Ceiling Fan Heater – Heat Rooms With High Ceilings

Having a large house presents certain problems. Some of those are less obvious than others. One of the less obvious but most common is heating large rooms with high ceilings. These rooms can use up a lot of energy in heating them, partly because heat tends to want to rise as opposed to stay on the ground level where gives the occupants the most benefit. To counteract that law of physics, a ceiling fan heater can help heat these rooms in an economical manner by using the natural properties of heated and cooled air. A couple of these fans in selected rooms, while not inexpensive, can bring down heating bills significantly especially in the winner.

In this system, the heater is attached to the base of the ceiling fan. Air is heated, and then spread by the fan evenly throughout the room and down to the lower levels. Eventually, as the air rises, it reaches the heater where it is reheated again. This provides a very economical and energy efficient way of heating a large area where central air or heating would be prohibitively expensive. These fans can heat up to 4000 cubic feet of space, which is larger than many standard bedrooms and living rooms. The ceiling fan heater is also safer than normal heating systems in that the unit is located high away from where children and pets can get at the unit.

On top of that, heaters have gone up in technology. While adjustments to a ceiling fan heater required a ladder and steel nerves in previous years today many units are equipped with remote controls. This reduces the amount of time spent in the air on a potentially shaky stepladder adjusting the unit. These types of heaters can be purchased at home improvement stores or they can be found online. The prices range from the mid $100s to the mid $300s. It certainly costs more than a standard fan, but depending upon energy bills it may make up for the initial cost with energy savings from not having to heat the entire house.

A ceiling fan heater may be a great addition to a home depending upon room size and energy bills. It uses fan blades to counteract the forces of physics to heat up large rooms with a minimum expenditure of energy. Though there is some expensive up front, the make up in energy conservation will create a powerful incentive for some to consider this heating source to forge through the winter nights.

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Alternative Heating – Room For Everyone

Even if you owned a million dollar townhouse in Boston’s Back Bay, there just isn’t enough room on a 25′ x 100′ lot for a townhouse, small deck, a couple of parking spaces AND a closed loop geothermal heating system.

However, a roof top solar system for hot water would be doable if you could get the idea past the Historical Preservation groups.

If you live in high humidity Alabama, the environmentally friendly swamp cooler will never be a viable substitute for more expensive air conditioning.

Only when you narrow down the choices for alternative heating based on where you live, can you begin to focus your time and energy on the most relevant, cost effective heating solution.

Urban Alternative Heating
Geothermal, outdoor furnaces and most wind power are not suitable for urban or small-lot suburban homes. Except for very small wind turbines (i.e., with rotors one meter or less in diameter) on very small towers, a property size of one acre or more is desirable.

Wood burning stoves have been used in urban areas for as long as I can remember. I bought my first air tight stove in 1976. Corn and wood pellet stoves are quickly gaining acceptance as new installations or replacements for existing wood stoves.

One Connecticut pellet stove dealer I spoke with said he sold so many wood pellet and corn stoves last winter he was forced to temporarily close one of his two stores for lack of product.

An adaptation of the wood or pellet stove is the fully vented fireplace insert. They are comparably priced to freestanding stoves and offer a simple way to turn an otherwise inefficient fireplace into a source of heat for multiple rooms.

Unvented gas log fireplaces or propane space heaters are less expensive to purchase and install but are controversial with respect to health risks and are prohibited in some localities. Make sure the unit you purchase has an ODS (Oxygen Depletion Sensor). This safety device turns off the heater when the oxygen in the room drops below 18%. (Normal is around 21%)

Decorative gel fireplaces are nice to look at, but aren’t considered legitimate heating devices.

Electric and hydronic (hot water) radiant heat are extremely versatile and can be installed anywhere. The hydronic application of radiant heat can be fueled by anything from corn to gas and can be adapted to heat driveways, hot tubs and of course, your home.

Solar for hot water is on the rise in urban areas. A neighbor of mine in the Port Norfolk section of Boston recently installed a solar array on the roof of his two family home. His contractor did a first rate job and it doesn’t detract from the visual appeal of his house at all. He also says his hot water bill now costs him “chump change”.

Let’s not forget the lowly space heater. For many homeowners who spend most of their time in only one room of an eight room house, an inexpensive space heater is often the first choice to supplement their conventional heating system.

Suburban Alternative Heating
Suburban lot sizes can run anywhere from ¼ of an acre to three acres. But even a quarter acre lot opens up the possibility of a vertical closed loop geothermal system.

A three acre lot will afford you the space to install a slightly less expensive horizontal closed loop geothermal system, a wind turbine or even an outdoor wood, pellet or corn furnace.

At approximately $5000, the outdoor furnace is your least expensive option. A quality 1,800 watt wind turbine and tower can be purchased for $7,000. If geothermal is your system of choice, a new, 3,000 sq. ft. home can be heated and cooled for around $20,000.

If you partner with a program such as Energy Crafted Home in Connecticut, it’s possible to receive a rebate of $713 per ton of geothermal heating/cooling capacity. For the 3,000 sq. ft. home just mentioned, it would mean a rebate totaling $2,971.

