Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

Heating 3Electric resistance heat (ERH) is a safe and simple solution for many heating needs, and frequently offers meaningful advantages over other sources of heating. When used in residential, commercial or industrial applications, ERH provides a comfortable, efficient, and affordable heating option that is often the preferred method.

One of the most attractive characteristics of ERH is its relative simplicity of use, which involves only two basic steps:
• Supply electricity to an electric heater
• Add a thermostat (either built-in or wall-mounted) for temperature control

Electric heat provides warmth directly to individual rooms, making them ideal for zone or complementary heating, which means only the rooms that are actually used receive heat. Low-traffic or unused rooms can be kept at a lower temperature when not used, while the comfort of primary areas is maintained.

While the basic physics have remained the same since its invention more than one hundred years ago, ERH technology continues to evolve. Today, new innovation provides opportunities for ERH to march boldly into the future.
One of the primary purposes of this NEMA white paper is to provide an overview of recent developments in the world of ERH. We’ll begin with a high-level exploration of the different types of electric heating options. Then, we’ll review the common attributes of ERH, including its comfort, efficiency, and flexibility of use. To wrap things up, we’ll share a case study of electric heat used in “green” homes.

What is electric resistance heat?

In simple terms, electric resistance heat warms working and living spaces using convection heaters such as baseboards or fan-forced heaters.i While there are a variety of technical approaches available to consumers in the market, they all rely on the same basic physical property: passing an electrical current through a resistor converts electrical energy into heat.ii All ERH products rely on this same fundamental physical concept.

A lesson on heat transfer

From a physics perspective, heat may be transferred by three different methods: conduction, convection, and radiation. Let’s review each.

• Thermal conduction.Heat is transferred via conduction when a cooler object comes into physical contact with a warmer object. A typical example of heat transfer by way of conduction is a pot of cold water growing warmer as it sits on a hot electric stove.
• Thermal convection. Natural convection occurs when an object is heated to a temperature warmer than the air surrounding it. As the air near the object warms, it rises. Cooler air takes its place to continue the heating process. Electric baseboard heaters use this natural convection to transfer heat from warm resistive elements into room air. Fan-forced heaters use forced convection to accelerate the process by artificially circulating warm air, but the technology is still based on the naturally occurring principle.
• Thermal radiation.Radiation is a process by which energy, in the form of electromagnetic waves (e.g., visible light, infrared), travels from a heated surface directly and rapidly to objects in the path of those waves. Unlike conductive and convective heating systems, radiant heating systems do not heat air, but rather objects. It is similar to how we feel the sun’s heat. Ceramic and quartz radiant panels are examples of this method. Although floor cables and ceiling panels are often described as “radiant,” they actually combine conduction (through direct contact with feet), convection (by heating the air), and radiation.

Popular residential and commercial heating products

Electric baseboard

Electric Baseboards are the most common electric heaters, and use the convection method to quietly circulate warm air in a room. As the heating elements get warm, air naturally rises, pulling cooler air behind it across the warm elements. Baseboard heaters are often installed below a window, as in the picture below, to counteract the effect of cold air coming into the room.
Heating 1

Figure 1. Electric baseboard unit under window

Typically, homes or offices using electric baseboard heaters are controlled by unique thermostats, sometimes with one in each room or space. This provides people with a great degree of flexibility and operational efficiency, allowing them to heat only those rooms they occupy, and thereby saving both energy and money.

Wall Heaters

Figure 2. Electric resistance wall heater

Fan heaters include an electric fan to quickly transfer energy from the electric heating element to the room. Fan heaters in a bathroom or bedroom allow for quick warm-up of a room when the overall home temperature may be kept at lower levels. This guarantees comfort where and when consumers need it, while maintaining efficiency. Many wall heaters, such as the one shown above, have a built-in thermostat for greater ease-of-use and temperature stability.

In addition to fan heaters, ERH can be packaged into a blower cabinet and installed with ductwork to provide heat to larger areas, such as an entire house. Sometimes this application is paired with an electric heat pump or air conditioner to supply both heating and cooling. An even greater level of efficiency can be achieved if a fan-forced electric heater or thermal storage heater is interfaced with an electric heat pump. A heat pump typically draws energy from outside air and uses it to heat or cool the room. When paired with an electric heater, a heat pump can be utilized during much lower outdoor temperatures, thereby increasing efficiency and reducing the total energy required for heating.

