1900 for propane last year (including hot water heater and gas cooking stove).  I wore thermals and warm clothes as well as used a snug snack while working but I am always cold and had the thermostat turned up to 72 during the day and 66 at night.

I will post the link for those that might be interested in knowing more bout the heater.

$256.00 for June electric bill in Calif.

Am curious if anyone's else is outrageously high.  Mine typically is $150-200 for summer months. 

I keep temp at 82 during day, 78 at night.  Temperatures here soar to 95-100 though.  But, I live alone and have gas hot water, gas stove.

Working at home has its pluses and minuses!  Leaving the air off for 8-10 hours a day while I was at the hospital working saved me a lot of cash in this utility bills.



Electric motor repairman. I'll never match his pay.
But the more you make the more you spend. 
The old clunkity clunk electric typewriter days

Way back when, I didn't even know it was "transcription."  I did some transcribing as a secretary at a clinic with 8-10 docs. Office manager showed me how to use "a tape player that you operate with a footpedal." (never heard the words "transcriber" or "transcription"). Only had a Dorland's Med. Dictionary and IBM Selectric. Wasn't until several years later at first actual medical transcription job, realized previously had already been doing medical transcription, "typing" the doctors' chart notes and letters (plus answering phones, sorting/distributing the doctors' mail & journals, bookkeeping/accounts payable, payroll, etc.) for ridiculously low file-clerk type pay for what was really an administrative assistant type job. 

You wanted a laugh though: One time, in a hospital transcription dept., me & the other ladies were in the breakroom, giggling about something in the newspaper, someone made a great joke about whatever the subject was, & we were laughing so hard, the security guard came running down the hall and into our breakroom to see what was going on (he thought he heard screaming!)  When he saw us all cracking up, he just shook his head, laughed, & told us to get back to work!

% of mortgage, water, electric, gas, trash pick-
all that PLUS, when I started 13 years ago, electric typewriters were still used (smile!) no message
Wow! I'm in North Central Florida. Last month's electric bill was $165. sm
I have electric everything and keep the thermostat set at 73. Some folks here with a different electric company have had bills triple to quadruple their normal. You may want to do some investigating.
deduct telephone, electric and portion of house payments.
Hope this helps!
It's cold here this morning!!! I had to turn on my office heater for the first time this year.
Winter's coming and it's supposed to be incredibly cold the next couple days.  YUCK  And, with the gas prices the way they are I guess I'll have to suffer with it a little colder this year.
I know someone who lives (sm)
in the same neighborhood in Atlanta that Bobby and Whitney live in...they said that Whitney tried to take out a restraining order on a little girl for trying to sell her some Girl Scout cookies! It's really sad to see how far down she has gone! She used to be so beautiful and talented, now she's just a train wreck! I guess that's one reason to be glad I'm poor! Can't afford to screw myself up THAT bad! Good day, all!
Obviously these 2 have no lives
They obviously have no personal life and come here to get their jollies.  They are immature and pathetic.  No wonder they like Medquist - same mentality.
That's because most of our lives are about
Last year I purchased a Lasko 30" tall digital ceramic pedestal heater with remote for under (sm)
$80.00 at Home Depot.  Features include: Automatic temperature control, oscillate, timer, and high (1500W) and low (900W) power settings.  Assembling the base took less than 5 minutes. Kept me very warm last winter, and plan on purchasing another one for my upstairs. Cut down on my gas heating bill significantly. Great buy.
If somebody lives in a car because a job isn't "enticing" then I have
My dh lives for this show!!...sm
Coffee thing was very cool.  Had cylinder type holder for separate filters.  He explained it like a gun cylinder that holds individual bullets.  Anyway, he put filters in each separate cylinder and could make individual cups of coffee, soup, tea, etc. by rotating to the right cylinder and adding water. 
Yes, DH's family lives there. I would think this would be ... SM
a very good area to move to.  It is very rapidly growing, however, so if you are not into crowds, you might think about that.  They actually live in Oakwood which is just outside of Gainsville.  Hall County is supposed to have a very good school system.  Lots of shopping in the area, and I think they're building subdivisions like crazy.  It's also close enough to the north Georgia mountains that weekend getaways would be easy - or you could drive into Atlanta for special attractions.  They have recently built the Gwinnett Arena near there that has a lot of concerts, sporting events, etc., so a drive into Atlanta is not always necessary for this kind of thing.  All in all, a very nice area.
E-Bay and Days of Our Lives.
Yes, Days of our Lives for sure! I really
don't watch much TV, but this has been something I have followed my entire life (we both just turned 40, LOL). My granny used to watch (her "stories" she called them) and I was granny's little girl :-)

I am SOOOOOO happy to see Patch and Kayla back on the show! Now if they would just get this Bo and Hope thing straightened out. Oh wouldn't it be nice to have Kate, Billie and Chelsea miraculously disappear from Salem!?!?!?!?! Hey, a girl can wish can't she. LOL!!!!
Just how many lives do YOUR patients have?

Apparently mine have more than one because I have one dictator who likes to use the following phrase:  Patient was told that he might have death and loss of current life.