Although wind, geothermal and outdoor furnace systems are more expensive than the typical $2000 wood pellet stove, they are very efficient and pay for themselves in only a few years.

The increasingly popular manufactured home is a growing segment of the suburban real estate market, and fire safety codes are very specific as to what you can use to heat your home.

Check with your local building department to find out exactly which alternative heating appliances are permitted before you start shopping for the best deal.

Rural Alternative Heating
Just as the sky and landscape open up in rural America, so do opportunities for alternative heating.

With so much room to work with you could design a CHP (Combined Heat and Power Unit).

An obvious choice for homeowners in the Corn Belt would be an outdoor corn furnace for heat and hot water. Couple this with a low maintenance wind turbine for electricity and it’s possible to achieve a 70%+ reduction in energy costs when compared to fuel oil.

If your property includes a shallow pond or lake, a closed loop geothermal system will heat and cool your home for the cost of electricity to operate a heat pump.

The choices for alternative heating are plentiful no matter where you live. It’s just a matter of knowing where you fit in.

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What Factors Affect Current Propane Prices?

Propane Prices are constantly fluctuating as they are not typically subject to any government intervention. Propane consumers need to understand the reasons for the changes as it affects their daily budgets. Propane, which is, liquefied petroleum gas that is mixed with natural gas and oil has become an alternative source of energy for a number of families. It can be used for heating homes, drying clothes, heating water, fueling gas fireplaces and even for backdoor barbeque grills.

With this increased use of propane its demand increased meaning an increase in prices. Propane consumers should avoid being overcharged by researching and becoming aware of the propane price in the market. Consumers need to identify a propane supplier in their respective areas that will ensure they have access to cheap propane.

Propane prices just like any other petroleum products are subject to a number of influences, including: the demand and supply of propane, the current prices of crude oil and the distance the propane needs to travel to reach its final consumer.

Current propane prices like most marketable fuels are a reflection of the current prices of crude oil. Crude oil and natural gas processing are the main raw materials from which propane is manufactured. Crude oil prices are affected by the global markets, which are constantly fluctuating as a result of demand and supply fluctuations. The cost of raw material used to make a product directly impacts on the price of the final product. It is important to note that even though propane comes from crude oil, it is a direct competitor and therefore its prices directly impact propane prices.

Supply and demand is another factor which influences current prices of propane. If there is an increase in demand of propane the prices go up. Propane supply and demand are subject to seasons, domestic productions of a region and inventory levels. Propane usage varies according to the season. During winter there is a higher demand as compared to summer seasons. Consumers who need cheap propane need to make use of seasonal variations in prices. If a consumer stocks enough propane fuel in summer to take them through the winter, a considerable amount of money is saved.

When supplies are low, there is no quicker way to increase production produced by a refinery, as propane is produced year in year out. This means that the propane retailers and supply have to dig further into their pockets, they will then pass this increase along to their customers.

The physical location of a consumer and the close proximity of the supplier are other determinants of the current propane prices. A consumer who is located close to a propane supplier pays less than a customer who is located far away from the supplier. The transportation cost factored in is the reason why a farther customer will pay more.

Customers are usually affected whenever there are price spikes. Though they do not have control over the factors causing the hike, there are a number of steps they can take. A consumer should ensure the appliances are working properly and not use excess propane. They should also provide regular tune-ups on the water heaters and ovens.

8 Ways to Save Civilization From Global Warming

Global Warming is coming and I’m sure by now you’ve all heard the inconvenient truth. What I want to do in this article is ignore the smaller things that individuals can do and to look at possible solutions on a macro level.

It’s all very well to get a hundred people to change their metaphorical shoes to those with smaller carbon footprints, but what we really need is something BIG…

#1. Solar Umbrella

Roger Angel’s “sun shade” idea does exactly what it says on the tin. He proposes a giant, solar parasol be erected between the Earth and the Sun to shield our planet from the intense heat. His umbrella comprises 16 trillion flat discs, each about 1 yard wide and weighing less than 1 oz, that attach together to create a large surface area shield able to absorb around 2% of the incoming heat.

The discs would be launched in around 20 million rockets and the project would cost around $4 trillion over 30 years. Needless to say this thing would be excellent – a huge monolithic structure that parasols the entire earth, and at a relatively small cost considering it will ensure the survival of the entire human race!

I’d actually like some feedback here on whether or not this could be done with ordinary parasols instead of high-tech discs – my own research is, at current, inconclusive. I’m working on the premise that each person in ownership of an umbrella or parasol contributes theirs to the scheme but I’ve hit a wall in some of my thermodynamic calculations.

#2. Earth Control System

Imagine a scenario where we are able to physically “drive” the Earth away from the Sun as its intensity increases or as our planet gets hotter. We could ensure that the Earth is always at an optimal distance from the Sun – ensuring crop growth and a safe temperature for the polar ice caps! Global warming increased radically this year? No problem, let’s just move the Earth 100,000 light years away from the Sun!

