Needed, a small non electric heat source

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by moopups, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

    Messages:
    7,102
    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    Location:
    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    Winter again in Central Florida, my shack is very airy so I only heat the best sealed room, the problem is that the wireing is way too old to consider useing electrical for heat. I need a small, cheap, trustworthy heater that I can leave on overnight, main heater is a propane unit with about a 20 inch burner strip. Its fine for major heat needs but I do not need major heat very often, only about 20 nights out of the year. What are your ideas?

    Most nights here only require a handful of candles and a couple of cats to provide heat but that is not trustworthy nor economically sound. A fire here would eat this place in a couple of minutes due to age and dryness. There is a smoke stack but its way to old to use wood heat, it originally served the kitchen also, this place is so old.
     
  2. Nina

    Nina Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    251
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    NJ
    I remember some time ago reading that one could economically warm a greenhouse by keeping rabbits in it, on the floor. Bet your kitties would find that entertaining! DH suggested a small catalytic heater (propane)...something you'd use to heat a large tent.
     

  3. ChristenaTN

    ChristenaTN Active Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    TN
    Depending on the size of your small shack I highly reccomend a kerosene heater. Small, movable and easy to use.Just place in teh middle of your shack or bedroom for heat. If you do get one used be sure its in good shape . Even brand new they are not usually more than a hundred dollars or so. LIke I said it depends on how much heat you'll need as far as the size. I knew a lady whos family heated with these heaters her whole life.
     
  4. primroselane

    primroselane Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,007
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Deep in the heart of Texas
    Compost can get up to 150 degrees F.

    A friend has one of those off ground barrel composter. It has a crank to turn the compost. it is basically on a double-x frame. The back two legs are own wheels and the front two are feet. This allows her to drag it whereever she needs it.

    If you could build a 55 gal composter, that baby should produce some heat. Drag it up against the house on cold nights, and away on warm ones. Alternatively, if you have compost, fill as many barrels as you can. Roll them up next to the house right before a cold spell. After the cold spell, roll them back to the pile and dump them back. All the rolling and dumping would just make them compost better.
     
  5. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

    Messages:
    9,894
    Joined:
    May 26, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    Kerosene heaters are NOT to be used indoors in a living area. They are very dangerous and give off fumes that can kill you. :no: DONT use one in your house.
     
  6. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    224
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    KY
    good advice - BUT, on the flip side, the old kero heaters that smoked like a peterbilt was often the only winter heat source in many southern homes for generations - i guess those many thousands of people survived because those simply built and uninsulated old cabins breathed as well as an olympic track star -
    your call moopup (have you priced kero lately - sticker shock a'coming)
     
  7. Anniebek

    Anniebek Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    129
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Location:
    Alabama Gulf Coast
    In the camping section of Wal-Mart they have a small propane burner that fits on the small propane tanks (could also possibly fit on the bigger ones from BBQ). We used to use this in our bathroom when we were bathing for the extra heat. It puts off a lot of heat, just make sure you put it on a stable surface so it doesn't get knocked over. They are inexpensive, so maybe you could get a couple of them so your cabin is toasty. It is chilly here too, but I just told the kids to put on a sweat shirt :).

    I hope this helps.

    Anniebek
     
  8. Ozarks_1

    Ozarks_1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    250
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2003
    Location:
    Ark. Ozark Mtns. (Marion County)
    Kerosene heaters are relatively safe and effective - especially when used with a little common sense. I used one for two years before we got electric and gas hooked up ... I'm still alive and never suffered any ill effects. I still have it and use it as a standyby shop heater.

    Moopups, the way you described your place sounds like it's not tightly sealed, so a kerosene heater shouldn't pose any problem.

    Kerosene is a bit on the high side, but hasn't really risen much (in this area) over the last few years.
     
  9. ed/IL

    ed/IL Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    208
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    How about an electic heater. For the amount of heat you need it might work. The round heaters that connect to propane take are nice also ($29-$39). I put tank in milk crate to give it stability. Used it to warm van in morning when bellow 0. Also used in boat to warm hands and feet when needed.Nice utility heater but a little p Keep a pot of soup or stew cooking on those few cold nights you get.
     
