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Are space heaters ok to use for 2 months instead of central heat? - Page 2

post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post
Thanks, everyone. Our space heaters don't feel hot and out pets stay away from them. We have them FAR away from anything that could be dangerous. Right now I am still trying to figure out if we have a home warranty.

We only run them when we need to. I can't stand it being hot, so that helps. And our house is very, very well insulated for an old home and retains the heat well.
I think you'll be fine. the new space heaters are pretty safe. We have a couple that we run all the time because we have a large 100 yr old house and some areas are just impossible to heat. Ours don't burn you if you touch them and turn off if they get knocked over. I don't see how they'd be a fire danger, I mean we'd have to really try to make that happen. One is in my bedroom currently and one is in my oldest DD's room (her radiator doesn't work right). We got energy efficient ones and they haven't made our bill go up, costs less than trying to bump the heat to heat these areas.
post #22 of 43
We are also running on space heaters for the moment. Our house is about 75 years old, a fairly smallish 2 BR, so the 2 keep things pretty toasty. (It stays about 75* in the house with both running, and about 65* with one.

We have done this many times over the years until we get our fuel oil filled, and never a frozen pipe etc... (Yet? Lol knock on wood)

We all keep socks, warm clothes on and of course have a million blankets around the house.

Good luck with getting the furnace relaced/fixed, but in the mean time, I think you will be fine with the space heaters!!
post #23 of 43
I am pretty confident it wouldn't work in my house and climate, especially for the two months you are proposing. The only thing worse would be Jan and Feb.

Based on what you have shared it might work for you. But my question is what are you going to do if it gets very, very cold (like whatever temperature it only gets only once every 10-15 years where every you live). What is you plan to not have your pipes freeze? Do you have a place to go if someone has the flu and chills and just can't take it anymore?
post #24 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post
I will check into the warranty, but I don't think homeowners insurance will cover it.

We're in IL and have a Rural Development loan, so I don't know if that makes a difference.
Check into the warranty.

Other thing: IL has had an extraordinarily mild fall this year. They're saying that the mild weather is coming to an end in the next couple of days, and we're going to be (in the northern part of the state) seeing highs in the teens in the next couple of days. The second and third week of January is often "deep freeze" time around here--highs in the single digits, wind chills staying negative all day.
post #25 of 43
We use modern electric space heaters a certain amount of the time, in some rooms as an alternative to heating with the furnace, to save on oil, which is what our furnace uses. The new ones are generally safe if you are careful and use them properly. They are also amazingly effective. That said, you might consider shutting down part of your house and living out of fewer rooms during the coldest time. You'd have to do something to make sure your pipes are safe, but as long as the whole house doesn't drop below 55 I think you are okay.
post #26 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschick View Post
Check into the warranty.

Other thing: IL has had an extraordinarily mild fall this year. They're saying that the mild weather is coming to an end in the next couple of days, and we're going to be (in the northern part of the state) seeing highs in the teens in the next couple of days. The second and third week of January is often "deep freeze" time around here--highs in the single digits, wind chills staying negative all day.
Yay. We've lived here (dh all his life) on and off for a long time. This year weather wise was just crazy down here in Southern IL. Truly odd weather. Flooding, droughts, cold weather in the summer....

Hopefully this winter will be mild.
post #27 of 43
I don't have time to read every reply, but I wanted to add something. Even if you don't have a warranty on the inspection, you should still contact the inspection company. A furnace that dies within a few months should absolutely be caught and reported. You could take them to small claims court. Even if you threaten it, they should refund your inspection fee at least, which will help offset the cost of replacing the furnace. I also think that space heaters may not be adequate when the winter winds really start to blow. And, yes, I think you may end up with frozen pipes, but it really depends on how cold it gets in your area. Also, the cost of keeping up those heaters could end up extremely high while a new effecient furnace may save you money in the long run.
post #28 of 43
Bumping for an update because it's been cold.
post #29 of 43
If I were you, I'd be calling every oil company in the phone book to see whether any of them would install a new system on a payment plan in exchange for you switching to them for your oil supplier (assuming you use oil, gas company would operate in similar fashion). Around here the oil companies are always competing for new customers, and if you knew you could pay it off in a few months, you wouldn't get hit with much interest either.
post #30 of 43
Thread Starter 

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Edited by kittywitty - 7/27/11 at 6:25pm
post #31 of 43
We have cut back to space heaters except for 3-4 hours a day this year. Our home was built in 1938. Our heater works fine, but the bottom line is that because the house was retrofitted for heat, it just doesn't do a super-efficient job.