Radiant heat

Radiant electric resistance heat comes in several varieties including quartz and ceramic element heaters, which are typically used in three-season rooms and outdoors. Other varieties include floor cables and ceiling panels, which can be used throughout the home. Quartz and ceramic heaters directly heat objects, so even when the ambient air temperature is low, those within range still feel comfortable. Radiant floor cables combine conductive energy (through direct contact with occupants’ feet) with radiant heating and convective airflow. Ceiling panels provide a similar combination of radiant and convective heating, but without the conductive heat from direct contact (e.g., radiant flooring). Energy efficiency is achieved because overall ambient air temperatures can be kept lower and occupant comfort still maintained.
Heating 3
Figure 3. Radiant ceiling panel in home office

Electric thermal storage

Some utilities offer discounts when the demand for electricity is relatively low and, conversely, charge more when the demand for electricity is relatively high. Electric thermal storage systems (ETS) take advantage of these rate structures by heating a storage medium, often water or bricks, during low-cost times, and releasing the stored heat on-demand when the rates peak. This avoids the consumption of electricity when it is more expensive.

More recently, a new variety of ETS application has appeared called grid-interactive electric thermal storage or GETS. This product performs like traditional ETS products except that it is capable of two-way communication with the local utility. Earlier generation ETS products were only capable of one-way communication from the utility to the appliance. Two-way communication affords a whole new level of control for the utility, and opens the door for additional services and efficiencies (e.g., electric grid load balancing, storage of excess renewable energy). Energy storage is increasingly important to allow the integration of more renewable generation. ETS space and water heaters have proven to have a long, maintenance-free life—typically 25 years—and are relatively inexpensive.

Markets and applications

Electric heat is commonly used in residential, commercial, and industrial applications.iii In any situation, ERH may be the primary heating system or may be used to supplement another system. ERH is often used in commercial applications to offset the size of forced-air furnaces. This allows for a smaller capacity unit to be used, with electric heating providing supplemental heat on only the coldest days of the year or in the coolest areas of the building. Additionally, multi-family housing builders are increasingly turning to electric heat to efficiently allow their tenants to control their comfort level.

Heating 4

Figure 4. Example of ERH wall heater supplementing main heating system

Part 2 of “Market Benefits of Electric Resistance Heat” explores common attributes of electric resistance heat, including its comfort, efficiency, and flexibility of use. It also includes a case study of electric heat used in “green” homes.

i ERH is also used in a number of applications other than space heating, including activities like ovens for drying painted products (car parts for instance) and the environmental remediation of hazardous waste sites. This paper, however, will focus only on the residential and commercial space heating aspects of ERH.
ii - Environmental_and_efficiency_aspects
iii ERH is also used extensively in industrial applications but, as noted above, this NEMA White Paper is focused on residential and commercial space heating applications.

This white paper was developed by the NEMA Electric Resistance Heating Section of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. Section approval of the white paper does not necessarily imply that all section members voted for its approval or participated in its development. At the time it was approved, the Electric Resistance Heating Section was composed of the following members:
• Cadet Manufacturing Company Vancouver, WA
• Dimplex North America Ltd. Cambridge, ON
• Emerson Rosemont, IL
• Marley Engineered Products Bennettsville, SC
• Steffes Corporation Dickinson, ND
• Stelpro Design Inc. St. Bruno-de-Montarville, QC
• TPI Corporation Johnson City, TN
(This version of the document was approved on the NEMA website February 27, 2015.)


Changing Scene

  • Prev
This month, IDEAL is challenging competitors to draw an Electrical Power One-Line Diagram ...
EngWorks Inc. and the Alberta Electrical Alliance have announced a strategic partnership as of May ...
David Collie, ESA’s President & CEO, signs the new Leadership Accord, proudly committed to ...
Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) represents electrical and automation manufacturers, distributors ...
Demand for electric vehicles in Canada keeps increasing; 68% of Canadians will consider ...
ESA is warning on potential electrical hazards associated with the replacement of metallic water ...
The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF-FCA) has released its latest labour market information ...
The Ontario government is introducing new measures to help tradespeople get their certification ...
MP Scott Duvall has introduced an amendment to the Income Tax Act regarding travel expenses for ...
George Brown College has partnered with Hilti (Canada) Corporation to help women build rewarding ...


ABB RoboticsABB Robotics is driving automation in the construction industry with new robotic automation solutions to address key challenges, including the need for more affordable and environmentally friendly housing and to reduce the environmental impact of construction, amidst a labor and skills shortage.

Robotic automation offers huge potential to enhance productivity, efficiency and manufacturing flexibility throughout the construction industry, including automating the fabrication of modular homes and building components off-site, robotic welding and material handling on building sites and robot 3D printing of houses and customized structures. 

Read More


Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion



Smart GridHarnessing Canada’s immense clean energy resources requires transformational investments to modernize our electricity grid. The Government of Canada is investing in renewable energy and upgrading the electricity grid to make clean, affordable electricity options more accessible in communities across Canada.

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, today launched a $964-million program to support smart renewable energy and grid modernization projects that will lower emissions by investing in clean energy technologies, like wind, solar, storage, hydro, geothermal and tidal.

Read More



Trilliant Partners with the City of CowansvilleThe City of Cowansville in south-central Quebec is the largest city in the Brome-Missisquoi region, with more than 15,000 residents. Despite being a smaller-sized city, it is known as an economic and industrial hub.

