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heating options for barn apartment

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  • #21
    PS
    Ouch.
    I googled the Lennox, and other mini splits.
    Ow. very expensive. I see why the OP is resistant!
    * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by Hunter's Rest View Post
      Bluey et al
      Where do you find that mini split?
      I have a mini Hvac gone bad in my main barn apartment (the lady's telling me) and I need to replace it or go with another plan.
      The ones I have in there (can't recall the brand) were bloody expensive (I had the same setup in the main barn and lower barn.)
      Where to look for the DeLonghi?
      I just googled that, but didn't see any prices.
      It was nice that they are also air conditioning, not just for heat.
      Here, air conditioning is very important when, like in 2012, we were over 100 for almost 4 months.

      In our barn, we have a regular all electric forced air furnace, a little one just for those two rooms and tiny half bath and it runs all winter, at 65, to keep stuff in there from freezing, at very low cost.

      Those radiant heaters seem interesting also, but I wonder if they too are expensive?

      Would like to know more about them, surely they are not all wonderful, as their web sites tell.

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by mattv View Post
        Ventless wall-mount propane unit and a 40-pound propane bottle.

        Use this setup in my shop, works very well. Shop is spray-foam insulated, doesn't take much heat to get the job done though.
        I am a huge fan of foam insulation bit more expensive but a big bang for the buck. IMO building codes should be changed to make this type of insulation mandatory. I have used Icynene foam insulation water based with no out gassing.

        Comment


        • #24
          If you have an out side wall that you can hang a direct vent propane unit on they work really well and are very easy to install around $300-400. You will need more then a 40lb bottle to supply it. But propane is fairly cheap these days and most suppliers will do the hook up for free. They will advise on the tank size for your area based on the specs of the unit. They rent the tanks but if you are going to be using it for the long haul check into buying a used one. This is a great company out of Vermont that I have done business with.
          http://www.houseneeds.com/shop/atop/...entheaters.asp
          They carry lots of different things. State of the art to the tried and true. They are generous with their time on the phone so just tell them what you are want to accomplish, budget and they will give you different suggestions on how to go about it. They carry a number of units that others have suggested. It all comes down to how much money you have to spend. As others have said electric baseboard maybe cheap to buy and install but very expensive to operate.

          Comment


          • #25
            I second (third?) the infrared heaters. Our house is just under 1000 sq. feet, and we heat the whole thing with two of them (one would suffice if the layout wasn't wonky). They stay cool to the touch and ours have an automatic shut off if there's a power surge or outage. Their thermostats work great, too, so they'll only blow unheated air once they get the room up to temp. And they're mobile!

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            • #26
              Originally posted by Oberon13 View Post
              I second (third?) the infrared heaters. Our house is just under 1000 sq. feet, and we heat the whole thing with two of them (one would suffice if the layout wasn't wonky). They stay cool to the touch and ours have an automatic shut off if there's a power surge or outage. Their thermostats work great, too, so they'll only blow unheated air once they get the room up to temp. And they're mobile!
              Which kind and which brand, any links to those, please?

              Comment


              • #27
                http://www.homedepot.com/Heating-Ven...searchNav=true

                Comment


                • #28
                  Thanks, katarine!

                  The two we have are heading into their fourth year this winter. We haven't pulled them out yet, so I can't yet say if they're still working, but I'll be surprised if they aren't. Makes the $150 we spent on them worth it!

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    The mini-splits are very expensive, at least for a renter to put in with their own $. If the landlord wants to put it in, that's different, as they'd be able to use it for all future renters and can depreciate/deduct the cost.
                    I've used the oil filled heaters, and I think they're much safer than an infrared or other heater that has an open or almost open heat course. Like a "real" radiator, the heat source is the oil that is completely enclosed in the metal radiator structure, so it's unlikely to catch anything on fire, and they have automatic shutoffs if they tip over. Naturally anything electric can create a fire risk with a short, but I don't think they're any more dangerous than any other electric appliance.
                    The one we've used is basically like this:
                    http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...FUqk4AodH38APQ
                    When DH & I went to a B & B in Vermont, our bedroom had only that for heat. When we arrived, it was turned off and it was COLD! But we turned it on & went to dinner, and when we returned the room was actually too warm.
                    You might even be able to plug it into a power strip with a timer so it wouldn't run all the time.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      The "oil" heaters plug into the wall socket

                      They look like an old style radiator wall unit, are filled with some kind of oil and just plug in. Temp is adjustable. I've had one plugged into my tack room every year for the last ten years in the winter, 24/7. One day I went in to find a roll of paper towels the kitties had knocked off a shelf that landed right on the heater. While there was a brown mark, not scorched or toasted even on the paper towels, it did not, much to my relief, catch fire. I suspect it had been there all night long, looked more like dirt than a scorch mark. The cats sit right next to the thing on cold nights, even when it's on high. I've never had one minutes problem, the electric consumption in the barn doesn't go up but about $50/month during the time I have it and two others plugged in near the water source, which I enclose with tarps so the hose and faucet don't freeze. Obviously, I would put it in the center of the room, but they work wonderfully and are very economical to use. If the apartment is insulated at all, you'll probably only need it on low.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                        Those radiant heaters seem interesting also, but I wonder if they too are expensive?

