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Old 10-29-2007, 09:29 AM   #1
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Freestanding/portable safe home heaters??


We need ideas! We are renting a 2 story old home (with basement also). The heat is propane with a 500 gallon tank outside. Last year we were filling it every 6 weeks at about $700 per fill! We can NOT afford that again. We thought about moving but we really love the house and love the location and schools so we're trying to stay here until we're ready to buy a home (working on credit right now).

So anyways, are there any safe freestanding heaters that we could buy? We read a little about portable propane heaters but is that safe (as far as air quality, I mean)?

Since we're renting we can't cut into walls to install wood stoves or anything like that. We're at a loss so we're hoping someone will have an idea....The electrical system is ancient also. We got an electric radiator type heater once but everytime we ran it, it would blow a fuse in the house

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Old 10-29-2007, 10:16 AM   #2
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Freestanding/portable safe home heaters??


I don't believe there are any free-standing unvented propane heaters that are safe to use indoors. Kerosene heaters are kind of smelly, and some would call them a fire hazard (I don't think I'd feel safe with them), but others use them extensively, and they might be cheaper for heating a couple rooms, and turning the thermostat down.

Your propane useage doesn't seem totally out of order for an old house, but yes, it's a lot. We have a newer house (about 2600 sf), and if we heat with furnace alone, we'll burn about 250g of propane in a month.
(However, we heat almost entirely with wood, so our propane usage is about 200g per season.)

Space heating could save some money, but I'm not sure there's any silver bullet here. If the place is big and poorly insulated, it's going to cost a lot to keep warm. Have you talked to the landlord about spending some money on insulation? Probably a long shot, but a good last resort before you consider moving. If you're good tenants, and you're serious about moving, he could be willing to have the attic insulated or something like that to keep you in the house.

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Old 10-29-2007, 10:28 AM   #3
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Freestanding/portable safe home heaters??


We actually did use kerosene heaters for awhile last winter, but they do smell and they made our entire house BLACK. It was bad! Friends came and helped us wash and repaint everything in the spring. Even our upstairs had film on the walls and we only used the heaters DOWNSTAIRS. I can only imagine that it can't be good for our health if the walls looked like that.

Right now we are running small heater fans in themost used rooms and it does "okay" but still a bit chilly. The smaller fans don't blow a fuse, but the bigger ones do.

We've mentioned the heat issue to the landlord but he just says that it's expensive for everyone these day.
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Old 10-29-2007, 10:45 AM   #4
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Freestanding/portable safe home heaters??


Be careful with the electric heaters. Electric heat is definitely more expensive than anything else, so only use it to heat small spaces, allowing you to keep other rooms much cooler.

Spending $30 on a programable thermostat might save some money. That way you can set the thermostat to only be up at 68 when the house is awake/inhabited. It allows you to keep the night time temp lower than would otherwise be comfortable, because you can have it turn up an hour before you wake up.

Also, if you have old windows, I'd suggest putting the clear plastic sheeting over them. It's invisible after you shrink it with a hairdryer, and if your windows are old, they're most certainly drafty.
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:32 PM   #5
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Freestanding/portable safe home heaters??


check out this non vented propane or natural gas solution
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Old 10-30-2007, 09:23 PM   #6
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Freestanding/portable safe home heaters??


We ended up going and buying a ventless propane heater last night. This old house is so drafty that we should have plenty of ventilation for it.

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