Now, figuring out the practicality of this is another matter entirely. A super yacht-style rudder will not suffice to harness the solar winds seeing as even a “giga-yacht” is only 100+ metres whereas the Earth measures approximately 12,800km in diameter. This rudder would have to be so large as to be impractical – we might as well put Archimedes on the Moon and give him a massive pole with which to lever the Earth.

Now, taking the film Armageddon (1998) as my scientific research, I know that we can harness the gravitational pull of other celestial bodies to “slingshot” our planet through Space. So, by attaching some initial jet-engines to one side of the Earth’s surface we could start to propel our planet into nearby celestial bodies. The obvious target is Mars.

I know what you’re going to ask. “Come on, Is Mars really big enough to have a gravitational pull strong enough for us to slingshot ourselves?” The answer is: yes and no. Mostly no. Mars has a gravitational pull of 3.7m/s squared – while that of the Earth is 9.81 m/s squared. So we cannot slingshot ourselves from Mars. What we can do, however, is propel ourselves towards Mars with our thrusters and use Mars’ weak gravitational pull to slowly “float” past it and into a target safe haven – in this case the chaotic asteroid belt before Jupiter.

It goes without saying that after some time we should develop a sophisticated AI system to automatically control Earth movement. This will very much be a “set and forget” type system – though will likely have a lovable humanesque persona similar to HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

#3. A Massive Volcano

It is a truth universally acknowledged that any super-volcano erupting ejects large quantities of sulphate particles into the atmosphere and that these particles are capable of naturally reflecting sunlight and absorbing heat. I’m not quite sure what we’re waiting for, then – although I’m sure this is on NASA’s schedule for next month.

So the plan is to fabricate a massive, huge super-volcano that constantly erupts and maintains an ever-growing cloud of friendly sulphate particles in our atmosphere and saves us from our solar deaths.

Now, you can obviously do your part right now by creating as big a volcano you can in your back garden. Just remember one thing – the bigger volcano you can make, the more of a hero you will be at the dawn of our new sulphury, tempestuous Earth that will eventually result as a side-effect of this great scheme.

#4. Plankton

Yes, a company named Planktos Inc. is already testing a strategy that involves creating huge, disgusting plankton to swallow up all our excess carbon dioxide. The firm’s most recent investigation involved dumping tonnes of iron across a 10,000 km square patch of sea-water.

Iron is a key nutrient for plankton and prompts two things: reproduction and growth. Essentially a couple of plankton can morph into an amorphous, slimy, hungry mass. Planktos claim that for every tonne of iron used, 100,000 tonnes of carbon will be taken down from the atmosphere into the ocean.

I suppose the only concern I have here is whether or not growing plankton in size will have any correlation to their intelligence. I think all we can do is be vigilant throughout the growth phase and watch for signs of the plankton attempting to conceal their burgeoning intellects from us. The danger is that we allow a sudden explosion in their intelligence to pass unnoticed and unwillingly enter a situation of tyrannical oppression under giant single-celled overlords. Should this scenario come to pass, it will not be long before they unveil their hellish designs for the human species.

#5. Freeze the Earth’s Core

OK. The temperature inside the Earth’s Core is approximately 4,430°C and is composed predominately of a nickel-iron alloy. The interesting thing here is that because the pressure within the Core is so great (330 to 360 gigapascals), it essentially raises the boiling point of the metals within it to such an astronomical number that its contents remain completely solid. Now, the theory here is that if we can further cool this area (essentially Earth’s central heating system) we can balance out the planet’s temperature and negate any temperature increases from Global Warming.

“We don’t care about theories!”, you say, “there’s no time for all that, just get to the point!” Well, the Inner Core is actually surrounded by a 2,260 km liquid Outer Core. The pressure here much less so the same nickel-iron alloy is allowed to liquefy. By setting up around 100 tactical “super-drills” across the face of the globe, we can actually drill the 2,890 km down to this liquid layer and start pumping in huge quantities of liquid nitrogen with the goal of completely surrounding the solid inner core.

At first, this will be something of a war of attrition because liquid nitrogen will instantly boil at -196°C causing it to instantly solidify (freeze). It really would be a case of freezing our way down to the Core gradually from the Surface but let it be said that any scheme with which we choose to proceed is going to be a large investment of time, money and unflinching dedication. In the business of saving the world it is pig-headedness rather than brains that is the valuable commodity.

The ideal is to get to a stage where we can manually regulate the temperature at the Earth’s Core to perfectly negate any Global Warming temperature increases. I’d welcome a little help here from some of our readers because there really is a multiplicity of available permutations of this strategy. I’ve not even discussed the idea of subterranean liquid nitrogen “bombs” that could be planted within The Core to catalyse the process.

#6. Artificial Trees

What a great idea! Build massive, steel pointy structures that half the job as trees yet look nothing like them and cost a lot more! The idea, known as “air capture” has obviously not “captured” the interest of your author.

Inventor Klaus Lackner invented the idea for his daughter’s science-fair project – a stick with a filter on the end that absorbs carbon dioxide and converts it from a dangerous greenhouse gas into a liquid/ gas form that can easily be disposed of.

