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

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#31 of 43 Old 01-15-2010, 06:20 PM
 
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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With modern space heaters, many of the warnings about space heaters are outdated.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).

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#32 of 43 Old 01-16-2010, 01:18 AM
 
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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.)

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#33 of 43 Old 01-16-2010, 01:39 AM
 
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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.
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#34 of 43 Old 01-16-2010, 01:40 AM
 
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PS-- can someone post the make/ model of the space heaters they like?
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#35 of 43 Old 01-16-2010, 02:48 AM
 
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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....
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#36 of 43 Old 01-16-2010, 11:49 AM
 
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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.

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#37 of 43 Old 01-16-2010, 12:06 PM
 
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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.
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#38 of 43 Old 01-16-2010, 12:29 PM
 
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"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.
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#39 of 43 Old 01-16-2010, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#40 of 43 Old 01-16-2010, 05:05 PM
 
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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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#41 of 43 Old 01-17-2010, 01:12 AM
 
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I keep our heat at 55 or 60 most of the time and cart a little space heater around with me. I can heat up my little area w/o spending a ton of money heating the rest of the house. It seems to work well for us and is less costly then setting the thermostate at 65 or 70 or whatever.
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#42 of 43 Old 01-17-2010, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mnnice View Post
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?
I don't take the previous owner's opinions on it for much. They kept the house at 74 in the winter and never worked on/used the fireplace. They basically remodeled and moved on.

It's an old, wood burning fireplace with glass doors. We used to have one when I was younger and loved it. Hopefully next year we can figure it out.

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#43 of 43 Old 01-18-2010, 12:51 PM
 
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We plan on keeping our electric heaters at a low temperature then heating with a wood stove. As for whether or not you need ductwork, it depends on the shape and layout of your home. Will hot air be able to flow naturally to your living spaces/the rooms you want heated?

We have a smaller 100+ year old home that we should be able to heat easily with a stove. It has a fairly open floor plan on the main floor and a grate going to the second floor hallway that can be open or closed depending on if we want to heat the upstairs.

We're hopefully putting in a wood stove next year. Our hydro bill is outrageous... but at least we don't heat with oil! It'd be in the thousands for sure!

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