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Electric heaters

Common energy-users across Canada

Electric space heaters, including electric furnaces, are used in many Canadian homes and businesses, especially in some regions of the country. They can serve as the primary source of heat or as a supplementary heat source.

Electric space heaters for both residential and commercial settings come in different technologies—fan-forced, convection and radiant—and can be portable or installed.

They are available in a wide variety of designs and capacities, from small portable plug-ins to radiator-like units, and from decorative fireplaces to powerful commercial air-curtain heaters. Thermostats can be used to control temperature and, therefore, energy use.

Electric space heaters produce one unit of heat for every unit of electricity. Technically, this means they are 100 percent energy efficient at the end use. But that doesn’t mean they are the most efficient heating choice. For example, geothermal heat pumps can deliver three units of heat for every unit of electricity used. That translates into 300 percent energy efficiency.

Electric space heaters are not currently covered by Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations (with the exception of a technology requirement for electric boilers.) Nor are they available in ENERGY STAR® qualified high-efficiency models.

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