It all sounds like a great idea until you think about what trees actually do. Trees convert carbon dioxide nicely into oxygen – very neat, tidy and convenient. Lackner’s “trees”, however, keep the carbon dioxide in carbon form so that instead of harmless floaty oxygen being the product, we now have a semi-dangerous carbon annoyance substance that actually needs to be disposed of itself.

Lackner is proposing that these “trees” would tower up a huge 200 ft and wants them built in their hundreds. So add to the cost of carbon disposal that of 200 ft giant metal trees and then see what comes out!

I think a much more feasible idea is some kind of airborne “tree-bomb” that detonates over wasteland and populates that area with trees. In this way, tree populations can be instantly reviewed and boosted to negate any excess carbon dioxide from global warming.

#7. Destroy the Sun

Yes, we all think about it every day, what about destroying the Sun? There is no doubt about it, destroying the Sun would unequivocally eliminate the problem of global warming. It is scientifically sound, the only problem is how to accomplish it.

Doug’s Darkworld has proposed three areas for investigation:

1. Create a ball of antimatter and propel it into the Sun to physically swallow it up.
2. Travel forwards in time 20 billion years to the death of the Sun.
3. (and most interestingly):

Propel an astronomical object at relativistic speed (close to speed of light) into the Sun. The author of Doug’s Darkworld suggest an asteroid of good size would suffice.

Now, it may appear that there are not a great deal of easily available astronomical bodies to throw into the Sun, yet there is an option closer than you’d think. Yes, the Moon is a useless satellite waiting to fulfill such a heroic destiny – and I’m not quite sure why we’re not yet attempting to dislocate it from our orbit to prepare it for rapid ejection towards our solar enemy. The Moon is composed primarily of iron compounds making it essentially a large cannon-ball waiting to be fired.

Now if it is scientifically proven (please be accurate with your research, I cannot stress that enough) that we actually require the Moon’s ongoing presence for the management of tides, I suggest immediate fabrication of a “proxy-Moon”, the sole purpose of which is rapid ejection into the Sun.

The “proxy-Moon” could conceivably be constructed within 10 years from the International Space Station, and would merely require all countries to ship out as much iron as possible from their national supplies. Obviously, top metal-smiths and iron-mongers could be transported to the Space Station to advise on the specifics of construction.

Once the Moon or “proxy-Moon” is ready for ejection, it is simply a case of accelerating the speed at which the Earth revolves. Planetary revolution must be at such a speed as to be able to spin The Moon out of our gravitational pull – sending it flying into the Sun. the Earth currently spins at 1,670 kmh at the equator (fastest here because here the circumference of the Earth is greatest, so to complete a full revolution, a point must travel further than if it were at a Pole). By my reckoning, if we can increase this speed by a factor of 100 we’ve solved this issue.

#8. Relocate the Human Race

Yes, if it comes down it it and all other options fail, we can just relocate our species to another planet. But what options do we really have?

Well firstly, all life requires an energy source – usually a star i.e. The Sun.

Out nearest star is Proxima Centuri and is approximately 4.3 light years away. But is it habitable? Proxima Centuri is a red dwarf and so is gradually shrinking and burning itself out. It also has a much smaller luminosity than the Sun. Therefore, to receive adequate light for existence, an orbiting body would need to be extremely close to it.

This brings about a further problem. Proxima Centuri is what’s known as a “flare star”; its process of turning hydrogen into helium is much different from that of our Sun because of its low mass and high density and this results in huge solar flares. These solar flares randomly raise and lower the luminosity and heat output of the star making it very unstable as a potential Sun replacement. We could literally be fried at any point.

Of course there are other stars a little further out – including those in Alpha Centuri and Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. I’m going to need some of you to start doing the maths on this one. Again, please be accurate – I found that I had frequently not “carried the ones” on many of my additive enterprises. An advanced technique sure, but let me tell you – there’s no place for errors when it comes to astrophysics – no matter the difficulty of the calculation.

Now having a star is all well and good but we also need a stable planet to inhabit that orbits one of these stars at the optimal distance. Once this is found then we would need to engage in a spot of “terraforming” or modifying that body’s atmosphere, temperature and topography so that it is fit for human habitation. And whilst this obviously requires a huge amount of resources (even to rejig a section of a planet), it really is a relatively simple process. I suppose the main hurdle is water – as this is absolutely necessary for multicellular lifeforms.

Once water is discovered, or artificially created, it really is just a case of starting from scratch and building up. Throw in some micro-organisms and see how they fare. The next step is to fertilize the soil and cover the surface with plant-life. The beauty of this step is that, even on a planet where human beings cannot respire, masses of plants (assuming the presence of carbon dioxide) will essentially fill the atmosphere with oxygen, free of charge!

Relocation of the human race should in no way be seen as just a last-ditch alternative – it really is something that we can be doing gradually – creating small colonies on planets here and there – so that if this option becomes the only remaining alternative, we can all move to our new, alien home(s) without much disruption to our daily schedules.

