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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2001
    Location
    Rising Sun, Maryland, USA
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    5,126

    Default Supplemental heat

    Does anybody have suggestions for economical supplemental heat that does a good job warming bigger spaces? Our heat is forced air powered by oil. I have have the house set on 67, but my room gets down to 63 at night. When it's cold and windy like today it feels so could all through the house.

    I've heard good things about Eden Pure- anybody know?

    Are pellet/corn burning stoves worth the expense?

    How does the energy credit factor into things?

    Any suggests appreciated.
    http://www.leakycreek.com/
    http://leakycreek.wordpress.com/ Rainbows & Mourning Doves Blog
    John P. Smith II 1973-2009 Love Always
    Father, Husband, Friend, Firefighter- Cancer Sucks- Cure Melanoma



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2006
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,404

    Default

    I live in an old farmhouse whose insulation is largely imaginary. We have small electric heaters (some ceramic, some electric coil w/fan) in nearly every room to supplement the main gas heater as necessary.

    Basically no matter what the size or shape of the heater, 1500 watts is 1500 watts. I've found the Pelonis brands to have the most longevity. If you are just looking at heating, say, a bedroom overnight, try one of those. You can get them at most big box or home supply stores, and they cost a whole lot less than Eden Pure. No need to spend $500 if $35 will take care of the problem.
    Incredible Invisible



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2010
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    1,588

    Default

    When I had my house built, we installed a wood burning stove. It's a Fireplace Extrordonaire by Travis Industries. It's zero clearance, so it is in the wall like a regular fireplace. This heats my entire 2500 sq foot house. We just have the cost of the wood, most we get for free and just rent a wood splitter. If I had to use the heat pump and the electric heat, my electric bill would have been $$$$$$$$.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 28, 2000
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    10,743

    Thumbs up

    Our old farmhouse also had insulation that was mostly imaginary, and the woodstove became our primary means of heat, with the oil furnace as our backup.

    This farmhouse is more modern, but much larger - so we continue to keep the thermostat set low (about 55) and use the woodstove as our main source of heat.

    We also warm up the bathroom with a small electric heater before having a bath.
    Use an electric blanket ...
    and wear warmer clothes in the house.
    A FINE ROMANCE - JC Reg Thoroughbred - GOLD Premium CSHA - ISR/OLDNA Approved
    CSHA Brickenden Stallion Award Winner - for Performance offspring.
    Please visit A Fine Romance on FB!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 18, 2005
    Posts
    1,070

    Default

    My house was built in 1841 and added onto in 1872. The vynl replacement windows in it are over twenty years old. I put duct tape on the seams of all the windows and a put plastic up to each window except for one window in each room downstairs. I also seal and put plastic up to three of the four doors in our house as we only use one. I have an open stairway since the cornburner is in the same room as the steps I got two shower curtains that match the colors in the room and hung them down the steps. We keep the bedroom doors closed when it gets below zero we do have a small electric heater that we use in the bedroom setting it on a coookie sheet.
    Our cornburner has pretty much cut the cost of our lp gas bill in half.
    Plus we plow snow for the farm that we get corn from so we get as much corn as we need all summer long. A five gallon pail gets us through about 18 hours.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2010
    Location
    Ocala, FL
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    1,588

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fred View Post

    We also warm up the bathroom with a small electric heater before having a bath.
    Use an electric blanket ...
    and wear warmer clothes in the house.
    My masterbath fan has a heater also I love that thing!! Use a down comforter. Smartwool longjohns, tops and socks.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 21, 2005
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    2,453

    Default

    I have a Comfort Furnace and I love it. It is similar to Eden Pure, but a much better quality product and a better company to deal with for customer service. I have had it running almost non-stop for the last 2 months and my electric bill has only gone up about $30 a month. That was heating my house to about 65-66 degrees without running the furnace at all! It is definitely worth the initial investment.
    Lapeer ... a small drinking town with a farming problem.
    Proud Closet Canterer!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2001
    Location
    Queens, NY
    Posts
    1,997

    Default

    There's lots of ways to feel warmer without having any more heat than you do now.

    Have you weather stripped the windows? A $12 kit made of plastic sheeting and doublesided tape you buy down at the hardware store can make a HUGE difference, especially since from what you are describing, the house is drafty.

    If you have rooms all connected, separate them out with floorlength curtains mounted over the doorway so the drafts don't blow through the whole house.

    Heavy curtains on the windows, go without saying I hope. Same for draft blockers at any exterior doors (a rolled up towel works darn well, though doesn't look as cute as one of those "door snakes").

    If you have any window A/C units installed, remove them from the windows, or get a cover for the exterior side so air doesn't blow through the vents.

    Arrange furniture so it's in the warm spots, near the vents. You'll feel warmer in your room, even using the same amount of heat.

    Rugs on hardwood or stone flagged floors.

    Have cushy socks & slippers for around the house.

