alternate backup winter heating

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Goldie
Canada
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Location: Ontario, Canada

alternate backup winter heating

Post by Goldie » Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:48 am

After last winter, when they hydro went off in many parts of Ontario, many people were without any heat
for an extended period of time.

I am wondering about small portable kerosene heater or a portable propane heater ?

was thinking more along the lines of just being able to heat one room

Does anyone have any experience or advice on these units ? Are they safe indoors ?



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helicopilot
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Re: alternate backup winter heating

Post by helicopilot » Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:54 am

I have a kero world one, bought just in case, along with several gallons of kerosene. They are designed for indoor use. Matter of factly, several countries use similar appliances for house heating. They are quite safe and other than some odour when lighting up and turning off, it's quite good. That would not be my favorite mean of heating a canadian house, but seems like a reasonable back up system for a few days.

OldTimeGardener
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Re: alternate backup winter heating

Post by OldTimeGardener » Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:09 am

I heat with wood for the house.
But I keep and use a Little Buddy propane heater for my water shed....ya know pressure tank and all. That one is good for a smaller space.
I also keep some canning in that shed, so nice to not have frozen jars.

Oh there's a Big Buddy propane heaters too. Gives out more heat.
IIRC, it heats 400 sq. ft. Someone correct me if thats wrong.
Really depends on what size area you are heating.
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livingpower
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Re: alternate backup winter heating

Post by livingpower » Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:54 pm

I am eyeing an indoor propane heater for those times. I'm in London and somehow that ice storm in December missed us, but I know how narrowly and I do not want to get caught without a source of heat. When something like that happens, I want to stay in my own home and be relatively comfortable. I'm considering something like this:

http://www.homedepot.ca/product/forced- ... 710/861318

or this:

http://www.homedepot.ca/product/15000-2 ... ter/924458

or this:

http://www.homedepot.ca/product/mh200cv ... -hr/809899

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Denob
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Re: alternate backup winter heating

Post by Denob » Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:12 pm

The first one on your list is a forced air heater, requiring 110v AC for operation. This would seem counter intuitive for a backup during a power outage.
The second one is intended as a construction heater...not for indoor use.
The third one is for really large spaces and uses a lot of gas...and again, intended for outdoor use.
I know that kerosene is getting pricy, but the heaters are more easily found for indoor use.
If you really want to go the propane route, I can see why...price and storage life...maybe look for a used camper heater that would vent outdoors.

Perfesser
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Re: alternate backup winter heating

Post by Perfesser » Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:33 pm

Propane and gas lanterns give off a lot of heat. Why not consider something that does double duty? Instead of looking for a heater, get a couple of lanterns.
At the cottage the bathroom is in an unheated space. If I run a propane light for half an hour it warms it up as well as any heater, then you can turn it right down to maintain some heat and light too.

How about triple duty?
These even have a cooking attachment so you get heat, light and a stove all rolled into one unit.
http://www.britelyt.com/
Maybe not, they're crazy expensive (better off getting a separate cooker that uses the same fuel) but my point is that a lamp puts out enough warmth to be called a heater.

Goldie
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Re: alternate backup winter heating

Post by Goldie » Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:54 am

Keep the ideas going , and the safety issues need to be mentioned .

Sounds like the propane is not really the best choice for indoors .

BriteLyt , looks like there is a dealer maybe in Montreal ?

Goldie
Canada
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Re: alternate backup winter heating

Post by Goldie » Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:00 am

The BriteLyt might be just for outdoor usage, anybody know for sure ? I looks like a revamped Coleman lantern with the mantles

MrsPrepwPets

Re: alternate backup winter heating

Post by MrsPrepwPets » Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:15 pm

Add a CO alarm to the room that's being heated.
Most modern heaters have a low-O2 cutoff switch, but it's one more thing to fail and there's no reason to risk it when smoke alarms and CO alarms are cheap.
And a fire extinguisher should get moved to be between people and the heater. Just in case.


You can increase the efficiency of any of the heaters by:
- adding the stones or ceramic tiles and bricks intended for big fireplaces and wood stoves
- putting the heater under a shelf that prevents direct rise of heat and forces the warm air out a little
***Super important to put a shelf between the heater and the window if you choose something that needs vented; also super good if your heater is against a wall and below a curtain where heat wicks up and stays trapped between the two, and creates a polar vortex shoving cold air from the window down into the room
- using foil or old baking sheets or grill grids to absorb and in some cases reflect heat back toward the room; the absorbing metal creates a larger surface for heat to radiate out from
- small heaters can go in an emptied-out filing cabinet to accomplish all of those goals (absorption, increased radiation surface, shelf redirection)
- Keep a stainless steel or cast iron pot of water on/beside/partially in front of the heater (same theory - absorbs heat and water resists temp changes, so serves as a heat sink; plus, warm water is closer to boiling for noodle soup and tea than cold water)


A totally different direction from other suggestions would be to go for an arctic stove, either purchased or made. It's more of a long-term option.
- It can live on a dolly with the upright chimney in place
- L-shaped chimney leg pre-cut to fit between the upright chimney and the window
- Joints for the chimney
- Plywood and/or sheet metal to fit over an open window, with pre-cut hole and pre-installed edge insulation/sealant or the plan and ability to seal those edges

The bonus to an arctic stove is that it can take a wide variety of fuels, just like a regular wood stove or heater (homemade bricks or paper logs, sticks and wood, compact fireplace logs, charcoal with a raised shelf inside).
You can also stick smaller emergency-type fuel combos inside (crisco or oil lamps, candles) and the stove itself serves some of the dispersal and slow-radiation functions mentioned above. (A regular kitchen stove offers the same, but without venting outdoors so you have to watch burn times, and a regular stove is restricted to non-log-types.)
That versatility means in a super-extended event, you can still have heat if propane or kerosene runs out or becomes limited.

There are a ton of disadvantages to an arctic box stove as well:
- 2 weeks of fuel is typically much, much larger than 30-60 gallons of gas fuel in tanks/bottles/cans
- Bulkier device due to chimney needs
- requires setup (more than fetching a big bottle, attaching a hose, and pulling a small, fairly compact box out of a closet)
- Requires venting
- Homemade req's tools/skill and some investment; purchased cast iron tends to be some pricey
- Req's more frequent cleaning (much more frequent) than a purchased gas stove


Should funding be limited, there are quickie, inexpensive helps that can buy you time.
A Mylar blanket under a mattress or couch cushions, Mylar blanket above, and the little candle-flower pot heaters can be done now, while you're doing research, and all of them have other uses now, annually, or during an emergency of any level that includes outages.
The $10-25 investment in things that will get used can give you a little breathing room to decide which $125-$200-$600 heater and fuels you want to buy or $60-$100 DIY option you want to pursue.

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cernunnos5
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Re: alternate backup winter heating

Post by cernunnos5 » Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:53 pm

Perfesser wrote:Propane and gas lanterns give off a lot of heat. Why not consider something that does double duty? Instead of looking for a heater, get a couple of lanterns.
At the cottage the bathroom is in an unheated space. If I run a propane light for half an hour it warms it up as well as any heater, then you can turn it right down to maintain some heat and light too.
.
I just wanted to second this. I lived through an alberta winter in an un-insulated van, using this. It was still cold but not deadly cold. You will still need to occasionally let air in and carbon monoxide out.....but they throw better heat than many heaters out there. Propane would be best. Consider one of the colman hookups that allow it to work off a barbecue tank
Last edited by cernunnos5 on Sun Oct 12, 2014 5:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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