RV Comfort Systems firm has successfully engineered an electrical heating option. Now today’s RVer has a choice of propane or electricity to heat the interior of the coach. Called the CheapHeat™ System, this unit employs tungsten heating coils powered by 120 or 240-volts AC to provide the heat. It can be configured into three different wattage ratings, 1,800, 3,750 and 5,000 watts, depending on the shoreline cord limitations. Since there is no flue on the electric furnace, an electrical heat source is 100% efficient; all heat produced is forced through the ducts since the heating core itself is mounted in the direct flow of the distribution system. Compared to the burning of propane for comfort heating, which is approximately 60% efficient, the all-electric CheapHeat™ option is a viable option for serious coach owners to consider.
The Stand-A-Lone system consists of a multi position combination ducted/Plenum cabinet that allows the tri-stage heater element to be installed from either side, to allow users to use this new system in multiple locations. One of the best new features is that with the new Stand-A-Lone electric forced air heating system no longer requires the furnace to be placed next to an outside wall for venting. This gives the coach manufacture more flexibility in their floor plans.
In addition to the heating coil assembly, the other main component of the system is the solid-state controller. The controller is the very heart of the CheapHeat™ system. It communicates directly with the existing wall thermostat and the fan motor so all the user has to do is simply adjust the thermostat to the setting they desire. This well designed and sturdy controller is engineered and applicable to both 30-amp and 50-amp shore power configurations. It coordinates all the functions of the fan, thermostat and electrical heating coil assembly. All internal wiring components and connectors are purposely oversized by at least 30%. And every component part in the CheapHeat™ controller is UL® Listed and mounted in an industrial grade NEMA-1 UL® Listed/certified metal box.
The coil assembly is safeguarded against failure by redundant methods making the CheapHeat™ unit totally safe and permanently installed, which is certainly not the case when RVers use portable space heaters for instance. Aside from overkill on the sizing of the components in the controller, a bi-metal high limit safety switch wired into the coil assembly protects it from any over-temperature situation. Additionally a failsafe device called a fusible links is included for the common “leg” of the coils, (see photo). Which acts as an in-line circuit breaker and protects against any over-current and/or over heat problems. With redundant integral safety measures, plus the fact that no carbon monoxide is produced using electric heat, the CheapHeat™ System is deemed quite safe and viable.
Tests have shown that the CheapHeat™ unit successfully heats the motorhome in less operating time, meaning the furnace blower assembly works less to heat the same space as burning propane. Here’s why.
All propane-fired forced air furnaces require a pre-purge and post-purge cycling of the blower assembly to remove any trace of unburned propane and other gases that might yet exist in the sealed combustion chamber. Some pre-purge cycles can approach a full minute, while post-purge cycles can run up to about 90 seconds each. And if the furnace is equipped with a three-try circuit board, the run-time on the fan motor increases, yet again. With the switch placed to electric mode, the fan motor only operates when heat is being produced. We receive emails every season from disgruntled RVers who experience this pre and post-purge cycling and cannot understand why the furnace is blowing cold air. Unless a fault exists, it’s just the nature of propane burning furnaces. For every heating cycle, there is a full 2.5 minutes of runtime with no flame or heat being produced.
Because of 40% energy loss through the flue along with the pre and post-purge cycles, the realized heat output into the coach with a 40,000 BTU propane furnace, for example, is reduced to about 18,000 BTU an hour when measured at the discharge registers. The CheapHeat™ system, meanwhile, produces a true, one-to-one BTU per hour heat output at the registers. Another factor to think about; it’s not uncommon for the propane furnace to purposely overshoot the temperature setting of the thermostat to compensate for the purging cycles. The elimination of this pre and post-purge cycling is a welcome relief to RVers, because it simply adds to a higher comfort level for the occupants.
Dimensions: 10″ Hi X 17 ½” Wide X 19″ Deep
Clearance from Combustibles Top 1″ Side w/ Heater Head 3″ To allow clearance for electrical access Side w/o Heater Head 1″ Front w/ 4″ Duct 6″ To allow connection of 4″ round ducts Front w/o Duct 1″ Bottom 0″
The CH50-DH50 is comparable to a 40,000 BTU propane furnace (it does, however, require 50-amp shore power service). The CH50-DH37 is akin to a 30,000 BTU propane furnace and also requires 50-amp service. The smaller CH50-DH18 is equivalent to a 20,000 BTU propane furnace but only requires 30-amp electrical service.