    Bring your computer into your living room, or bedroom, wherever you need the heat most, and use it there instead of in a second bedroom or rarely used den. It generates a TON of heat!! (if you use a laptop... oh well)

    --notes from 2 broke-ass winters in an uninsulated house with electrical baseboard heating .
    Proud Member: Bull-snap Haters Clique, Michigan Clique, and Appaloosa Clique!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 4, 2007
    Location
    Crossville, TN
    Posts
    1,143

    Default

    We also have an old drafty house! Paid WAY to much to heat the house last winter (our first in the house) and I am refusing to have the heat set as high this year. We bought and electric blanket for the couch and one for our bed (just DH and me) and put on layers! I bought the older dog that gets cold a blanket and we are set!

    I also agree with hunting down drafts, curtains, etc!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 10, 2001
    Location
    Rising Sun, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    5,126

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HelloAgain View Post
    There's lots of ways to feel warmer without having any more heat than you do now.

    Have you weather stripped the windows? A $12 kit made of plastic sheeting and doublesided tape you buy down at the hardware store can make a HUGE difference, especially since from what you are describing, the house is drafty.

    If you have rooms all connected, separate them out with floorlength curtains mounted over the doorway so the drafts don't blow through the whole house.

    Heavy curtains on the windows, go without saying I hope. Same for draft blockers at any exterior doors (a rolled up towel works darn well, though doesn't look as cute as one of those "door snakes").

    If you have any window A/C units installed, remove them from the windows, or get a cover for the exterior side so air doesn't blow through the vents.

    Arrange furniture so it's in the warm spots, near the vents. You'll feel warmer in your room, even using the same amount of heat.

    Rugs on hardwood or stone flagged floors.

    Have cushy socks & slippers for around the house.

    Bring your computer into your living room, or bedroom, wherever you need the heat most, and use it there instead of in a second bedroom or rarely used den. It generates a TON of heat!! (if you use a laptop... oh well)

    --notes from 2 broke-ass winters in an uninsulated house with electrical baseboard heating .
    I did the plastic kits on the windows last year... all are still up, but some have a little spot where they've opened back up- do you know if I can re-tape & re-seal? That actually seemed to help significantly

    The mudroom is separated by a curtain because it gets so cold in there.... that helped a lot. I've also added shutting off the dining room... we don't use it. The problem is that it is so open in the center of the house and there's not really a way to shut that off. Looks great... love the open-ness... not great for cozy heat ;-)

    No window A/C.

    I have insulated curtains in front of the slider door and that has helped SO much... of course those things are expensive.... anybody know somewhere that has a good price???

    Definitely do the socks! :-)

    It doesn't help that I have reynaud's... my poor little fingers were freezing. I've tried those gloves that are supposed to moisturize your hands, but they'd never stay on for me... lol...

    Moving the furniture is a great idea, I'll have to see if that would work with the layouts.

    I also need to put the towel in front of the door...

    My house was built in 2004, so it's not old... It just doesn't make sense to me... of course the wind hits the front of the house... my bedroom is on the front of the house... Can you ever get people to come out and check your house to see where the problems are and how to fix them?

    Keep the suggestions coming!!! ;-) It got down to 60 in my room last night... I almost gave up and turned the heat on and then I decided not too... I'm about to give up and let the dog sleep with me, but right now he lives with a pony... and I haven't stooped that low, yet.... lol...
    http://www.leakycreek.com/
    http://leakycreek.wordpress.com/ Rainbows & Mourning Doves Blog
    John P. Smith II 1973-2009 Love Always
    Father, Husband, Friend, Firefighter- Cancer Sucks- Cure Melanoma



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2010
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    1,588

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by M.K.Smith View Post




    Keep the suggestions coming!!! ;-) It got down to 60 in my room last night... I almost gave up and turned the heat on and then I decided not too... I'm about to give up and let the dog sleep with me, but right now he lives with a pony... and I haven't stooped that low, yet.... lol...
    I have a down comforter, it can be 50 in my bedroom and it's still nice and warm under the blanket We actually open the bedroom windows in the winter.

    How about weather stripping for the front door?



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
    Location
    South West Mississippi
    Posts
    93

    Default

    Looks cheesy, but if you tape bubble wrap on the windows, it provides insulation. Only works if you don't want to look out of the windows, but I've done this in an unheated work area with windows and it made a noticeable difference....and it's not real expensive.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2000
    Location
    Concord, NH
    Posts
    4,952

    Default

    Yes! There are companies, usually the same companies that sell you electricity, that will do an energy audit on the house and tell you where it's leaking and what steps to take to fix it.

    For a 2004 house that seems really odd that you are having such awful problems - I'm also in one of those old houses (1860s) and it is insulated with seaweed, horsehair and this horrible, horrible black dusty stuff that is the precursor to cellulose. It's drafty. Some rooms are very hard to heat.

    Are you saying you haven't yet turned your heat on? How cold is it outdoors?