End Note

I have tried to present this investigation as I would my usual scientific papers but please note that because I am attempting to educate an everyday audience as well as propound my theories for the scientific community, I have had to greatly simplify some of the terminology and calculative processes. Please do not quibble over these simplifications should you find any – I am merely making these highly advanced concepts accessible to the masses. The original document was over twenty giga-pages long (equivalent to 20,000 of your standard pages) and I have not made this freely available in an effort to combat plagiarism within the scientific community.

Radiant Floor Heat: A New Way to Stay Warm

With the summer gone and winter fast approaching, it may be time to reconsider your heating options. People traditionally use boilers and furnaces to keep their homes warm, but there is a new way: radiant floor heat. Unlike traditional heaters, this method does not force warm air through vents into your rooms, and therefore, does not kick up irritating allergens and spread them throughout your home.

If it doesn’t blow warm air, how does it work?

Instead of blowing an enormous amount of hot air through ducts in your home, these systems provide the warmth directly to the ground that you walk on. This methodology works due to the properties of convection and radiant heat transfer.

Convection is the operative term for a concentrated flow of molecules through either a liquid or gas. You have probably heard this term associated with ovens and frozen food. Much like your oven, the warmth is supplied from the bottom. This property achieves a natural flow of warm air in your home as the hot air from the ground rises.

Systems that provide radiant floor heat also rely on the properties of radiant warmth transfer. This property operates via infrared radiation. As the room gets hotter, the warmth is transferred to the people and furniture inhabiting it. Have you felt the warmth of a hot stove top from across the room? Then you have already experienced radiant warmth transfer!

I know that warming the ground you walk upon sounds expensive, but there are a number of financial benefits to using one of these systems. First, they are more efficient than forced-air and baseboard systems, and they use a small amount of electricity. Some of these systems can also be run off wood, oil, gas, or solar energy. There are three main types of ground warming systems. Let’s explore the different options available to the consumer.

Air Systems

Forced-air systems pump hot air through the ground. These systems are highly inefficient since air does not retain warmth well. This fact drives up the cost, and as a result, they are seldom used in the residential setting. They can be very efficient if partnered with a solar panel; however, this is only an advantage while the sun is shining.

Electric Systems

These systems rely on a series of wires being placed in the ground. A conductive top also needs to be put over them to transfer the warmth. This method is only effective if you have a large thermal mass on top of your wires. You will also need an electrical provider that offers time-of-use rates since this particular method requires a lot of electricity. Time-of-use rates allow you to use a lot of electricity during off-peak hours for a lesser charge. This rate needs to be partnered with a large slab of concrete or other significant thermal mass, and you will be able to store enough warmth to last for more than ten hours.

Hydronic Systems

This is the most popular and effective method of providing radiant floor heat. It is also the most cost-effective of all the aforementioned systems. A hydronic system operates by pumping hot water through a pattern of tubing laid in the ground. If you want to adjust the temperature of an individual room, you can do so via the thermostat.

Find out how much money you could save on your energy bills by switching to a hydronic system!

Propane Space Heaters For Use in the Home

Whenever you are choosing the type of heat that you are going to use in your home, propane space heaters should certainly be something that you look at. These are relatively small heaters, that can take care of a rather large indoor area whenever they are purchased properly. They come in a variety of different types and sizes, all the way from temporary heaters that are infrared to the ventless wall heaters that are installed in the home permanently. Regardless of what it is that you’re using now for heat, propane space heaters can replace it and typically save you a considerable amount of money.

Propane is the byproduct of oil refinery and it is an odorless and colorless gas. Most of us are familiar with it because of using barbecue grills, and the propane that is used in this case is compressed into a liquid form. Because it has such a low boiling point, it tends to evaporate quickly and you’re actually using the propane gas that is at the top of the tank. The same is also true whenever you’re heating your home, you may have a large tank on the outside of your home that fuels the heater, but it is really running off of the gas that is coming out of the tank, not the liquid.

Many people that are not familiar with propane space heaters and their use in an indoor environment may consider them to be somewhat dangerous. The opposite is actually true. Propane is manufactured in such a way that an odor is added to it so that you can tell if there is a leak present. Not only that, it is very difficult for a propane tank rupture or explode and specific things need to be in place in order for this to happen. Propane heat is one of the safest ways for you to keep your home warm in the winter.

One of the most important things for you to do when heating a small, indoor area is to choose the right size of propane space heaters that are available. If you’re using a smaller, infrared heater, these typically come in a variety of different sizes but they are not generally used for a permanent heating situation. The wall heaters that are available will typically be able to do anywhere from 300 to 500 square feet. Depending on the size of room that you’re heating, you may need to upgrade the size of your tank to larger than barbecue tank size. You can generally purchase these or rent them from your local propane dealer.

Propane space heaters can provide you with consistent and economical heat, all through the winter time. Whenever you are heating a small area, you can even keep the heat running for the entire room whenever the electricity has gone out. Regardless of whether you are heating a small area or a large indoor area, however, you will have a difficult time finding something that is more economical and more comfortable than what propane can provide for you.

