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Topic # 114212 12-Feb-2013 11:28 Send private message

Moved into a new flat recently, it's already quite cold and it's not even winter yet. It's a two bedroom place (one room only being used as a spare/storage room) with quite high ceilings (~3.5m). There is no heating at all apart from two blocked off fire places.

We are looking for two heaters, one for the lounge and something for the the bedroom.

For the bedroom we where looking at one of those panel heaters advertised on TV just to keep the chill off, but I have no idea what would be best for the lounge.

Anyone have suggestions for what to use in the lounge, and has anyone had experience with the panel heaters? (http://www.econo-heat.co.nz/order-electric-heating-now.php)
 

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  Reply # 759985 12-Feb-2013 11:36 One person supports this post Send private message

Without insulation trying to heat the air in the room is futile. Even the thinnest cheapest insulation is far far better than nothing. I did a whole house with eco-wool for $1000 that made a HUGE difference. A few years later I added pink batts on top, it made a big difference again. Then I did a bunch of other stuff that made it even better, ground sheets, double glazing, wall and floor insulation, etc.

Assuming you're renting you should ask your landlord to insulate, as it's been pretty warm, and the problem with my well insulated house has been cooling the damn thing down. If you're cold already then you're in trouble. If they won't insulate I suggest you move to somewhere warmer. A DVS is good to dry a place out, which makes it easier to heat, but provides little effective heating in winter.

Those old bar heaters that directly heat objects would be more effective for a lounge. They're not so nice I think, but they're effective.

All forms of electric heating that doesn't involve at heat pump are equally efficient. Oil and panel heaters are in effect less efficient because their heat goes straight up, heating the ceiling and pushing colder air down. Fan heaters at least put heat where it's needed, on the people. Eco heaters should be banned just because of their misleading name. They're no more efficient than anything.

Don't use an unflued gas heater, a byproduct of combustion is water, so your whole place will be damp.




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  Reply # 759988 12-Feb-2013 11:37 Send private message

Sorry but you're battling against the fact that your heat is going to escape easily, so you'll need to pump more in. Quite honestly most portable heating options cost as much as each other, simply because you'll need to be putting in energy as fast as it's escaping.

An option that may work is the radiator heater, whereby you're 'shining' the heat right at you rather than trying to heat all the air in the room around you.

Otherwise you simply can't go past some decent insulation and a good heat source like a fire, flued gas heaters or a heat pump. Perhaps discuss with the landlord? Or get used to lots of layers and an electric blanket etc.



EDIT: Agree completely with Timmmay above, who bet me to it Wink

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  Reply # 759991 12-Feb-2013 11:41 Send private message

Fires make places colder in my opinion. The modern ones have to have gaps around the exhaust so when they're off cold air flows in and out freely. Old ones with chimneys are even worse. Unless you have free firewood and plan to leave it going 24/7 don't bother.

Insulation + heat pump = win




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  Reply # 759993 12-Feb-2013 11:44 Send private message

I'm counting on lots of clothing either way :P
I don't think insulation will be an option, as far as I can tell all the external walls are solid Oamaru Stone brick, and where the bottom of a two story flat. We also have those terrible 2m high slide up windows, we might be able to convince the owners to get some thermal curtains but this is a student flat which are all owned by slumlords.


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  Reply # 759995 12-Feb-2013 11:46 Send private message

The second floor should act as insulation of sorts.... maybe. Curtains will help. More clothes are probably your best option, fingerless gloves, or just sleeping there and spending your time elsewhere.

There should be enforced minimum standards for rental accommodation.




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  Reply # 759999 12-Feb-2013 11:49 Send private message

I agree, also trying to convince the girlfriend we should swap the spare bedroom and the one we sleep in now around as the spare room is smaller and has single slide up window instead of a huge bay window which should be a lot easier to keep warm.

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  Reply # 760001 12-Feb-2013 11:57 Send private message

Consider getting these for the windows.

http://www.350.org.nz/our-projects/Window-insulation-kits

We have them on most of our windows and they do actually work.

I can't comment on how easy they are to remove them because I have never tried. They are designed to be removed each year so should not be too hard.

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  Reply # 760003 12-Feb-2013 12:03 Send private message

Removing those is a nightmare, I had to repaint the windows in places. I have a bunch lying in my shed in Wellington, I should sell them or give them away.




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  Reply # 760004 12-Feb-2013 12:07 Send private message

It's a war man, and if you're on a student budget you've got to think rough and ready.  As you can see the emphasis is really on trapping and keeping the energy you put into the room.

Beware those kits don't work so well on huge ranch sliders. It's too big a span for the cling wrap to span.

Honestly in your situation I would buy industrial bubble wrap sheets and place them two thick on the inside of the windows. Then make a concerted effort to reduce any major drafts. Block the top of the curtains and seal the bottom of curtains and doors with those draft snakes etc.

See my experiences here:
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=48&topicid=64936&page_no=3

The only reason I mentioned a fire is they do typically produce a lot of heat for your buck, but agree that open fireplaces etc are fundamentally flawed in that most of the heat goes straight up the chimney. If you have a fireplace in the unit that you're not using then seal that up.

It's tricky though, in that you don't want to go so far as to create a place that's so sealed it becomes overly moist. Drying the unit out can help a lot too, as it costs a lot more to heat air laden with too much water.



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  Reply # 760009 12-Feb-2013 12:25 Send private message

I'll take a look through that post. Those 3m kits look good, but the paint on the windows is already coming off (most of the windows are rotten). It's mentioned on the condition report that the windows are in bad condition so might be able to get away with it anyway.

If your looking getting rid of those spare kits you have I might be able to buy them off you and give it a try.

I'm no longer a student (graduated last year) but haven't started the post=graduation job hunt yet so a lowly night shift manager wage at McDonalds which isn't much better then the student budget :P

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  Reply # 760010 12-Feb-2013 12:27 Send private message

I'll have a look in the shed next time I'm out there, but PM me to remind me if you want me to take a look.




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  Reply # 760011 12-Feb-2013 12:29 Send private message

Look, if it's less than 4 degrees inside, you should climb in your fridge.

Without being rude, if you're cold already I suggest it would be cheaper to move somewhere better. Even $40 more per week will be less than what you could be spending to heat your flat. Or more specifically to provide underfloor heating to the flat above and to generously try and heat your town outside.



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  Reply # 760017 12-Feb-2013 12:37 Send private message

Most student flats are on a 1 year contract down here, including mine. Our plan it basically to make it through this year anyway we can then when the contract comes up for renewal (1st jan 2014) ask them to install something, in particular, new windows and cutains as the current ones are buggered, even if it means a slight increase in rent, or leave if there unwilling.

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  Reply # 760018 12-Feb-2013 12:42 Send private message

I think the order to tackle things would probably be air leaks, ceiling insulation, then curtains, but I could be wrong.




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  Reply # 760019 12-Feb-2013 12:44 Send private message

There is a lot of drafts in the windows, we've tried to get rid of most them with a cheap roll of adhesive backed foam.

Also should mention we have access to a dehumidifier

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