We have not seen a noticeable difference in our electric bill, and our heating bill is far less than last year.

With modern space heaters, many of the warnings about space heaters are outdated. Almost all models now have safety precautions in case of tipping, no exposed heating coils, etc.

Another bonus is that the space heaters don't dry out the air as much, so we haven't been as sick as the last 2 years (even with running humidifiers).
post #32 of 43
My home does not have central heat, and I didn't get a woodstove installed like I had originally planned to for this winter. Two of the bedrooms have ceiling heat, and the rest of our heat comes from space heaters. It is definitely not ideal, and we keep on LOTS of layers, but it can be done. (The past couple of weeks have been below freezing in my area, which is NOT normal, and we were a bit cold on some of those days, but we made do.)
post #33 of 43
We live in a large (3800 sq ft) 100+ yr old home-- we have the thermostat (oil) at 60F but the house is 50-58. Brrrr! We are thinking of keeping the therm at 50 and using 1 space heater to heat a smaller portion of the house that we will congregate in during the day.

I would not run a space heater at night, even the new models, but that is just me. I am very paranoid about safety issues.

We are being killed by our oil bill (started the season out with the therm at 68, then 65, now 60) and have to figure out something.
post #34 of 43
PS-- can someone post the make/ model of the space heaters they like?
post #35 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalmum View Post
PS-- can someone post the make/ model of the space heaters they like?
I have 1 Milkhouse space heater & love it.

Also have anohter, cant think of the name off hand, but its a cheaper one & while it works ok, its not as warm....
post #36 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalmum View Post
PS-- can someone post the make/ model of the space heaters they like?
I will go look at mine today so I can post the ones we have. One is an oil-filled radiator looking thing, and the other is a long skinny one (Maybe four feet long by five or six inches wide?) I like that they both have a thermostat on them - I can set them for the optimal temperature, and though they very rarely ever get there when it's REALLY cold (like peeing in an ocean, I like to say), when it's slightly warmer, they'll regulate themselves once they get to that temperature, which I really really like.
post #37 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmsMom View Post
I don't have time to read every reply, but I wanted to add something. Even if you don't have a warranty on the inspection, you should still contact the inspection company. A furnace that dies within a few months should absolutely be caught and reported. You could take them to small claims court. Even if you threaten it, they should refund your inspection fee at least, which will help offset the cost of replacing the furnace. I also think that space heaters may not be adequate when the winter winds really start to blow. And, yes, I think you may end up with frozen pipes, but it really depends on how cold it gets in your area. Also, the cost of keeping up those heaters could end up extremely high while a new effecient furnace may save you money in the long run.
When we had our inspection, there was NEVER a warranty that stuff would continue working. Further, there really is no way to tell, but the one thing we were told was that useful life on furnaces was XX years, and this one is XX years, so you may be looking at getting a new one soon. Otherwise, there are no guarantees on anything that they tell you.
post #38 of 43
"It is sooo much colder with the boiler going than when we had the 3 space heaters. I'm about to ditch the boiler and go back to space heaters!!!

We thought of putting in a wood stove, but have no duct work-could it work without it?"


My folks live in Maine, and while they have central heating and keep it turned on very low so there are no worries about frozen pipes etc, they use the woodstove to create actual comfortable human conditions in their living space. I think that a baseline setting on the furnace plus space heaters in the room one is actually occupying is a fine method.
post #39 of 43
Thread Starter 
We had whatever the cheap ones at Walmart are-vertical medium room Sunbeam brand maybe?

We have a fireplace but there seem to be critters and insulation in it so hopefully this spring we will have enough $$ to get it checked out and serviceable. It's wood burning.
post #40 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post
We had whatever the cheap ones at Walmart are-vertical medium room Sunbeam brand maybe?

We have a fireplace but there seem to be critters and insulation in it so hopefully this spring we will have enough $$ to get it checked out and serviceable. It's wood burning.
Most fireplaces are pretty but not real functional. We have a woodburning fireplace. We lit it the other night because it was really at an optimal temperature outside (25-30 degrees) for it. If it's colder than that we ended up with the furnace running while the fire is lit because so much heat is going up the chimmney. This is in a modern well insulated house (circa 1995)There probabily a reason previous occupants of your house stuffed it full on insulation.

Do you have a source of free or cheap wood?
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