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Topic # 195026 3-Apr-2016 11:21
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Not sure if this is the correct forum (mods please move if required).

 

We have a 10 week old baby and now that we are starting to head into winter I want to make sure her nursery is going to be warm enough. We have a very well insulated house and hydronic underfloor heating which keeps the house to a very comfortable 18-20 degrees minimum (on the ground floor). However the nursery is on the first floor and whilst it never gets freezing it can drop down to 16-17 degrees in the middle of a very cold night.

 

So I want some sort of electric heater I can plug into the wall, with a thermostat, which I can control via my automation system. So just wondering what peoples thoughts/suggestions are for good heaters for this purpose? I don't want to put a heatpump unit in there as it just won't get used very much, so is not worth the cost.

 

I have read wall heaters are not very good, not warm enough apparently, so probably a convection heater of some sort?


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  Reply # 1525162 3-Apr-2016 11:43
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This doesn't strictly meet your criteria, but my approach was to install a panel heater from Econo-Heat and combine that with a Heater Mate, separated by a metre or so to get a more accurate room temperature.

 

We can get away with just the low watt panel heater, because we have a central heating system as well. The central heating was set at 17 degrees over night, then had the panel heater do the "fine tuning" to 20 degrees on top of that. 

 

One difference with your setup is that the baby was in the room with us. If they were in a separate room, I'd think about getting an alarmed thermometer, or some alternative failsafe.


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  Reply # 1525163 3-Apr-2016 11:53
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We found we were good with a portable electric oil bar heater that has a thermostat on it. 

 

Nice dry and quiet heat without a fan.

 

 

 

Cant put too close to wall or cot though




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  Reply # 1525164 3-Apr-2016 11:54
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Thanks @froob. So you find the panel heater quite effective? I guess if it is not heating from freezing but a reasonable base temp, thanks to central heating, it probably works ok?


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  Reply # 1525170 3-Apr-2016 12:34
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I was in the same situation as you. I looked up econo-heaters, they essentially as a small and constant 200-300 watt heater. They're essentially designed to keep a base temperature in a well insulated room of around 18 degrees. However, if the room is not well insulated, then it's like pouring water into a leaky bucket - pissing money down the drain as they constantly run as full bore, never able to pump out the heat fast enough, and then lower itself to maintain that heat. This also comes into play if you're constantly opening the door to the nursery or leaving the door ajar.

 

We found personally if wasn't effective enough.

 

However we needed a silent, and effective source of heat and finally settled on one of these. on full blast they heat his room up extremely fast and maintain the heater very effectively due to the large surface area from the mica heater panels. We bought it due to it being highly reccomended through Consumer Magazine.

 

The only downside we quickly found was the thermostat was awful and bought a heater mate and we haven't worried about the temperature in our boys room since.

 

Edit: my wife is heavily involved in numerous Facebook baby groups, and were this crops up often in terms of an accurate and easy to read thermometer - we absolutely love our gro-egg for the wee light, and easy to read but not too bright digital display.


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  Reply # 1525178 3-Apr-2016 12:58
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SumnerBoy:

Thanks @froob. So you find the panel heater quite effective? I guess if it is not heating from freezing but a reasonable base temp, thanks to central heating, it probably works ok?



It worked well for us. The panel heater is only 400 watts, so without the central heating as a backup, I think we would have needed a large wattage heater. For comparison, the room we were using it in is a medium sized bedroom, fully insulated, but with older singled glazed wooden windows, 2.7m stud height, in the Wellington region.

If you do go with the panel heater, keep in mind that it should ideally be mounted on an internal wall, and it needs to be away from curtains, and near a power point. Some of our rooms wouldn't have a suitable spot.

It also gives off a "new heater smell" for the first few hours of use, so you would want to give it a good run with the baby out and windows open, to begin with.


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  Reply # 1525222 3-Apr-2016 15:43
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We use an oil column heater and a heatermate, IMO it's the business. A portable heater means you can move things around without the restriction of something screwed to the wall.

People think panel heaters save money because they're a lower wattage. The reality is, they're on longer because they're a smaller heater. You need to put a certain number of watts into a room to keep it at the required temp. A larger heater puts those watts in faster so is off longer.
In the end they cost the same to run.

The only ones that cost less to run are the "eco" ones and that's because they're only @ 100 watts, and all they're designed to do is keep the chill off, nothing more.




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  Reply # 1525232 3-Apr-2016 16:30
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If you do get a mica one, then watch out for cat's peeing on it when it is stored in the shed etc. I have had 2 ruined by that when neighbour cats were getting in there. The oil column heaters cleaned off just fine, but no way to sort out the mica one, and boy did it stink when plugged in.





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  Reply # 1525249 3-Apr-2016 17:35
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Place the heater in the coldest part of the room. Which will most likely be under the Window. This is so the convection current produced by the heater will cancel out the convection current created by the Window. If you place the heater against an internal wall. The 2 convection currents will add together. This means more air movement and different temperatures in different parts of the room. This means you will probably have to keep the room hotter to compensate.

Place the thermostat on an internal wall though.







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  Reply # 1525416 3-Apr-2016 22:15
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Looks like one of those Kent Mica heaters might be worth a shot. $140 from Mitre 10, and I have a Z-Wave wall controller I can use to control it (already have a temperature sensor in the nursery). I agree that not having to screw something to the wall is appealing, although it would be more discrete especially if painted the same colour as the wall. But then with a portable heater it can be moved around if we rearrange the layout of the room, or need the heater elsewhere.

 

Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions.


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  Reply # 1525424 3-Apr-2016 22:24
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We just upgraded our oil column heaters with thermostats to heat pumps, just remember a warm/ cool, happy baby will sleep better ;)

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  Reply # 1525438 3-Apr-2016 22:34
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Aredwood: Place the heater in the coldest part of the room. Which will most likely be under the Window. This is so the convection current produced by the heater will cancel out the convection current created by the Window. If you place the heater against an internal wall. The 2 convection currents will add together. This means more air movement and different temperatures in different parts of the room. This means you will probably have to keep the room hotter to compensate.

Place the thermostat on an internal wall though.


Wow never knew that!



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  Reply # 1525439 3-Apr-2016 22:36
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Blanch: We just upgraded our oil column heaters with thermostats to heat pumps, just remember a warm/ cool, happy baby will sleep better ;)

 

Would you mind sharing how much it cost to install a small heat pump unit (suitable for a nursery)?


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  Reply # 1525442 3-Apr-2016 22:38
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About $2200 if you can source the unit yourself and pay only the install.

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  Reply # 1525443 3-Apr-2016 22:40
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My heatpump is rated 3.2kw output for 550W. I imagine it only takes 500w of heat so probably only uses 200w including overhead. Got three of these :) one for each room.

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  Reply # 1525447 3-Apr-2016 22:48
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SumnerBoy:

 

Blanch: We just upgraded our oil column heaters with thermostats to heat pumps, just remember a warm/ cool, happy baby will sleep better ;)

 

Would you mind sharing how much it cost to install a small heat pump unit (suitable for a nursery)?

 

 

We went with a multi split unit and did 3x bedrooms, no spike in power usage and the wife has had them on most nights during the summer. 


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