Temporary heating solution

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by donsgal, Nov 24, 2006.

  1. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    Dh and I would like to spend some time at the homestead while we are there working on it. The place has a gas furnace and gas cook stove. There is no wood stove there yet (on the list of things to do, but it is a long, drawn out matter since we will have to build a "wood stove" room separate to make the insurance company happy).

    All we have available is electricity. We are trying to figure out our options. We can buy little electric heaters which we can use while we are there but that won't work for when we are not there (I would be too nervous about them falling over or overheating and starting a fire). There are larger, more expensive electric heaters which are safer but I don't know how much safer and they are quite expensive).

    Same deal with kerosene. Dh is NOT comfortable about using a kerosene heater inside the house, and you couldn't leave it going when you're gone anyway.

    We don't want to do anything permanent because once we get moved out there 100 percent of the time we'll be using the gas furnace. But we DON'T want to put a propane tank out there yet because we have a LOT of digging to do and we don't have the capabilities to move it around as necessary (besides, I don't think you are supposed to move them around after they are hooked up to the gas line into the house.)

    Passive solar is fine when the sun is out, but that doesn't help much at night or on very cloudy days. A solar heating system, is of course, way out of range price-wise.

    Any ideas guys?

    donsgal
     
  2. boonieman

    boonieman Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if something like this would work for you? It's not incredibly expensive and you can continue to use it after you're in there full time. I've been considering getting one, but money is always an object.

    http://www.outsidewoodheater.com/page2.html
     

  3. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    Get a propane heater that attaches to a 20 lb tank. They do a good job, are portable, and some can even tilt so you can cook on them

    http://www.mrheater.com/
     
  4. GREEN_ALIEN

    GREEN_ALIEN Sunny, Wet, Tornadoey SD!

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    How about a couple of portable 20 gallon propane tanks? Have cooking and heating gas when you are there and take them with you to fill when you go.

    Ted
     
  5. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    Install some electric baseboard heaters? They're quite simple to install, not that expensive, and safe to leave running unattended.
     
  6. SolarGary

    SolarGary Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    The propane tanks that stand vertical and are about 16 inches in diameter and about 5 ft tall work nice. Two people can carry a full one -- or even one person can roll one in a pinch. You can fit several in the back of a van or pickup. You want to get at least 2 of them so you always have one to run on when you are getting the other filled. The ones we had at one time had a valving arrangement that let you switch from the nearly empty tank to a full tank, and then remove the empty.
    You could run the gas furnace off these cylinders, and then just switch to your main propane tank when you finish digging. Just make sure you get the regulators hookd up right.
    If you had several of them, you might get a propane delivery truck to come up and fill them.
    I would guess the propane company would loan or rent or buy back these tanks.

    Gary
     
  7. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of propane. A gas grill might help put out a little heat while your there.The one i had was 45k btus.

    But i think SolarGary has the best idea.My wifes mom used use one that size to run her gas furnace for some time.Before getting a large tank put in.
     
  8. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

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    Oil-filled electric heaters (very efficient) plugged into automatic thermostats that go on at 35 F and off at 45 F. I think that would be the safest and most economical way to do it.
     
  9. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    no harm in electric.... like he said those oil filled heaters are not a fire hazard [no flame] and if its plugged into a 15 amp power strip, your good to its high setting.

    assuming its not a real big room, you might need more.

    I like the ceramic propane heater I just put in my sisters appt... kicks out some good heat, even on low low!

    set on low a 20# bottle should last a few days at least.
     
  10. TnAndy

    TnAndy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My vote is propane....portable, not dependent on the electric company in a time when storms hit, etc. + you have a backup source of heat down the road. Most gas furnaces must also have electricity for ignition and the fan to move the air.

    Get 2--100lb propane tanks. Buy them at Home Depot.....they cost about 80 bucks this time of year, about 10 less on spring closeout. 100lb tanks hold about 25 gallons of propane, weigh 175 lbs or so when full, and will run the heater below about 150 hours if the heater is on wide open the whole time.

    Buy a small, unvented 'blue flame' heater at the same place....about a 15,000 BTU model.....avoid the ones with the ceramic plates, they crack and the cost of the plates is a new heater.......get the blue flame type......and make sure it has a thermostat control. About 200 bucks if you shop some.

    You can mount it on a wall, or they also come with a floor stand if you want total portability. We have a wall mount that we've used on one end of the house for years now, and it warms that whole end nicely. ( Sunporch that became part of the living room/kitchen area. ) I have no problem leaving it running while we are gone, or sleeping. I put a CO monitor near it, at first, because of the unvented concern.....it never moved off zero.

    Get a double tank regulator I show below. Allows you to connect two tanks to the same regulator. When one is empty, the red button at the top pops up, and you flip the regulator over to the other tank. Then you need enough copper line OR rubber gas hose to get into the house to the heater. These tanks can sit right beside the house.


    [​IMG]
     
  11. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

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    I would also go with the propane tanks. But it was mentioned about using a grill for heat..isn't that dangerous with the possible gas fumes inside of a house..or did I misunderstand ?? :shrug:
     
  12. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Or pick up a cast away electric range/oven in place or in add'n to your gas range and use the oven....of course this'll require a 220 plug....and needs to be turned off when you go to bed.

    Long ago when I had a clothes dryer and my new furnace wasnt hooked up nor the wood stove...I pulled the vent tube so the exhaust heated the house up :help:
     
  13. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    By far the best idea.

    It gets my vote.
     
  14. mwhit

    mwhit Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you will get carbon monoxide poisoning if you use a grill inside...
     
  15. hippiehill

    hippiehill Active Member

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    We have a ventless propane wall mounted heater we picked up really cheap, drilled a hole for the propane line and put a gas grill sized tank outside. Just be sure to get a regulator. One for a grill will work. We have had no problems. My son's room is too far away from the woodstove to heat it. It has a thermostat and works great. He turns it on about an hour before bed, and USUALLY turns it off when he wakes up and it lasts about two weeks. Even one of those "MR Buddy" heaters will work the same way.
     
  16. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    this is probably the best option since you have electricity already. Even when you have permanent wood or gas heat, the baseboard can be backup heat or 'additional' heat source for those times you may want it.

    we had a small lean to greenhouse at the small homestead when we lived in town. I installed a wall electric heater that had a small fan. It's like the ones you might see in a foyer of an entrance. The heat kicked in when it got cold enough and kept any transpants we had growing there from frosting up. worked great, was safe.
     
  17. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    great ideas all.

    Thanks. I haven't decided which yet, but it's good to know there are so many options.

    donsgal