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  Reply # 649389 2-Jul-2012 10:11 Send private message

Niel: No one has mentioned LPG heaters, so here goes for completeness. They produce a huge amount of heat both radiant and convection. Great solution, but not for NZ. The by product is water and lots of it. In dry countries that is fine, but not here. Would love to see someone develop an LPG heater which captures the moisture. Yes you can vent it outside, but there goes lots of heat as well. (More about moisture down below.)


Carbon monoxide too, these standalone LPG heaters are dangerous in smaller rooms. 

I have a vented gas heater -- the expelled air is very hot and a total waste.

I've investigated into heat exchangers a little, to see if the heat can be extracted from the vented gas and reintroduced into the house. Such a waste!



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  Reply # 649406 2-Jul-2012 10:19 Send private message

All heaters are equally efficient at turning power to heat, but oil heaters without a fan overheat one part of the room and leave the rest colder. There was a consumer article on this in the past two months.

To heat a huge room you need a huge amount of heat. There's no getting around it, it will need a heat pump to be comfortable, as well as insulation and the draft stopped.

Of the options available a standard fan heater will be best. Instead of the heat going straight up it goes toward you at least, so you get some benefit before it goes up.




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  Reply # 649428 2-Jul-2012 11:00 Send private message

I bought the infrared heater (also known as a "radiant heater") from Bunnings and we used it last night. Out of all the other heaters that I've tried (oil column, ceramic, basic fan heater, convector heater) this has been the best for us. The heat is instant and it really does feel as if it is being beamed right at you (so long as there's nothing between you and the heater). The room itself did heat up, which I didn't expect as from what I had read they are meant to heat the people and surfaces and not the air (although I guess some heat must get transferred to the air). I put my hand on the back of the heater and it was only slightly warm, but moving to the front it was very hot. Also it's silent as there's no fan and provides a nice glow.

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  Reply # 649435 2-Jul-2012 11:06 Send private message

MurrayM: I'm having trouble heating the house that I'm currently renting.  The lounge, which is the only room that I'm interested in heating at the moment, is quite large and there is an A-frame roof which is very tall.  Because I'm only renting I can't install anything like a heat pump.

Over the years I've collected a few different types of heaters: oil heater, small fan heater, ceramic heater with fan.  All of these heat the air which then goes straight up to the high ceiling and we don't feel it at ground level.  The master bedroom is on the second floor just off the lounge and the difference in the air temperature between the lounge ground level and the lounge ceiling is remarkable.

Someone suggested I get an infrared heater, which I understand is also called a radiant heater.  These operate by heating the people and not the air.  Sounded good so I visited Mitre 10, Bunnings and The Warehouse.  All had radiant heaters of different sizes and ratings but nobody could explain to me the difference between them.  Hopefully someone here can.

I was looking at a smallish three bar radiant heater, with a 2400W rating for $49.99, and comparing it with a four bar radiant heater with a 2200W rating for $117.  The four bar was about twice the size of the three bar, and on castors.

My question was if the smaller, cheaper heater put out more heat than the larger more expensive heater, why would anyone buy the bigger one?  Or was I missing something?  Was it perhaps 2200W per bar, in which case I can understand the larger heater generating more heat (2200 x 4 bars verses 2400 x 3 bars)?  the shop assistants couldn't answer my question.


Those high ceilings can be a pain. They help cool a room in summer, but help keep it cool in the winter. 

I have known people to hang a fan to blow the warm air up there back down....placed at the opposite end of the room WRT the heater....aiding the convection cycle. If you can't hang a proper fan, you might just devise a custom solution that is easily mounted / unmounted and won't require mods to the rented home. Like a high shelf with a fan sitting on it pointed downward (held by clips or brackets).   




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  Reply # 649444 2-Jul-2012 11:14 Send private message

Linuxluver: Those high ceilings can be a pain. They help cool a room in summer, but help keep it cool in the winter.  