  10. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    752
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    WELL, EVERYTHING that burns is capable of giving off carbon monoxide, a deadly gas. The way to solve this is to have good ventilation. A window open just a crack should be enough. I've burned lots of things indoors, from LARGE kerosene lamps that would qualify as heaters, to antique gasoline lamps. I have not been hurt yet, and there have never been any problems with the fumes. Smells can be deceptive. You MAY smell something strange, but OFTEN there is nothing to it, really. Smells do not really mean bad fumes. With a window open a crack, you should be just fine. I have a VERY airtight apartment(hopefully in 4 years I will have a homestead....) but the fumes haven't killed me yet. I'm still here making Liberals mad, so..... :)
    Gas is probably worse than kerosene, for fumes, unless it is a vented heater, but even then they can leak. In many places I know of, the building codes(which I HATE, by the way) don't allow large gas appliances like heaters or fireplaces in bedrooms because of the fumes from gas. Gas burners are generally bigger and burn more than kerosene burners. THUS, I would pick kerosene. I LOVE gas for somethings, like stoves, and also some antique gas lighting fixtures (which I've run off of small propane cylinders, by the way, indoors, with a LOT of success), but kerosene is better, in my opinion for heat. HOWEVER, there is a danger of knocking a kerosene appliance over. THIS could cause a fire, but most heaters I've seen that are not more than 30 years old have a device which extinguishes it if knocked over. I would NOT recommend an antique heater, if you are looking for efficiency. They are wonderful looking, in some cases, but NOT fuel efficient.
    Good luck..... :)
     
  11. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,569
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    CHINA
    A carefully used kerosene heater....I used one for 3 years in a very small apartment that had electric heat only when I was home.

    We have a propane heater thing looks like a solar panel but that thing cannot be used around animals or children just too dang hot but it works good for heating the camp at -30 in January when we go for our anniversary...no kids no pets! And they cost at least double of the K-1 heaters.
     
  12. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    17,240
    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Moo, I would be very leary of any kind of unvented combustion. Here in MN we lose several people every winter due to a variety of these devices, including propane, kero, natural gas, etc.

    I would look into dropping a steel vent inside your chmney and finding some kind of vented heater. The old fuel oil burners were very reliable, and if you can actually find one, I bet it would be fairly cheap.

    Good Luck
     
  13. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    14,838
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Kansas
    Battery powered socks? Some hunters swear by them.
     
  14. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

    Messages:
    2,718
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Location:
    NE PA
    Pink Rose???
    Sorry, couldn't resist. :)
    I have an unvented propane heater which works fine, especially
    in my poorly insulated (read breezy) northern shack. Won't heat the
    whole small house when the temps get really low like below 35 so I
    then have a wood stove for colder temps. But in Florida it probably
    would be enough even on cold nights.
    I also had kero heaters for three years before hooking up the wood
    stove, and each of the three years, I got bronchitis from the fumes...
    never had it before and never had it since I stopped using it.
    Good luck.
    Ann
     
  15. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    14,838
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Kansas
    OH!

    I completely forgot the most obvious one of all!

    During the ice storm, we used a tub of hot water. It worked better than the fireplace, though not s well as the kerosine heater.

    Just fill the tub with hot water and leave it until the water is cold. As the water cools, the heat is released into the house. One tub was good for about 3 hours, then the cool water was drained off and more hot water was added.

    Why don't you try it today? Just check the temp, fill the tub and check the temp again in a couple of hours. See if it works for you.
     
  16. 3girls

    3girls Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    510
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    SE PA, zone 6b
    A lot of folks in the north find that sweats make good pj's and comforters (one or many) make a nest to cuddle up in. I often wake up in the morning with my whole head under the comforter. It's mighty hard to crawl out from under!
     
  17. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

    Messages:
    7,102
    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    Location:
    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    Problem cured, with a two burner camp type fold up stove. This thing works so well I think I could cook on it!! Was eyeing a fold up oven on the way out of the store.....
     
  18. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,301
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    So Cal Mtns
    Moopups,keep your eyes peeled for a freestanding catalytic heater.I plumped a 5 gallon tank of propane to mine,it ran all night about 21 nights per tank,and I think its 5000-7000 BTU?Mine was a coleman.Works great,you can stuff paper on the grill and it wont ignite it,they have roll over shut off,and if your place has a draft,like my old bus,its plenty safe.Go for around 30 dollars on ebay.
    BooBoo