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space heaters

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by topcat, Nov 1, 2008.

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  1. topcat

    topcat New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2007
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    burrilville,Rhode Island
    hi all, i'm looking for advice on space heaters.i have a wood insert(quad4100) burn 24/7 in the winter but where i live it gets down to 0 degrees sometimes. in the past i just kicked on the oil furnace to give the upstairs a kick. but this year i dont want to buy oil so i figured i could use a few space heaters upstairs to level off the temp. the stove works well and keeps the whole house warm(2 story colonial)but needs help on those very cold days.just looking for anyone who owns a space heater and uses it for suplimental heat to give me some reviews as to how theres works. thanks to all this forum has helped me in the past so i hope it will again. oh btw not looking for one to heat the whole upstairs, dont think that exists, but if it does please chime in. looking to purchase several to put in the rooms and maybe the hallway. thanks again. tom

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  2. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    Messages:
    887
    Loc:
    Mid Atlantic
    I like the ceramic element type space heaters. We've used several different types here, for several years now. If you run them in the right sized spaces, they can be pretty effective. A lot depends on what your electric rate per kWH is. They drop our rates in the winter. We use a few space heaters to selectively heat certain rooms, while turning all three zone thermostats on the oil boiler to their lowest settings. We let it get pretty chilly in parts of the house, sometimes going slightly below 60F during the coldest weather. It was quite a livable strategy, but did make for some shivery moments in the mornings.

    Moving to wood heat with a free-standing stove was a revelation. The icy moments are going to be a lot less frequent in this household from here on. Starting late last season, we found that our oil boiler simply didn't come on, once we started heating with wood in the upstairs (main floor). This year, it will probably come on occasionally to meet demand in the basement zone, never for the two upstairs zones. At least that's the plan, and we'll know a lot better by spring. Our tank is pretty full right now, but we'd just as soon not buy much more oil in coming years.

    Electric space heaters are a good, effective strategy in lowering heating costs. Just stay very aware as to the location of any combustibles (curtains, bedspreads, clothing, newspapers, etc,) keep your heaters well separated from them, and you'll be fine.
  3. colebrookman

    colebrookman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
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    Loc:
    Middlefield, Ma
    One of the leading causes of house fires during the heating season. Fire safety means keeping them at least 3 feet from any combustibles and shutting them off when leaving the room. Dogs, cats and kids can easily knock them over and space heaters have already caused numerous house fires in the western Mass area and the heating season is just beginning. Be safe.
    Ed
  4. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Mid Atlantic
    Yes, indeed. The possibility of pets or kids knocking combustibles down and across the heater is the most serious risk IMO. Most any good space heater has either some sort of tilt switch to turn it off if it gets upended, or at least a heat sensor which cuts it off if it senses heat buildup internally (running while laying face down, etc. Any appliance lacking these minimum safety features should be avoided. Most anyone with a little common sense can run them safely, but you do need to have that attitude of 'safety first', that's for darned sure! I do turn off or unplug etc. when I leave the house.
  5. colebrookman

    colebrookman Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Middlefield, Ma
    Common sense is not to common these days. Just watch the evening news.
    Ed
  6. BucksCoBernie

    BucksCoBernie New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Messages:
    450
    I tried the oil filled heaters but didnt like them...they smelled bad and didnt really warm the room.

    I picked up a Lasko ceramic heater at walmart last winter and i love it. I bought another one last month for the bedroom.

    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5130766

    This little sucker will get my living room up to 70-72 from 63 degrees (t-stat setting) in about 30 mins. I have a brick house with pretty good insulation and newer windows so its not drafty at all. The house i lived in last year was wood framed, old windows and drafty but it still did a good job and warming up the room.
  7. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    9,410
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    I have a more permanent solution that I would recommend. I use those built in electric cadet style wall heaters that you can buy at the hardware store. They have a little fan and an actual wall mounted thermostat which can be programmed to warm the room whenever you want on a schedule. Mine are all 220 volt but they make 110 volt versions. These are not temporary deals, they are intentded to be a permanent alternative to central heat. No cords to trip over.

    The way I use them these days is in the young kids' bedrooms I have them set to maintain 65 degrees during the sleeping hours only and then drop down to 60 degrees during the day. They work great.
  8. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    2,381
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    I've had very good luck with an oil filled radiator to heat our bedroom at night when the rest of the house cools down. I picked one up at Home Depot that has a built in timer and thermostat. Just set the time you want it to come on, time to turn off and the temp to hold. It's very nice. No smell to speak of since it's 100% sealed....
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