I have known people to hang a fan to blow the warm air up there back down....placed at the opposite end of the room WRT the heater....aiding the convection cycle. If you can't hang a proper fan, you might just devise a custom solution that is easily mounted / unmounted and won't require mods to the rented home. Like a high shelf with a fan sitting on it pointed downward (held by clips or brackets).   


Thanks for the suggestion.  I had thought about a fan but I think it might be too much trouble.  The radiant heater seems to be working well and we usually only use a heater for a month or so in the coldest part of winter (I'm in Auckland so I can't really complain compared to other parts of the country!)  Still, it has taught me a lesson on what to look for when buying a house.

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  Reply # 649586 2-Jul-2012 14:27 Send private message

saw this article in the NZ Herald in the last day or two:

Bubble wrap for warmth
Bubble wrap is being rolled out as a budget-friendly way to insulate chilly homes
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10816562

sounds like a decent non-permanent solution if you're not concerned about seeing out your windows and i'm sure it would help out in the heating scenario.




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  Reply # 649587 2-Jul-2012 14:31 Send private message

Regs: saw this article in the NZ Herald in the last day or two:

Bubble wrap for warmth
Bubble wrap is being rolled out as a budget-friendly way to insulate chilly homes


See my post about half way down here for an example of this.

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  Reply # 649588 2-Jul-2012 14:35 Send private message

Bubble wrap is used to insulate glasshouses in winter. I used a temporary double glazing from bunnings one winter, it helped a lot with condensation, but it made a heck of a mess of my window frames - I had to repaint them.




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  Reply # 649620 2-Jul-2012 15:44 Send private message

In our old (previous) house I've done a budget double glazing, then a few years later saw a product on the market to do the same. I think Jaxon might have asked me for more info on it a while ago, before he got to bubble wrap. What I did was to use a Mylar sheet which our company no longer used. This was a high voltage insulation sheet used in winding transformers. Cut to size and stuck to the inside of the windows over the timber frame to trap a pocket of air so the thermal gradient per interface is less (i.e. half the gradient from outside to pocket and the other half from pocket to inside). With a smaller gradient there is less chance for condensation. You also have minimal circulation inside the pocket which further reduces heat transfer/leak. I've used a double sided tape called VHB tape, actually it is not tape but just a strip of glue that looks like tape. Not like normal double sided tape which is foam with glue on either side. With foam double sided tape the thickness results in larger gaps at the corners where the tape joins.

Anyway, it worked well with minimal impact on visibility. Any plastic sheet will work, it just comes down to cost. And bubble wrap has the added advantage of another layer of air pockets - the bubbles - so reducing the other thermal gradients.

Bottom line, the more layers the better. And I believe window tint is also Mylar, but for thermal insulation you want it away from the glass (air pocket) and not against it.




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  Reply # 649624 2-Jul-2012 15:49 Send private message

Niel, you've built what's pretty much retrofit double glazing. They're all much the same, the only variations are the exact material and how it attaches to the window.




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  Reply # 649842 3-Jul-2012 06:20 Send private message

timmmay: Niel, you've built what's pretty much retrofit double glazing. They're all much the same, the only variations are the exact material and how it attaches to the window.

At the time the only commercial option available was either replace with proper double glazing or a second pane of glass. For about $30 for our whole house I came up with a solution that was effective and there was no such product on the market (I've looked). A few years later (4-5) a kit came on the market for doing exactly that, a plastic sheet you stick to the frame, and I think it was an infomercial.

My point was that bubble wrap is effective, but you can use a sheet of plastic as well if you want to see out the windows and I explained how it works rather than "this works". Furthermore I gave the name of a tape that is effective, which by the way is easy to clean off and will not damage window frames. And pointed out that window tint can also be used. I'm giving people direction and ideas for making their home warmer with little cost until they can afford the right stuff.

(It was not Jaxon that asked me about Mylar, it was another GZer.)




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