It also has a strong focus on innovation and efficiency — as demonstrated by decisions such as the one it made in 2017 to use beet juice to help combat icy winter roads, allowing the City to reduce the amount of salt it was using, thereby saving money and decreasing the impact on the environment. 



Read More


Keith SonesBy Keith Sones

The writing was on the wall.  The closures would happen. But a lot of people were upset, and I was one of them. 

In the early 2000s, my family and I were living in a mainly rural (at least by city dweller standards) valley in south central British Columbia.  The West Kootenay region is known for its diverse outdoor recreation activities and as a great place to raise a family.  It has a proud industrial history, evidenced through the longstanding pulp mill, a massive lead zinc smelter a few miles away and several hydroelectric dams, all of it within spitting distance of the mighty Columbia River. 

Read More


Product News

  • Prev
Klein Tools introduces the new Magnetic Wire Puller, to help professionals quickly and easily fish ...
Siemens new 3VA molded case circuit breakers offer safe, efficient and variable application options ...
Hubbell’s illuminated plugs and connectors are the latest addition to the already broad line of ...
The ABV is a specification high bay that provides high performance and reliability. Available with ...
The Vive PowPak phase select dimming module is a radio frequency (RF) control that operates phase ...
6 functions in one pair of pliers. Multifunctional pliers for the electrical installation; to grip ...
With the ABB StarTeck® selector web app you can match cables with Teck fittings quickly and easily. ...
WPS Gen 4 wall pack series is a classic and familiar design integrated with modern LED technology ...
These new controllers offer indoor or outdoor ON/OFF, photocell, dimming, scene and color tuning ...
Eaton’s broad selection of Wi-Fi smart devices offer reliability with unbeatable ease of setup. ...


Lumenquad New VersionsLumenpulse has announced the release of two additional smaller sizes of the Lumenquad, a rectilinear projector for both outdoor and indoor environments. Developed for architectural applications such as lighting landscapes, highlighting details, pathways and monuments, the Lumenquad Small and Medium are compact, low-wattage, high-performance projectors, complementing the two existing products in the family.

The Lumenquad Small and Medium are the latest additions to a family of sleek, elegant, high-performance projectors that has already been validated with honours, including recognition in the PIA Awards in 2019, together with a Lux Awards for Exterior Luminaire of the Year in 2019. 

Read More



Wiha Lineman's Pliers and CrimpersWiha Insulated SoftFinish® Cushion Grip Pliers and Cutters are the standard for premium quality featuring ergonomic cushion grip handles for comfort and control, dual durometer construction for long-lasting durability, and handles directly molded to the tool steel for a permanent bond.

The grips feature a slip guard handle design for added protection at the front-end and raised rear-finger steps for easy opening at the back-end. Wiha Insulated SoftFinish® Cushion Grip Pliers and Cutters consist of premium quality tool steel for strength and durability and induction hardened cutting edges and jaws for superior sharpness and longevity. 

Read More



eLumigen Poultry Lamps - 2000K, 3000K & 5000KIdeal for rough service applications, the A19 & PAR Series are engineered for high efficiency, vibration resistance, shatter-resistance, elevated heat environments, and wet locations. These dimmable LED Lamps help reduce energy costs, labor costs, and the headaches of frequent lamp changes in tough applications.

eLumigen employs a unique 21-point validation process that goes above and beyond industry standards. Our lamps have been tested to survive levels of vibration exceeding 20G forces. Our unique temperature foldback design improves both safety and thermal management of our lamps. 

Read More


Peers & Profiles

  • Prev
Bryan Smith started his now 20-year career at the ground floor, so to speak, as a draftsperson and ...
From small construction to sophisticated industrial projects, House of Electrical Supplies has been ...
Kyle Manfredi is the owner of ARK Electrical alongside his wife, Shannon. Operating out of ...
Like most major events over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic put serious restrictions on the ...
This past December Jennifer Green was honoured with Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award for ...
“It was quite surprising,” said Stephanie Smith of being named EHRC’s Leader of the Year. ...
As an advanced networked lighting controls company serving the industrial and large commercial ...
Trilliant, an international provider of utility solutions for advanced metering and smart grid ...
For more than a century, ABB has been investing in Canadian technologies and products to support ...
Mackenzie Gillan, a bright young lady from Baysville, Ontario, tells us about how she learned ...

House of Electrical SuppliesFrom small construction to sophisticated industrial projects, House of Electrical Supplies has been servicing clients in the industrial, OEM, entertainment, and construction markets across the Greater Toronto Area for just over 40 years. The company has earned a reputation for providing a high-quality customer experience.

As per President Austin Brennan, their experienced and knowledgeable team can be depended upon in any situation to deliver quick and efficient service. On top of their product solutions — ranging from electrical, automation, safety, lighting and portable power distribution — 

Read More


Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2021 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil