Author Topic: Cheapest way to heat this room?  (Read 8660 times)

purplish

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Cheapest way to heat this room?
« on: January 30, 2014, 07:30:02 PM »
My bedroom is the coldest room in the house.  Whatever temp I have the rest of my condo set at, it's significantly colder.  I have forced hot air with stand up radiators, it works fine in the room, it's just not large enough to heat it properly.  I feel like I have 3 options, and I don't know which is the least expensive:

1. Turn down all the radiators in the rest of the rooms, so that it heats my room more, thus evening out the temp (this is what I'm doing right now, as well as using a heated blanket).  This would be the most comfortable, however it makes the heat system work more so maybe that is more expensive.

2. Use a space heater.  Will be uncomfortable while I'm waiting for it to heat up, but nice once it is.  Maybe this would be more expensive since it uses electricity?

3. Buy a larger radiator (which is really what the room needs).  I would definitely get this installed and not attempt to do this myself.  I would imagine over $500 to do this?


Thegoblinchief

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2014, 08:43:02 PM »
Is it too cold to sleep? If that's the main issue, electric blanket is by far the cheapest.

Otherwise, space heater for when you're actually in there.

cdttmm

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2014, 09:08:13 PM »
I'll second the suggestion of an electric blanket. You could also consider an electric mattress pad. Or you could do what I do and use an electric heating pad to keep my feet warm initially and then turn it off before going go sleep. I've also been known to heat up the SnuggleSafe disks we have for our cats and put them in the bed to warm my feet. The cats then usually join me in bed and I'm warm all night long!

These suggestions all assume that it is too cold to sleep comfortably in this bedroom. Is there another bedroom you could sleep in instead? For how many weeks/months of the year is it cold enough for this to be an issue? If it is a relatively short period of time, could you simply sleep on the couch in the living room (where it is presumably warmer) for a few weeks? Just trying to get you to think out of the box here.

Greg

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2014, 09:18:06 PM »
Forced air radiators?  I've never heard of this.  Can you explain better?

Otherwise, I prefer my bedroom a lot colder than the rest of my home.  Even when it's very cold out, I open a window.  I don't actually use the heat upstairs (2 floors) except when my folks visit.

Also, look for other reasons it's cold.  Drafty windows, deck slider, skylights, attic door, that sort of thing.  Vaulted ceiling?  Try a ceiling fan.

TomTX

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2014, 06:40:27 PM »
You left out a critical point: What energy source is used to produce the heat from your radiators? Oil? Propane? Natural gas? Electricity?

What is the cost of that, versus the cost of electric heat in your room?

Emilyngh

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2014, 06:49:09 PM »
My bedroom is the coldest room in the house.  Whatever temp I have the rest of my condo set at, it's significantly colder.  I have forced hot air with stand up radiators, it works fine in the room, it's just not large enough to heat it properly.  I feel like I have 3 options, and I don't know which is the least expensive:

1. Turn down all the radiators in the rest of the rooms, so that it heats my room more, thus evening out the temp (this is what I'm doing right now, as well as using a heated blanket).  This would be the most comfortable, however it makes the heat system work more so maybe that is more expensive.

2. Use a space heater.  Will be uncomfortable while I'm waiting for it to heat up, but nice once it is.  Maybe this would be more expensive since it uses electricity?

3. Buy a larger radiator (which is really what the room needs).  I would definitely get this installed and not attempt to do this myself.  I would imagine over $500 to do this?

4.   Get an electric blanket.   (looove my electric blanket and it uses minimal electricity compared to your other options).

greaper007

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2014, 09:16:07 PM »
Make a heating pad out of a sock with rice in it, or even a baked potato.    There were some studies years ago (potentially dubious) that made a connection between long term health problems and electrical fields.   It could be complete bovine excrement, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.   Plus I think it would be cheaper to use the microwave for a few minutes than leave an electric blanket on all night.

purplish

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2014, 09:23:55 PM »
Guys I'm one step ahead of you, already use an electric blanket at night :)  The room is still much colder.  I think cause both it's a corner room, and also maybe not good insulation?  Also like I said, the radiator itself is too small for the room. 

About the heat- forced hot air is just that, air.  Radiators use either that or water.  I don't know much more about it, but radiators like this are common in this area (New England) since buildings here are older. 

Also, I really don't want to switch rooms/sleep on the couch. 

greaper007

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2014, 09:33:00 PM »
Hmmm, I'm not even sure you can buy a new radiator.   I did construction in college and I remember we did a remodel on an old mansion.   We ended up making lots of money by selling the old radiators, apparently they're not being made anymore.   These were big old cast iron radiators from maybe the 20s or earlier.   They work in conjunction with a boiler, is this what you're talking about?

If it is, and the room isn't the size of Bruce Wayne's then it sounds like you have a problem with the radiator.   I had a radiator in my dorm room in college and it was so hot we slept with the windows open.   Look up how to drain a radiator on youtube.    You could potentially have a lot of sediment or air pockets that aren't allowing the hot water from the boiler to enter the apparatus.

purplish

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2014, 09:59:26 PM »
Hmmm, I'm not even sure you can buy a new radiator.   I did construction in college and I remember we did a remodel on an old mansion.   We ended up making lots of money by selling the old radiators, apparently they're not being made anymore.   These were big old cast iron radiators from maybe the 20s or earlier.   They work in conjunction with a boiler, is this what you're talking about?

If it is, and the room isn't the size of Bruce Wayne's then it sounds like you have a problem with the radiator.   I had a radiator in my dorm room in college and it was so hot we slept with the windows open.   Look up how to drain a radiator on youtube.    You could potentially have a lot of sediment or air pockets that aren't allowing the hot water from the boiler to enter the apparatus.
Yeah I don't know who still makes them.  Mine is a mini one, not as big as the ones you're thinking.  It does feel very hot to the touch so it's not that it's not working, it just isn't enough heat to heat the whole room.  Not sure if that size is common.  FYI it's not a water radiator, it's air, so it doesn't get bled.  I thought that too at first till a professional explained it to me, he also confirmed that it's just too small for the room.

Emg03063

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2014, 12:20:37 AM »
I've never heard of a forced hot air radiator either--just water and steam.  If it's really air, why run it through a radiator instead of simply allowing it to vent into the room?  Regardless, if the radiator is hot, you will get some mileage out of blowing a fan across it to increase the rate of heat transfer from the radiator to the room, placing foil faced foam board behind the radiator to avoid pushing heat into an exterior wall if the insulation is poor, and insulating your windows.  (Shrink wrap from Home Depot or http://www.windowinserts.com/?gclid=CNy9j9OwqrwCFcdQOgodZRIALg )

purplish

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2014, 08:36:41 AM »
I've never heard of a forced hot air radiator either--just water and steam.  If it's really air, why run it through a radiator instead of simply allowing it to vent into the room?  Regardless, if the radiator is hot, you will get some mileage out of blowing a fan across it to increase the rate of heat transfer from the radiator to the room, placing foil faced foam board behind the radiator to avoid pushing heat into an exterior wall if the insulation is poor, and insulating your windows.  (Shrink wrap from Home Depot or http://www.windowinserts.com/?gclid=CNy9j9OwqrwCFcdQOgodZRIALg )

Does shrink wrapping windows look obvious?  I've never done it before.  And thank you for the ideas.

ender

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2014, 09:51:48 AM »
I've taken to running a small space heater in the bedroom. Same issue, except our apartment furnace just doesn't keep up.

Electricity where I live is cheap and a little 1400W space heater (at max setting which I never put it at) doesn't hardly cost much at all to run.

ritchie70

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2014, 12:33:43 PM »
I have to agree I've never heard of "forced air radiators" either. Maybe it's a hot water or steam radiator with a fan to circulate air over it?

Can you maybe post a photo of this thing so we can see it?

Greg

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2014, 12:58:26 PM »
Depending on how you use your bedroom, option 1 might be better than option 2.  If you use the room for more than sleeping.  Option 2 would make more sense if you only use it for sleeping, and want to warm it up briefly before retiring.  Electric space heaters are very efficient, and you can get them with programmable thermostats so that once you set it, it can work on its own and warm up the space before you usually enter, etc.

sparklebunny

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2014, 05:29:27 PM »
My daughters room is significantly colder than the rest of the house. We bought an infrared heater from amazon and it's amazing. Works well and can set to turn off when the room hits a certain temp.

daverobev

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2014, 07:34:14 PM »
Do you have *pipes*, like.. water pipes.. running to the radiator? You can't (efficiently) *blow* a cast iron radiator hot.

If you have radiators, you might want to get the system flushed and either a filter installed or checked - if gunk gets into the pipes (rust, sediment, etc), it will flow badly to some places. Get the circulation up, win.

If it's forced air you should have vents and large HVAC channels.

If it is forced air radiators I have no idea what you're talking about. But I sympathise - our room is the coldest in the house (heating doesn't come on for long periods, and the vent to us takes longest to warm up, so by the time we've started to get hot air... it turns off again).

soccerluvof4

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2014, 05:24:08 AM »
Forced air radiators?  I've never heard of this.  Can you explain better?

Otherwise, I prefer my bedroom a lot colder than the rest of my home.  Even when it's very cold out, I open a window.  I don't actually use the heat upstairs (2 floors) except when my folks visit.

Also, look for other reasons it's cold.  Drafty windows, deck slider, skylights, attic door, that sort of thing.  Vaulted ceiling?  Try a ceiling fan.

I'm interested in how you do this.  After reading your reply with heat rising it makes alot of sense. Our house doesnt have zone heating but the 4 bedrooms are upstairs. Do you just shut the vents off or are you doing a change in the flow out from the furnace. We have forced air.

Thanks

Greg

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2014, 05:43:50 PM »
I'm interested in how you do this.  After reading your reply with heat rising it makes alot of sense. Our house doesnt have zone heating but the 4 bedrooms are upstairs. Do you just shut the vents off or are you doing a change in the flow out from the furnace. We have forced air.

We have 2 zones, one for each floor, it's radiant floor heat.  The upstairs is reasonable 50 weeks out of the year without the upstairs heat even on.  But, we like it cool for sleeping and otherwise spend little time up there except for sleep and related activities.

If you have forced air, the easiest thing would be to adjust the louvers at each register.  They may make more noise though.  There may be a way to adjust the flow in the furnace area, sometimes there are provisions for that, a large damper in one of the trunk ducts.  Another option is magnetic sheet covers, sold at some hardware stores, but they're more on/off although you could cover just part I suppose.

Hope that helps!

Emg03063

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2014, 10:36:07 PM »

Does shrink wrapping windows look obvious?  I've never done it before.  And thank you for the ideas.

I've never done it myself, tbh, but I think it's fairly common.  Kits are here:   http://t.homedepot.com/p/Frost-King-E-O-Indoor-Window-Insulation-Kit-9-Pack-V73-9QPA/202262335/

greaper007

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2014, 08:54:39 PM »
Shrink wrapping is a pain, but it's totally worth it.   I saved hundreds of dollars in my ct house in a single year by turning down the thermostat to 55 and shrink wrapping the windows.   

It's not difficult, it's just time consuming.   You have to tape up each window and then use a hair dryer on it to get rid of the wrinkles.   I really don't think it looks that bad if you take a minute to make it look neat.

A lot of insulation experts will tell you that air sealing is much more important than insulation.

AlexK

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Re: Cheapest way to heat this room?
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2014, 09:09:24 PM »
How do you know option #1 makes the heating system work harder? As far as I know that is the way you balance the system, you restrict the rooms which are getting too much heat.