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Use this calculator to estimate how much you can save on energy costs by using
timers on your tractor engine block heaters.
The typical engine block heater takes just 1 to 2 hours to raise a tractor engine
to temperature for starting. A simple 24-hour clock timer can automatically turn
the heater on at the desired time. The energy savings from running the engine block heater unnecessarily will usually pay for the
clock timer in 1 to 3 months.
Diesel engines can be difficult to start in cold weather. To improve low
temperature starting, engine block heaters can be installed to warm engines via
the engine coolant. If block heaters are not standard with a particular engine,
after-market block heaters are available. A block heater usually
takes only 1 to 2 hours to warm an engine for starting. However, many operators
will leave the heater plugged in whenever the tractor is not in use
or plug in the heater in the evening for use the next morning.
A 1000-watt engine heater that runs 10 hours per day (overnight typically) from late
November through mid March will use about $90 in electricity. A clock timer can save
money on your electric bill by activating the engine block heater two hours before it's
normally used, saving over $70 in electricity per year. For 120-volt block heaters of
1800 watts or less, plug in timers (often used for pools) are available that cost about
$20. For block heaters over 1800-watts or heaters that operate on 240-volts,
timers will cost $40 to $60. In both cases the payback is less than one season. Timers
are available at most hardware stores and building centers. Timers should be outdoor or
weatherproof rated and installed on properly grounded electrical circuits.
Approximate yearly operation cost for different wattage engine block heaters
(assuming cost of $0.10708/kWh)
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