paul wheaton wrote:Jeremy,
That is fascinating!
I wonder if there might be two things you can do to make this slightly more effective:
- I wonder if there would be value in having some storage shelves created above your bed - so the heater would then be a bit closer.
- I wonder if you might add some storage under your bed, so the bed would be higher and the heater would be a bit closer.
Jeremy Baker wrote:I’m trying a few experiments reducing my electric heating load and this video is inspiring to try more. In Summer my hot water is 100% solar so that's a good start.
I found some heat mats that came from agricultural greenhouse flat heating. They can be cut at any length. I placed one above my bed that is 6’ long and 16” wide. It consumes 140 watts at 120 volt. I can notice a mild soothing warmth. I think it is too far from the bed to be effective as I’d like. I had this mat on the kitchen floor and it was noticeably comfortable for my feet but was getting damaged by traffic. They are not made to withstand heavy foot traffic.
Otherwise a “dish” parabolic electric heater uses 950 watts on medium and directs the infrared heat towards the object.
Marco Banks wrote:One of the things we've done the past two years is combine the chicken brooder with our plant nursery. The heat from the brooder warms the seed trays in which I grow peppers.
Pepper seeds need to be kept warm or they don't want to germinate. It's best to warm them from below, but that takes a lot of power if you use a heating blanket or somesuch.
The way our system works is that I've got a stainless steel rack on which I put the seed trays. I built a new baby chick brooder to fit snugly under the lowest shelf of the rack. I use a reptile bulb (like you'd use for a pet turtle, lizard or snake) to heat the brooder, and the pepper plants are directly above it (on old cafeteria trays, so that the water doesn't drip down on the chicken brooder). As warm air rises from the brooder, it heats the pepper plants/seed trays above. Then over the top of everything, I'll throw a heavy packing blanket. It raises the temp inside that "tent" about 10 degrees, which is significant when you're trying to get seeds to germinate.
Once the birds are few weeks old, they don't like as much heat, but usually the peppers/tomatoes/cabbages/etc. have germinated by then and so it's not as critical to keep everything warm.
Everything is in a room with a big south-facing window, so the daytime temps are usually in the 70's or 80's, but the birds still need that extra heat until they begin to feather out.
I realize this thread is about keeping people warm, but in our household, all sorts of life forms share the space: people, chickens, seedlings. Ultimately, everyone benefits -- people included. Anything that I can do to heat everything more efficiently, I will.
K Rawlings wrote:Hot water bottles are the best!
K Rawlings wrote: The bottles will eventually wear out. You'll discover this when you find yourself suddenly ensconced in a water-bed. Try not to fold them much. Like most things, the material can handle being bent only so many times.
Travis Johnson wrote:
Our main part of the house (a great room that measures 24 x 40 feet) is heated via a wood pellet stove, but the bedrooms are heated by electric heaters. We figure we will save about $1000 with this dual-approach over that of using propane to heat the whole house, all winter.
The savings comes in because we can turn off the individual bedroom heaters when no one is in those