Heating a Garden Building, Outdoor Office, Summerhouse or Posh Shed

The garden building business is blooming booming!

Thanks to technological advances aiding mobile communications and the ever-increasing costs of commuting, many of us are opting to work from home. A self-contained office in the garden provides the perfect environment to do just that.

The downturn in the economy has also played its part in the garden building boom. Financial uncertainty has resulted in a reluctance to move house, with homeowners choosing to stay put and improve and/or extend properties. In some cases this has led to the introduction of a garden building, whether used as a garden room, summerhouse or kids’ den.

To get the maximum use from a garden building, heating (along with light and power) is a must. If the building isn’t warm and cosy, then it won’t be used, particularly in the colder winter months. This article looks at factors to consider when it comes to heating your garden building.

Insulation is key

Is there adequate insulation? Some, but not all purpose-built garden rooms, are adequately insulated. If you have converted a shed or outbuilding, or opted for a lower cost garden building, then you will probably need to add insulation. Without this, the cost of heating could be prohibitively expensive.

Add Heating

In order for any garden building to be comfortable and useable (for more than just storage), all year round, it will need to be heated.

So what factors should you consider when choosing heating for a garden building?

Heat output – when choosing any form of heating it is critical that the option you select has the capacity to adequately heat the space. If in doubt, oversize the heater, as you can always turn it down.
Thermostatic control – choosing a heating option with a thermostat will ensure that your garden building is heated optimally at a constant and comfortable temperature. Thermostatic controls provide efficient and cost- effective use of power; for instance, they can turn off a heater when the room has reached its optimum temperature; perfect on a sunny day for taking advantage of any “free heat” from the sun. By maintaining the temperature above a certain minimum level, you protect the contents of the building, including computers and soft furnishings, from cold or damp related damage.
Timer – by opting for a product with a timer, you can ensure that the heating is on when it needs to be. A timer allows you to set the heating to come on just before you start your day, ensuring a toasty office in time for when you arrive.
Space – by their very nature, many outbuildings are small in size. Therefore space is often a critical factor in choosing your heating option. These days, radiators are available in unusually narrow or low sizes, so there is likely to be something to accommodate even the most awkward of wall spaces. There are also floor-standing heaters, which are portable and take up no wall space.
Budget – it may seem obvious, but costs vary immensely on heating options for garden buildings. For instance, the price of an electric heater can range from £20 for a basic fan heater to £2000 for the ultimate designer model. Take account of installation costs as well, for example if you opt for electric underfloor heating, bear in mind that installation costs may be considerable, especially if the floor needs to be taken up to allow the electric foil mat to be fitted underneath.
Aesthetics – Whether your new space is for living or working, as well as wanting a comfortable and functional environment, you may also want to add style with an attractive looking heater; the many designs now available mean you can choose minimalism to aid focus, bright colours for inspiration or soft curves to give a relaxed feel.

So what are the different heating options available for garden buildings?

ELECTRIC RADIATORS

Water and oil filled electric radiators

The water inside a water-filled electric radiator is heated by an electric element and is used as a heat reservoir. Oil-filled electric radiators are heated electrically; the oil is not burnt but again is used as a heat reservoir. Both types of electric radiators work on the same principle and have similar running costs.

Pros

Wall mounted and floor standing models available;
Many floor mounted versions can be plugged into a socket, so there are no installation costs and the radiators are often portable;
Wide range of contemporary and traditional styles available. From minimalist sleek designs like the Electric Royce (which is made of lightweight aluminium), to classic column style cast iron radiators like the Electric Etonian;
Many are available with timers and thermostats; and
Some styles heat up quickly (particularly those made of lightweight aluminium); others cool down slowly (such as those made of cast iron).

Cons

The wall-mounted versions don’t sit as close to the wall as some of the electric radiant panel radiators currently on the market.

Electric radiant panel radiators

Electric panel radiators radiate heat (rather than convecting it) and don’t contain any liquid. These radiators have become extremely popular in recent times, due to their efficient, environmental and practical qualities. One of the best electric panel radiators around is the iRad from Feature Radiators, which is beautifully designed, slim, flat and sits close to the wall.

Pros

Lightweight;
Sits close to the wall;
Many sizes, finishes and colours available;
Heats up quickly;
Radiates warmth without “blowing”;
Warms both objects and the surrounding air;
Available with thermostats and timers; and
Precise, focused, highly efficient heating.

Cons

Almost always wall-mounted, so there will need to be at least some wall space available.

Wood burners

A wood-burning stove burns wood fuel and wood-derived biomass fuel whilst creating heat.

Pros

Lovely cosy feel with attractive real fire flame;
Carbon neutral, if fuel comes from sustainable sources;
Warms both objects and the surrounding air; and
Relatively low running costs.

Cons

Lack of controllability, which can lead to high temperatures;
Sourcing and moving around fuel can be difficult and messy;
Demands time and effort on a daily basis to keep it running;
Ash created needs to be cleaned up;
Requires reasonable amount of space, taking up both wall and floor space; and
Significant installation costs.

