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beengone 09-22-2012 07:05 PM

Night time heating with space heater
 
I'm in the long process of fixing up a 130 yr old house and have some other posts here. It's a 1 1/2 story with a 650' second floor. Problem is it's four bedrooms and a bathroom around a large landing area and the only duct (gas forced air) is in the middle of the landing area. The whole house is set up on one zone. Furnace needs replaced and I'm praying it makes it through winter -- we cannot afford to replace it now.

I've been going back-and-forth on what to do long-term between switching to a boiler and running water heat or redoing the duct work (all is done incorrectly) and replacing the furnace. Both are costly, but done correctly will help save on heating bills. Either way, this winter I'm stuck. I priced out running some ducts to the upstairs and ran into two problems. First, in total, it will cost me around $600 do run the ducts properly. Second, there is no good way to get a larger trunk run to the second story. The current is very undersized and there just isn't a good place to cut the holes in the floors without making a huge mess of things. (I have plaster, very old wood floors) Third, I'm really leaning toward doing it all in water anyway, so this would be total waste of time and money if I do that.

After I priced out the ducts and realized how much it would cost me, I decided to look into a space heater to run at night and in underserved areas while occupied. That heater would be upstairs at night and in my kids' playroom on the ground floor or in the living room as needed. I'd heard about EdenPURE and did some research finding what look to be much better alternatives for quartz heaters. but, from what I'm reading, we may be better off with a ceramic model.

In the end, I need to heat up three bedrooms that surround the large landing area. I can close off the one used as a closet and the bathroom at night, leaving about 550sqft. The house furnace will be turned down as low as we can at night and I only need to bring it up a little more using this space heater. Since this is my first winter in this house, I cannot tell what temperature will work though. I assume something like 58-60 for the furnace, which would leave the rooms around 55-60. I only need to bring the rooms up a bit from there using this electric heater.

So, does this sound like a reasonable one-year solution? Which type of furnace should I look at: ceramic or quartz?

I can provide other info including a drawing if needed.

Thanks.

bobelectric 09-22-2012 10:29 PM

Watts is watts. Don't buy into that stuff.Heat is 1 or 1 in electric.

Pirulo 09-23-2012 02:21 AM

What about using electric blankets on beds while you sleep? That will save a lot of energy.

gregzoll 09-23-2012 09:28 AM

If needing to heat the upstairs, use baseboard heat. As for staying warm during Winter, until you are done, go old school. Flannel sheets, blankets, and flannel PJ's.

techpappy 09-23-2012 11:45 AM

Whichever way you decide on heating... furnace/boiler..make sure you go with high efficiency condensing type unit..that being said I think you will find hot water heating boiler/radiators much more expensive and no ability for central air...$600 is good price for additional duct work providing it is sized properly AND surely, with such a large house you can find a way to provide large enough main trunk to upstairs...I know..easier said than done!..but think about your options.. my son had a similar house and we figured we could extend ducts to bedrooms from central area ..through closets into bedrooms..however, the central supply air just happened to be aligned with the closets which were common to the two bedrooms..there was a separate vent in the other bedroom and bathroom.

biggles 09-23-2012 01:31 PM

pull the furnace and go how water either low profile cast iron rads or straight out baseboard.to get thru the winter..into 2013...have the ducts sealed both return and supplies DIY it with a paint on sealer..keeping in mmind hot ait rises so the heat will travel up that stair case to the second floor...insulate the attic from that 2nd floor heating.on that heating with the cast iron rads nice cabinet covers,and the heat never goes off them during the winter between cycles...130 yr ond hose they didn't have insu;lation back then so the walls are raw ro the outside with a wind chill... might think into the future remove the furnace keep the ducts for future AC

beengone 09-23-2012 04:42 PM

I don't even know if I can come up with the money to insulate this year, a furnace or boiler is out. We don't need air here; it only gets hot enough to think about It a few days each year and a window unit would be fine.

Baseboard would be a possibility if I had enough electricity supplied, but don't.

Electric blankets are an interesting idea, but won't work for us as we have a 5 year-old and 2 year-old with another due in November. Babies and electric blankets don't mix.

600 for ducts to the upstairs plus at least 400 for the rest of the house. Seems like a lot to spend unless I'm going to stick with forced-air long term.

With more info, any further ideas? Whatever I get I want to be able to recover some cost if I replace the furnace next year. A space heater or some baseboard heaters would allow for that. If I do ducts, it would be to keep forced air.

Pirulo 09-23-2012 05:30 PM

Well, if you have just to survive the winter, I suggest all of you sleep on the same room on those very cold days, you can just insulate just that only room, and with a simple electric heater you are going to be fine, and in the meanwhile plan for the next year.

techpappy 09-23-2012 07:20 PM

there are so many options including better windows, attic insulation etc. but biggest decision is hot water or forced air..suggest you call local specialists to provide quotes and there input on both options then decide from there..get at least 3 quotes in writing..if they don't want to provide detailed written quote, don't bother with them. Just my HO.

beengone 09-23-2012 09:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by techpappy
there are so many options including better windows, attic insulation etc. but biggest decision is hot water or forced air..suggest you call local specialists to provide quotes and there input on both options then decide from there..get at least 3 quotes in writing..if they don't want to provide detailed written quote, don't bother with them. Just my HO.

Pretty well on my way with the long-term and will have more questions as I go. Now I'm just trying to keep the upstairs bearable. I'm going to insulate the attic and at least the upstairs. A space or baseboard heater and maybe all in one room, well see.

gregzoll 09-23-2012 09:39 PM

Also, use 3M Window film to seal windows for heat & air loss. Keep in mind, air sealing is better than insulation. Reason is, having too many air leaks is just like leaving the window or door wide open.

beengone 09-23-2012 09:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gregzoll
Also, use 3M Window film to seal windows for heat & air loss. Keep in mind, air sealing is better than insulation. Reason is, having too many air leaks is just like leaving the window or door wide open.

Correct. I'm in the process if weather stripping doors and coving windows. I've also been plugging wiring holes and such. I'm surprised the house isn't more drafty than it is, but two layers of siding on the outside with countless layers of paint and planking plus lath/plaster inside are better than I expected. Thankfully, doors are new and all but 6 windows are as well.

gregzoll 09-23-2012 09:57 PM

Seal around outlet boxes with DAP expanding foam, same as around the windows if they were retro's.

beengone 09-24-2012 10:29 AM

So, which are best for my use and with kids: ceramic or IR space heaters?

bobelectric 09-24-2012 10:35 AM

Watts is Watts.


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