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cibula11 01-30-2007 12:41 PM

Heating an attic
What is my best choice for heating my soon to be finished attic? There is no duct work that extends to this space and it is not really all that feasable anyway. The space is about 250 sq ft. The space is a few degrees cooler than the main level. I was considering some type of heater that I could simply plug in (but not really a space heater for safety concerns). Anyone have any ideas about what I could do?

#CARRIERMAN 01-30-2007 03:57 PM

Hi cibula11

Find a website that features the Rinnai Silent Servant heaters. See if this is what you may be looking for.

Good luck

cibula11 01-30-2007 07:11 PM

I have looked into baseboard heaters, but I'm not sure if I want to take on the task of adding a 220v to power the unit. I ran across a portable baseboard heater and wondered if anyone could give me a good comparison between a hardwired and portable heater.

cibula11 01-31-2007 09:02 AM

I still am wanting to know a comparison between a portable baseboard heater and one that you hardwire. I was also wondering what a cost might be to run a 220v into my attic. I know its hard to guess but anything would be great. I have to run it about 25 ft from the panel and then up the main floor to the probably a good 60 ft more or less.

Other heating options??

Brik 01-31-2007 11:01 AM

When I finished an attic space (700sq ft) I extended the duct work from the 1st floor. I had an HVAC guy calculate the load to ensure I would have enough capacity. Fortunately the existing system was over sized and I could do it. I then paid him to fabricate all the duct work needed. I gave up a closet (2/3rds of it)
on the first floor to run supply and returns to the basement. That way I had decent heating and cooling.

If you only want heating, and electric is cheap, a nice, permanently installed electric baseboard would be a good option. 220 would be best with a thermostat in that room. They would be the easiest to install too. Running a 220 line is the same as running a 110 line. Just likely a different wire size (maybe not), and an extra conductor (maybe not), and certainly a different breaker. Pick out your baseboard heater first and then we can walk you through, based upon the specs, as to the wire and breaker.

A quick google search turned up this

cibula11 01-31-2007 12:07 PM

Any ballpark figures on cost?

Brik 01-31-2007 12:44 PM

Cost for what? Extending my duct work cost about $2200 for materials if I remember correctly (1998 or so). That was for custom fabricated, insulated, metal ducting. Labor was mine. HVAC guy was friend of family and did the building of the ducts, calculations and design gratis. Maybe a little more costs if you count finishing the chase in the closet (drywall over plywood) and a few odds and ends here and there.

cibula11 01-31-2007 01:03 PM

I have had HVAC guys come in and install cold air returns since there was none in the house at the time. They looked at my situation and said that to run ducting into the space would not be worth the money spent. They suggested using an air conditioner for summer, but thought that the lower level would provide enough heat for the attic. I haven't given it a good test, since I just finished insulating it yesterday, but I want to have some options available if I need to provide heat in the area. At this point, duct work is not a feasible option. Any comments on the Eden Pure radiant heater (infomercial), or other portable devices such as wall panels or portable baseboard setups? Keep in mind its only 250 square feet and a few degrees cooler when I let the heat from the main level go upstairs (I've been blocking it off while I was insulating).

harleysilo 02-01-2007 08:35 AM

I got lucky and found a nice electrician in my area who will finish my jobs for me. What do I mean? Well I need a new circuit run from my box to the Kitchen island. so I bought the wire, ran it, drilled all the wholes through the joist, pulle the wire from one end to the other. I hooked up the kitchen end to an outlet and left the cover off.

I had him come over and hook it to the panel, double check my wiring at the outlet, and paid him his hourly $65 fee.

Might ask around and tell them what you need to do....

cibula11 02-01-2007 08:48 AM

Thanks for the info. I was thinking of doing the same thing. If I could just what I need and do the labor would save me some money. I'll check around. Thanks!

Brik 02-01-2007 08:56 AM

That Edin air is expensive. If you really want portable you can do a lot cheaper for the same output.

I would recommend not going portable if this is finished living space. The hardwired stuff (or similar) I reference in an earlier post is inexpensive and an elegant solution that will add value to the house.
I know you may be hesitant about the electrical. Its really no different that running electrical for an outlet.

If you want to get a jump start on the electrical just pull a 10/3 wire (may be overkill but will handle any of the reference units) from the panel to a switch box and then from the switch box to where you would like the heat. Buy a heater and thermostat like in the link, that fits the wall space, and then call an electrician to hook it up.

cibula11 02-01-2007 09:39 AM

Can't I just run the 10/3 wire from my panel to the attic area? I have read some posts that I will probably need a 30 amp 2 pole breaker. Does that sound about right? I would probably just run the wire and leave all the connections for the pros. The heater that I am looking at is around 1500 watts.

Brik 02-01-2007 09:58 AM

Yes - Run it to a switch box where you would want the thermostat first. Then from there to where you want the heater. Then, if you need the pros let em at it. Alternatively just run to the attic and leave a big coil of slack to reach where you would want the switch.

I suspect a 30a double pile as well. Hence the #10 wire. Not positive if you will need /2 or /3 wire but may as well run the /3 just in case unless you are sure you will only need the /2.

If all the wire is run (the hard part). This shoudl cost at max (from an electrician)
breaker $50
Other materials $50

Time - 2 hours at $150

So, total $250 or so. If its much more than that I would be surprised.

If all the wire is run, the heater is in place where you want it, etc. Then its just instaling the breaker, making the breaker connection, and installing a handful of wire nuts. Shoudl be less than an hour really.

cibula11 02-01-2007 10:50 AM

So were you guessing 250 to have it all done, or with me doing the hard stuff? Also, the space is long and while one 1500 watt heater may do the trick, what would I need to do differently if I wanted to put 2 smaller watt heaters in the space to distribute the heat better? Can I put them on 1 thermastat?

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