Can You Run A Space Heater On A Power Inverter

David Lawrence
• Monday, 16 November, 2020
• 7 min read

At the end of January, my partner and I are making a long trek from Houston TX to Ironwood MI... from a hot part of the country to a very cold, Alaska-like, area of the country that is referred to as “the snow belt”. I bought an inverter so that we can still use the computer and charge our phones and whatnot while on the trip, but I was wondering... but as that extra nipple, Uber bridged weather looms ever closer, there may be nights when we have to stop and try to get a few winks at a rest stop/area, in the car.

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We will most definitely be outfitted with the proper attire as well as a mountain of pillows and blankets. Even small space heaters draw more power than most inverters can supply.

An electric heating pad, the kind you might use for a backache, might not overload your inverter. If the car heater doesn't make it warm enough, you are not dressed for the weather.

Backlogs Forums Member 199 posts Local time: 07:01 AM I have a friend that just purchased a pop-up camper on a Tundra that runs all of its electrical needs from a 12V DC to 110 AC converter.

The rig has the extra battery under the hood, so the 2nd battery charging problem that we Haitians experience due to the length of the charge wire is not a problem. What is a problem is that the cheap ceramic heater that he is using keeps popping the circuit breaker on the inverter when it cycles, even with the fridge off.

I know a Buddy catalytic propane heater is also an option, but in my experience, they throw off way too much moister for inside use. I have not used an inverter except for the one in the Capital (or is that a converter). However, I have read on threads in the forum that “starting up” an inverter takes a lot of current.

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Don in OK Capital Club Member 4,533 posts Local time: 08:01 AM .........something like a trip to Alaska and back, where you're driving every day, recharging the battery with the alternator (assuming it's a large capacity.....much more than the truck itself needs).

Probably the worst kind of devices to run off a battery/ inverter source. Ceramic cube heaters are typically 700 on low or 1500 watts (per hour) on high.

Jerry & Joan Capital Club Member 720 posts Local time: 05:01 AM I’ll chime in here with my 2 cents worth to reiterate that running a refrigerator or space heater on 12VDC is highly impractical.

Crabeyes Capital Club Member 214 posts Local time: 06:01 AM Still not a solution. All is not lost:The extra battery would serve best powering the furnace fan while on propane.

I suppose the fridge on 12v while driving could take advantage of a hi amp or dual alternator. The extra battery and fast recharging would be a nice feature for extended boon docking.

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Don in OK Capital Club Member 4,533 posts Local time: 08:01 AM That will take care of the moisture (condensation) created by an unvented propane heater.

Location: Daylong, GA Interests: Fishing, Hiking, Boating, Amateur Radio, Computers Gender: Male If you consider you should not discharge your batteries more than 50%, and you believe the 90% efficiency ratings of the adds for some models, You are still loosing 20% of your available power. I have tried the Buddy heater, and it is not a solution me.

Bobinyelm Capital Club Member 4,466 posts Local time: 07:01 AM I often allow the stove to run for 15 or 20 minutes before extinguishing it, and I have noticed no condensation on the windows or any other cold surfaces.

Micasita_17 Capital Club Member 226 posts Local time: 06:01 AM I often allow the stove to run for 15 or 20 minutes before extinguishing it, and I have noticed no condensation on the windows or any other cold surfaces.

If you are actually doing this you are violating something that could even have the force of law, since you were made aware of the dangers involved. Suggesting this obviously unsafe procedure on a public forum is irresponsible and is clearly reckless.

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Someone might actually think it's a good idea and will wind up dead because gas stoves put out huge amounts of carbon monoxide. Toucan 't smell or taste it, and suddenly you are overcome and found dead at some later date.

Despite the fact we have installed a battery power carbon monoxide detector, I won't even use the propane furnace in our old Capital in daytime because I believe it is capable of leaking enough carbon monoxide to be lethal. I disconnected the thermostat wire, so it cannot possibly start or run, in fact.

We only camp using electric heaters since as a professional electrician, I know they produce perfectly clean heat. When not at a campsite that has electricity, I might consider using our new Honda generator with a 50 foot 10 gauge RV cord we purchased, placing the generator well down wind of Capital, though even then, winds can shift at night allowing deadly carbon monoxide to be sucked into our Capital.

The furnace combustion takes place in a chamber that is “outside” of the Capital using outside air and venting. Last fishing season we were freezing, several friends of mine started using a power inverter with a 12 volt battery to run an electric heater.

I do recommend checking with the manufacture or reading the manual of the heater just to make sure it is not peaking over 3000 watts. The alarm mode is obviously a feature that is included into the inverter for the user protection, that last thing you ever want to be is overload and electronic and have all the interior components burn out.

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Please also make sure that you set up the right size battery bank for the power inverter to run your electric heater for the period of time you require, if you intend on running the 1500 watt heater on a high level for the entire day you will need multiple 24 volt batteries. All the information posted above will also work with the 3000 watt 12 volt DC to ac power inverter as well, just make sure before using which ever power inverter the battery bank is properly aligned in parallel retaining its constant voltage at 12 or 24 volts.

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