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Clothes Iron versus baseboard heater

  1. Oct 27, 2008 #1

    My friend and I were having a discussion and had a disagreement. I'm hoping one of you intelligent people can settle it for us. There are two points I'd like to talk about.

    1. Safety concerns and practicalities aside why would one choose to heat a room with a baseboard heater versus an oven or say a clothes iron.

    2. In a given amount of time, would a 1500 Watt iron produce as much heat as a 1500 watt baseboard heater?
    His argument was that, although a baseboard heater would heat up quicker, after they were turned off, an iron would give off heat for a longer period of time. If all energy that goes into the two systems is converted to heat, then why wouldn't they produce the same amount of heat.

    Thank you,

    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2008 #2


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    Power is a measure of the RATE of energy transfer.
    So a 1500W iron and a 1500 watt computer PSU both put out the same amount of energy in the same time. But they do so at different temperatures.

    In a closed room it doesn't make a lot of difference. The iron will heat up a small amount of air to a higher temperature - that air will heat up other air until the whole room is at the same lower temperature. The baseboard heater will heat up a large volume of air to a middle temperature - that air will then heat up the remainign air in the room to the same final temperature (assuming no losses).
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