Fan heaters

A fan heater works by passing air over a heating element, this heats up the air, which then leaves the heater, warming up the surrounding room.

Pros

Heats up aroomquickly;
Warms both objects and the surrounding air;
Relatively small so doesn’t take up much floor space; and
No installation costs.

Cons

As soon as its switched off, the room will cool down quickly;
Fan creates noise;
Often unattractive;
Uses a lot of energy resulting in high running costs; and
Heat is blown out rather than convected or radiated, which can create a stuffy and snoozy environment.

Infrared heating panels

Infrared heating panels are a relatively new idea in the UK but have been widely available in Europe for more than ten years. Infrared heaters heat through the use of infrared waves.

Pros

Focused heating, infrared waves only heat what they hit;
Provide heat rapidly;
Reasonably efficient to run;
Can be fitted onto the ceiling to keep them out of the way; and
Thermostats and timers available.

Cons

Only heat the objects that the infrared waves hit. If you sit facing an infrared heater, then the back of your body and head and any part below the heater will remain cold;
The surrounding air is not heated at all; and
Potential fire hazard – As this heating is focused and direct, there may be a risk of fire if the heater is placed too close to an object. For example, if an infrared heater fell onto a wood floor.

Electric underfloor heating

Electric underfloor heating consists of a foil heat mat containing heating wires, which warm the floor surface which in turn heats the air above it. The foil mat must be laid under the laminate or wooden flooring intended for the garden building.

Pros

No wall space required;
Nice feeling under foot;
When working to an optimum, whole room is evenly heated with an ambient background temperature;
Many are available with thermostats and timers; and
Relatively low running costs.

Cons

May not have sufficient capacity to provide adequate heat for building – depending on level of insulation, ceiling height, and amount of glass;
Relatively high installation costs;
Insulated floor required;
Must be installed under the floor, so may not be a desirable option where the flooring is already down;
Slow to respond, can take up to 3 hours to get up to temperature, so forward planning needed and can take a long time to cool down;
Limits choice of floor-coverings; and
If it fails, the cost and inconvenience of repair will be significant, as flooring may need to be removed or replaced.

Portable gas heaters

Historically, a popular option for heating rooms or outbuildings particularly where there was no power source. Power is provided to these heaters via gas bottles that sit at the bottom of the heater.

Pros

High heat output;
Self contained heaters, requiring no external power source;
No installation charges; and
Portable.

Cons

Safety – you must not place items on top or directly in front of gas heaters. This may be a challenge if you are working in a small space;
Unpleasant gas odour;
Adequate ventilation is vital to prevent a build up of dangerous fumes;
Risk of carbon monoxide leak; and
Large bulky items taking up valuable space, both when in use and in storage.

Conclusion

Whatever type of garden room heating you choose, you must ensure that it has the capacity to heat the relevant space. It is important to maximize the power used to efficiently provide heat whilst minimizing energy wastage through the use of good insulation, timers and thermostats.

Bear in mind that these days having a comfortable warm outbuilding doesn’t mean you need to compromise on style with ugly, bulky and/or ineffective heating options. There is now a wide range of stylish, safe yet efficient electric heating solutions available.

For more information on finding the most suitable heating product for your garden building, speak to a radiator or heating expert.

Helena Gerwitz is the General Manager at Feature Radiators, the one-stop port of call for anyone wanting high performance, stylish heating at competitive prices. Our collection is made up of the best contemporary, designer, traditional cast iron and electric radiators and heated towel rails on the market in terms of quality, design and value for money. Whatever size the project, we are a firm favourite amongst architects, house builders and developers, heating engineers as well as home owners. With over 160 styles on display in our showroom, expert advice, unrivalled customer service and nationwide delivery, we are widely recognized as the UK’s leading radiator specialist.

Contemporary Designer Radiators Our exciting contemporary collection ranges from discreet minimalist styles and vertical radiators to dramatic wow-factor designer styles. Available in a myriad of colours and finishes including brushed and polished stainless steel radiators.

Cast Iron and Traditional Style Radiators Our cast iron radiators include wall and floor mounted versions in various styles. Our plain style Etonian cast iron radiators are widely regarded as the best of their type, whilst our Liberty cast iron radiators are the most popular ornate style.

Electric Radiators and Electric Central Heating Our stylish electric radiators have been selected based on their quality, design, heat output and value for money. We are constantly sourcing and developing new ranges to offer you a great choice of good looking stylish electric radiators!

Heated Towel Rails and Towel Radiators Our collection is made up of central heating, all electric and dual fuel heated towel rails, and bathroom radiators in traditional and contemporary styles with high heat outputs.

