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Old 09-23-2013, 01:07 PM   #1
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Heating for 'three seasons' room


I just bought a house that has a fully insulated 'three seasons' room. ' because it's fully insulated and has a no-vent heater and window air conditioner (built into the wall). Dimensions are something like 25' x 20'. Sorry in advance if this turns into a long post.

I have the AC unit set three degrees warmer than the central air in the rest of the house as we are using this space as a dining room. That's working fine as the window unit just lags the central AC. Now that it's getting cool, I need to start thinking about heating the space. I don't like the no-vent heater at all. It seems to be a fundamentally bad idea. I also assume that the surface of the unit gets very hot. I've got a 2 year old toddler so that's not good.

My options as I see it:
1. Install a direct vent furnace. This would involve running gas to the exterior wall of the room as the heater is currently on the side adjoining the house.
2. Install electric baseboard heat. This would involve getting 220V to the room.
3. Use 1500 Watt oil radiant heaters that I already have. (Safe?)
3. Upgrade central AC and have this room added to the system.

Funds are short as I just bought the place and there's a laundry list of things to do. I plan to get quotes for a central air upgrade but doubt that it's feasible right now.

Questions:
1. Would direct vent furnace be safer than current 'blue flame' no-vent? I don't know the temp of the surfaces.
2. Understanding the cost of the baseboard heat will be way higher than gas, are the units generally safe and reliable? Safer than a standard electric oil space heater?
3. Any ideas if adding the room to the central HVAC would be an issue? There's a crawl space under the room so I would think it'd be simple.

Thanks in advance for your input!

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Old 09-23-2013, 01:21 PM   #2
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Heating for 'three seasons' room


Quote:
Originally Posted by bmax1985 View Post
I just bought a house that has a fully insulated 'three seasons' room. ' because it's fully insulated and has a no-vent heater and window air conditioner (built into the wall). Dimensions are something like 25' x 20'. Sorry in advance if this turns into a long post.

I have the AC unit set three degrees warmer than the central air in the rest of the house as we are using this space as a dining room. That's working fine as the window unit just lags the central AC. Now that it's getting cool, I need to start thinking about heating the space. I don't like the no-vent heater at all. It seems to be a fundamentally bad idea. I also assume that the surface of the unit gets very hot. I've got a 2 year old toddler so that's not good.

My options as I see it:
1. Install a direct vent furnace. This would involve running gas to the exterior wall of the room as the heater is currently on the side adjoining the house. you only have 500 sq feet to heat and they don't make one small enough
2. Install electric baseboard heat. This would involve getting 220V to the room. not so good for a toddler as they could stick their fingers in there. at 3-4 yrs old that would be OK
3. Use 1500 Watt oil radiant heaters that I already have. (Safe?) I would until the toddler turns 3-4
3. Upgrade central AC and have this room added to the system. depending where you live you can get a miniplit heat pump heating and cooling unit for that size of room. not cheap, $4000 and up depending on what you choose but work great. google Fujitsu mini split. Fujitsu has one that can work down to -15 deg F.

Funds are short as I just bought the place and there's a laundry list of things to do. I plan to get quotes for a central air upgrade but doubt that it's feasible right now.

Questions:
1. Would direct vent furnace be safer than current 'blue flame' no-vent? I don't know the temp of the surfaces. Ventless - apparently they are banned in some States and are illegal in Canada. they can deplete the oxygen in a room and I would never want one especially with small kids
2. Understanding the cost of the baseboard heat will be way higher than gas, are the units generally safe and reliable? Safer than a standard electric oil space heater? I would use the space htr until the toddler turns 3 or 4 and won't be sticking their fingers in there. they are perfectly safe and can last 20 yrs or more.
3. Any ideas if adding the room to the central HVAC would be an issue? There's a crawl space under the room so I would think it'd be simple. would need a local contractor to look at it.

Thanks in advance for your input!
for that small of a space I would go electric as it is the most affordable to install and requires no maintenance. once you start talking a furnace and running a gas line you are $4000 and up.



http://www.fujitsugeneral.com/wallmounted9-12RL.htm

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Last edited by yuri; 09-23-2013 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:36 PM   #3
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Heating for 'three seasons' room


Thanks. One of the most detailed forum responses I've ever received.

You're on the same train of thought that a group of Co-workers came up with too. I'll use the space heater for the time being and look at adding it to the whole house system when the HVAC gets upgraded in a year or two. (it's quite old).

Very much appreciated!
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:49 PM   #4
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Heating for 'three seasons' room


If anyone else finds themselves in the same spot, I thought I'd add that I just found a thermostat with an AC receptacle on it. I'll put that elevated away from the space heater so I don't have to rely on the dial on the space heater.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:12 PM   #5
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Heating for 'three seasons' room


Glad to help. I am a good cheap Ukrainyan and sometimes the simple solution that costs a bit more to run is better. Redoing and adding it to the main system is the BEST idea.

Depending on the size of your house and ducts layout you may want to investigate a zoning system with them if the ductwork can handle it. That way you can keep that zone at a higher or lower temp depending on the season or whether it is occupied. That will get you more heat and AC to other parts of the house when it is unoccupied. Costs some $$ but may pay for itself in increased comfort. There are variable speed furnaces with ECM motors that work great with zoning systems and don't require bypass dampers in the ductwork.

Lennox makes them and so does Carrier, not sure about the other guys.

http://www.lennox.com/products/comfo...Harmony%20III/
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Last edited by yuri; 09-23-2013 at 04:37 PM.
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