    As for the bedroom, 60 is a great temperature for sleeping- sounds like you just need a down comfortor.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2007
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,283

    Default

    I have been toying with the idea of shower curtains under regular curtains. Lets the light in, unobtrusive. Strong heavy duty clear painters drop cloths can be cut to fit (or clear shower curtains - but those will probably cost more). I figure the only "sewing" needed is clear masking tape for "heming" and velcro or magnets to make it stay (either attached to existing curtains or directly to velcro-ed spots on wall. I am not domestically gifted, can you tell?

    I have noticed that windows are coldest in the wall 2 inches around the window. That means insulation wasn't put there (into the wall) or has failed, so sometimes you need to go way beyond the actual window frame itself to address the cold - just feel the wall with your hand to see if that is the case in your house. You can do your own "window kits" with the above heavy duty drop cloths and tape.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2003
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,012

    Default

    Problems like that in a 2004 house are unusual if the house was properly built. Call your local power company and see if someone will come out and inspect. Check to see that all the ductwork from the main heat source actually goes to the rooms it's supposed to go to. I had a friend who had a cold upstairs. Upon inspection, they found that the ductwork from the furnace had never been routed all the way upstairs. The vents in the rooms did nothing! There is a device that measures air flow from the vents. Maybe check that, and the weatherstripping or seals on the windows.

    Can you rearrange the furniture so you sleep in a room that's not on the windy side of the house? Can you plant a line of windbreak trees in front of the house? It would take a few years for them to be much good, but ultimately would be beneficial.
    It's 2014. Do you know where your old horse is?



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    8,777

    Default

    MK-one place that lets in cold is around light switch boxes and electrical outlets-they have kits at the winterization section of the hardware store. If you have gaps between the floor and the quarter round it will let in lots of cold air too. And the windows might not be sealed correctly also. (It's kind of embarrassing to admit this) The first summer in my former house the AC bills were ridiculous, but when the man came to measure the fireplace for the gas logs he told me the chimney flue had been open all of the time, so all of my cooling was going right out the chimney-it's amazing how much the bill lowered after he closed it properly. And around doors, door trim, window trim there can be bad gaps and caulking should solve that. And if you have a door to the basement it can let a lot of cold air in. Plus, if you have a crawl space you are apparently supposed to close the vents during the winter, and open them in summer for air circulation. And raised ranches like my grandmother's need insulation under the floor and a vapor barrier to keep moisture and cold out.
    Last edited by JanM; Nov. 28, 2010 at 10:47 AM.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2001
    Location
    Queens, NY
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    1,997

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by M.K.Smith View Post
    I did the plastic kits on the windows last year... all are still up, but some have a little spot where they've opened back up- do you know if I can re-tape & re-seal? That actually seemed to help significantly
    You can re-stick if you still have some of the tape leftover from last year. Pull up the dry tape under the open spot as much as you can, clipping it with scissors to where it is still stuck down (or as close as you can get.)

    If possible, apply the new tape just to the outside of the old tape, extending it past where the old tape is still stuck down:

    -----------------------new tape----
    ----- ...gap.... -------old tape--
    ====Window pane =============

    If you can't do that, put the new tape in the gap, as best you can. Reseal the new spot with the blowdryer to set the tape. It won't be perfect but it helps.
    Proud Member: Bull-snap Haters Clique, Michigan Clique, and Appaloosa Clique!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2005
    Location
    Mass.
    Posts
    6,661

    Default

    The energy people will do an audit for you for FREE. They don't want you wasting energy, either. Where I live it's NSTAR. Go to your company's website and they should have a link right on the front page to request an audit.
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 12, 2006
    Posts
    1,070

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    Definitely second the energy audit!

    Did you purchase the home in '04? Is the builder still in your area? You may have some warranty rights - I stress MAY, of course. Unfortunately I believe the 2009 tax credit for various energy saving measures in homes has expired.

    Here's another lovely lovely sort of old-fashioned awesome cheap heater - get thee a hot water bottle! I was given one by a friend in Kenya, where there is no central heating and surprisingly, it can get cool at night during their version of winter - into the low 40s overnight.

    I fill it up with hot water from the kettle and slip it under the covers at the foot of the bed a few hours before going to sleep and it's AWESOME. Super toasty (sometimes too toasty, actually), gives off warmth for hours, and way cheaper than an electric blanket. If it's expected to be in the minus temps (like this evening) I'll use it under a throw while hanging out on the sofa watching TV.

    I can keep the temp at 62 overnight with no problems with a down comforter and heavy wool blanket. I am now living in a seriously cold part of the US, and I am perpetually freezing cold myself - but I am more concerned with $$$$ bills.



  20. #20
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    Nov. 2, 2001
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    Packing my bags
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    for sleeping I love cold bedrooms, for getting up, not so much. (loved the head a doggy provides during the night)

    In lue of dog I bought an electric blanket a couple of years ago. Sandwiched between 2 blankets best thing ever since I tend to get chills even though I am not cold cold.

    As to general heat, do look into a woodburning stove. If for nothing else than that it provides superior heat over forced air systems.

    But do invest in insulation (those plastic window covers work like a charm if you can manage to keep them on, in my case between small kid, then cats, not a chance...) and better windows, etc over time. really worth it.
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