For more expert advice then contact Feature Radiators at http://www.featureradiators.co.uk, call them on 01274 567789 or visit them in person at Feature Radiators, Bingley Railway Station. BD16 2NB

Heating Your Home With a Combi Boiler

A combination boiler is called a combination boiler because it combines a property’s hot water system with its central heating boiler system, which is a great space saving device for houses where the amount of space is already limited. Because these boilers are able to heat water almost instantaneously from the mains supply, there is also no need for a hot water cylinder or a cold water storage tank, which saves even more space in the property! Combi boilers (as they are also known) are also very energy efficient, meaning that they can help to save their users’ money on their energy bills, as well as reducing their carbon footprint. The best thing is that improvements in boiler technology mean that combi boilers are now even “smarter” than ever before.

With a good combi boiler system, you can either set a timer on the central heating system which means that it will only start heating rooms at the times when you want them to be heated, or you can advise the boiler to start heating rooms when the temperature in the rooms drops below a pre-determined temperature. Setting a timer means that you can save money by not heating rooms when they will not be in use, but it also allows you to have the opportunity to begin heating the room automatically just before it will be used, so that the room will be at a desirable temperature by the time you enter it! This means you can set your central heating to come on just before you get up in the morning (which will make getting out from under the duvet that little bit easier!) or you can set it to come on just before you get home from work, so that the house will be warm when you enter. You can also set the boiler to switch the central heating off just after you have gone out, or whilst you are asleep in bed.

If you choose to heat your rooms whenever they drop below a certain pre-set temperature, a thermostat in the room will monitor the temperature in the room, and it will send a signal to the combi boiler to start heating the room when the temperature drops below the predetermined level. Conversely, when the thermostat detects that the temperature in the room has risen back above the determined temperature for a stable amount of time, it will send a signal to the boiler to stop heating the room. This is a very energy efficient method of heating, which prevents large amounts of energy from being wasted, whilst preventing the room from being overheated. Of course, if you are still feeling cold, you can always manually change the temperature of the radiators at individual parts of the system.

Control valves inside the boiler system mean that if hot water is required elsewhere in the house (like the hot tap or the shower), the combi boiler system is able to divert water to the hot tap instead of pumping hot water through the central heating system.

Combi boiler systems are great for smaller homes or flats. The technology in combi boilers systems makes them really energy efficient. You can click here for more information.

Save Energy and Money Using Heat Surge Personal Space Heating

In this article I am going to tell you about the Heat Surge Space Heater which is an Amish product that has recently hit the market with overwhelming popularity and also to let you know what purchasers are going to expect from it.

First up, the Heat Surge is an electric fire place and its mantle has been handcrafted from solid timber by Amish craftsmen which give the heater an authentic fire place look, as a portable heater it can be located to any room to heat any space at any time.

Secondly, you should consider that the Heat Surge was specifically designed to heat one room at a time. These rooms could be in a small house, apartment, office and other small spaces, in turn cutting down on the use of ducted heating that you need enormous amounts of energy just to heat one room. The benefits which are, not only a saving of money but a personally located heat only heating the room you are occupying. Of course you can purchase more than one Heat Surge and have one preheating a room you are about occupy while keeping the room you are occupying comfortably warm.

Third point to consider is how it operates and how it is able to be an economical heater. The Heat Surge is very clever in this respect, as it uses ambient air which is sucked into the unit then heated and then returned to the room. So as the room heats up it uses less energy each cycle to heat the room to its required temperature, which means that once your heated room reaches the temperature you require the Heat Serge will maintain the heat at minimal cost.

So if the cost of running your current heating system is stopping you from keeping warm this winter consider getting a space heater like the Heat Heat Surge which is economical and provides heat for any room you wish to be in.

The Advantages of Home Heating Oil

Heating oil or Gas Heat is a distillate, just like diesel. It is also known as “red diesel” due to a red dye added as its content. It may be similar to diesel, but it is not diesel and thus it has different functions altogether. It is basically a liquid fuel derived from petroleum or crude oil. It is said that about one fourth of crude oil is converted into heating oil. It is prepared at a temperature much lower than diesel, petroleum jelly etc, but at a higher temperature than kerosene.

It is extensively used in homes in boilers and residential oil furnaces. Mainly, it is used for keeping homes warm during winters, although It can also be used for commercial purposes as well. But it is seen that the Home heating Oil remains to be the most popular in terms of usage. It is poured in a furnace, and this process of filling is supposed to be by professionals only. When this furnace is heated, it releases warm air which keeps the building warm. The surface air is again drawn inside the furnace and reheated.

There are primarily three types of heating oil which have been given a number each according to their quality and price. This number one is the costliest followed by number two and number four. The number one is the best quality, while the rest two are down on quality, thus cheaper. This also depends on the price fluctuation in crude oil. Usually, it is known for its high price tag. This is equally true of the current heating oil prices trend as well.

It is rated as the Number Two heating oil in The U.S.A., and is more popular in those areas where there is a dearth of Natural Gas or Propane. It is said that although New York relies on Oil Heat, but the dealers of Oil Heat rely on the New York Oil Heating Association (NYOHA). Overall, It is an essential fuel which is required in every household or commercial building in order to keep the warmth even during the winters. Even though the current it prices are high, even then there are many options where one can get a rebate, or save with a bulk purchase.

For more information about Home heating oil please visit:- https://www.heatingoil4less.com/