                        Would like to know more about them, surely they are not all wonderful, as their web sites tell.
                        Bluey, the radiant cove heaters really aren't that expensive but might be more than the OP wants to spend for a rental. In my apt, I have 2 8' and 3 4' heaters, and 4 thermostats. Cost for what I've got would be around $700, though I'd go for better thermostats if I did it again.

                        Any electrician can wire them- I did mine myself. Because they're hard-wired, I don't have to worry about too much load overheating an outlet or circuit. But then, I wired my own house- besides my window AC unit having it's very own circuit, I made darn sure I could run the toaster, coffeemaker AND microwave all at the same time if I so desired without kicking a breaker. (While I'm not an electrician, I did learn a lot working as a helper in commercial electric construction, and I'm confident doing most wiring)

                        I really can see no drawbacks. It's clean heat- as in no dust blowing around from forced air. Because there's no ductwork, there's also a lower installation cost, and also fewer holes in the ceiling/walls/floor for heat to escape or critters to find their way inside. There's no coils to collect dust like on baseboard heaters. No maintenance- mine have worked flawlessly for the 11 or so years I've been using them. They maintain an even heat, and are cost efficient to run. My favorite feature is being able to place furniture anywhere...try that when you have baseboard heaters, LOL.

                        The radiant cove heaters may be a little out of the ordinary, but I'm very happy with my choice and highly recommend them.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by 2ndyrgal View Post
                          They look like an old style radiator wall unit, are filled with some kind of oil and just plug in. Temp is adjustable. I've had one plugged into my tack room every year for the last ten years in the winter, 24/7. One day I went in to find a roll of paper towels the kitties had knocked off a shelf that landed right on the heater. While there was a brown mark, not scorched or toasted even on the paper towels, it did not, much to my relief, catch fire. I suspect it had been there all night long, looked more like dirt than a scorch mark. The cats sit right next to the thing on cold nights, even when it's on high. I've never had one minutes problem, the electric consumption in the barn doesn't go up but about $50/month during the time I have it and two others plugged in near the water source, which I enclose with tarps so the hose and faucet don't freeze. Obviously, I would put it in the center of the room, but they work wonderfully and are very economical to use. If the apartment is insulated at all, you'll probably only need it on low.
                          We have one upstairs b/c we never did buy a unit for the second floor. It is silent, safe, and stable. Also has a remote and a timer.works slick.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            I heat the tack/feed room and the upstairs (it's a workshop, not an apt) with the oil filled radiators.

                            As others have noted they do have safety features. I keep the workshop a bit warmer than the tack room, but I have had the tack room up to 80 degrees when I was using it as a hospital wing for a sick hen. The workshop stays at about 68 degrees, and it is around 800sq ft. If the barn is wired properly the oil filled radiators should work great.

                            We used icynene for insulation when we built the barn. Best stuff in the world.
                            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                            -Rudyard Kipling

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Be sure to take into consideration operational cost for whatever heating options are being explored. Anything that uses electric resistance is going to run up the power bill quickly and that includes the infrared type. (which only heat objects...they do not heat the air directly. I use them in my shop to warm "me")

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                The oil filled heaters do draw a lot of power and can be very expensive to run.

                                I have had no issue or worry with the oil heaters themselves causing a fire, but the electrical draw potentially could. I've had older ones where the controller went out in a way that concerned me.

                                Before adding electric heat (either portable or permanent) in a building like this, I'd strongly suggest taking a look at the breaker box and assessing whether the electrical service is adequate and that the breakers are properly sized for the wiring.
                                If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  We are renting a house over a barn short term while we build (about 2000 sq ft) and it's brand new, and the owners installed these Fujitsu wall units called "Fujitsu Halcyon" compact wall mounted type Inverter A/C and Heat. They are wall mounted and they are AWESOME. So far we've only used it for AC but they work incredibly well. Best AC we have ever had and I assume they will heat just as well. I have no idea what they cost. They are operated via remotes, have 3 fan settings, and turn on/off with the press of a button on the remote.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by tpup View Post
                                    We are renting a house over a barn short term while we build (about 2000 sq ft) and it's brand new, and the owners installed these Fujitsu wall units called "Fujitsu Halcyon" compact wall mounted type Inverter A/C and Heat. They are wall mounted and they are AWESOME. So far we've only used it for AC but they work incredibly well. Best AC we have ever had and I assume they will heat just as well. I have no idea what they cost. They are operated via remotes, have 3 fan settings, and turn on/off with the press of a button on the remote.
                                    Google tells me those are the "splits" that others have mentioned, very good but pricey systems with an outside and several inside units, without duct work:

                                    http://www.fujitsugeneral.com/hfi_feat_sm.htm

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                                      The oil filled heaters do draw a lot of power and can be very expensive to run.
                                      I have to disagree with this as since my 220 baseboard heaters went from working to assorted stages of moribund to dead due to old age and I replaced them with a quartz furnace in the basement and two oil filled rads upstairs, my power usage has dropped by half. The first year I used them, I got a 900.00 credit from the power company and by the time they reconciled the meter this spring, I was paying around half the amount as previous. House is actually warmer as well.
                                      Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                                      Member: Incredible Invisbles

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        As Jim in Pa has pointed several times, electric heat is the most expensive way to heat a space. pretty much doesn’t matter what type of unit one buys. Perhaps some really high tech ones are much more efficient then the ones being talked about here. I haven’t done the research but I do know high tech equal high purchase expense. I looked into the mini splits a few years ago quite nice quite expensive. Though the up front expense may be recouped over X years due to lower operating costs.
                                        As to whether an oil filled electric radiator is more efficient, lower operating expense for the heat generated then say baseboard I am not so sure but don’t think so. They work by convection as does baseboard but has a much smaller surface area. Regardless of the type of heat source used the cost of operation comes down to a number of factors. Basically geographic area, which is broken down to heating days which can be looked up for any region in the country, how much solar gain, free heat, the space gets on any given day, also a number that can be looked up. Assuming it is not in total or partial shade, average winter winds etc. For the average person who does not want to take the time to engineer all of this for an 800 sqf space to make the perfect decision the basic factor are if known. Construction, wood framed or stone, quality of the construction, type and amount of insulation used. Bat fiberglass insulation is only as effective as its R value, an over used generic term, because most is poorly installed IME. Total volume of the space, amount of glazing/windows, type and quality of installation doors, quality and type of installation and how many times they are opened and closed in a given day, do they open to the leeward direction of the wind or direct. How much winter sun the space gets, etc.
                                        Not much of the above is taken into consideration when a house is being built in this country. Green and efficient is more expensive and we live in a Wal-Mart mind set.
                                        The basic math is pretty simple to figure cost of operating a 1500 watt electric heat source, regardless of the design. The average electric oil filled space heaters are 1500 watts. Some have different settings, 1500 w, 1,000, 600. If it is set at 1500w and it is putting out heat it is using 1500w per hour 1.5kw. They are either on or off they do not reduce power consumption as the space warms. In PA I believe the cost of 1kw hour is around 8.5 cents, 1.5kw hour X 8.5 cents comes to $3.06 per day, $92 per month if the unit is on 24-7. One 1500w heat source in the mid-Atlantic area regardless of design is IMO and experience is going to be on 24-7 and struggle to heat and maintain a comfortable temp during our winter months even in a mild one. Maybe not if you have a supper insulated space, south facing with good solar gain and 3 of the 4 walls are not subject to the wind, like a middle apartment in a complex. And that is assuming the spaces on the other sides of those walls are heated. There is a lot of misinformation about zone heating and the efficiency of but that’s another subject. Granted the space doesn’t needed to be heated in the comfort zone of 65-70 24-7 but I still think it will cost around $100+ a month to heat this space. Bear in mind that none of the mentioned heat sources heat up an 800 sqft space quickly. Properly sized baseboard does do a pretty good job. So if you set the thermostat back to say 55 it will be chilly for a while.
                                        The Cove heater mentioned is counter intuitive to my understanding of radiant heat. The only difference I see between these and baseboard is the fact the on hung high on the wall instead near the floor. The reason baseboard are mounted near the floor is because they radiate heat, heat rises, the cool air is naturally drawn in from the floor, cool/cold air settles right? So they are constantly drawing the cool/cold air up to heat the entire space. A lot heat needs to be created so as to have a bubble effect forcing warm air down. I don’t think you would want to sit below, near one of these it just seems to me it would feel drafty. I would think a ceiling fan set to blow down would be a must. I checked out their site a lot of statements but no real numbers. Installation is no different then baseboard you still have to snake the wiring. Depending on the space that can be easy or very challenging. Baseboard or Cove always go with 220 my understanding it is much more efficient, an oxymoron when use with electric heating, then 120, hard wired or plug in.
                                        We have used the oil filled radiators in smaller rooms, around 200 sqft they do an adequate job but one thing I have noticed is the plugs and wire can get quite warm to the touch. Not too worried about a fire hazard per-say but the heat is generated by the amount of current constantly being draw through a smallish wire, this is caused by resistance, the rubbing of the electric current on the wire as a simple explanation. This heat is not being used efficiently adds little to nothing to the warming of the room and is wasted dollars.
                                        The above math was off the top of my head may or may not be entirely correct but I would bet close.
                                        In the end I would still choose a direct vent propane heater with the optional fan, easiest installation, and or a pellet stove more involved installation and upfront cost of the stove. Or just suck of the high cost of operation and go with baseboard properly sized to the room. They are generally always installed under windows ease of installation depends on where the breaker box is located and running the wiring. Easiest installation plug ins, start with one and buy more as needed. If this was going to be my home for many years that’s a different story.
                                        As always to each their own.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          OK gumtree, what if it was going to be your home for years to come? I'm in the market for a heating system too!
                                          “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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