Friday, February 17, 2012

Seven ways to warm a room

Toe-kick heater
´╗┐Our house has many rooms and there's little point in trying to keep them all warm in the winter. And my wife likes the temperature colder than I so I've taken to using an electric space heater when I'm at the computer in my "office". Yet electricity is NOT cheap and space heaters have their drawbacks - they're hot to touch, a trip hazard, and perhaps even a fire hazard if left on unattended. Are there other options? Yes, theFamilyHandyman has seven ideas for warming a room safely.

1.; Electric toe-kick heaters. These are small heaters with a built in blower that are installed at toe level in the base board of cabinets where you stand frequently - the kitchen sink, the bathroom sink, and so on. It will warm your toes and since heat rises, your legs will be happy too.

2. Duct-booster fans. If you have forced-air heat like I do, then you have one fan trying to push heat to the entire house. If there's a room not getting its fair share of warmth, you can install a booster fan inside the air duct to increase the air flow to a given room or floor. The article suggests buying a "quality" fan and avoid the cheap but noisy models.

3. Cove Heaters. These install along the top of a wall and radiate heat downward.

4. Electric floor heat - you can install wires or mats underneath a floor warm it up. But watch out! A friend has this in her kitchen, set down a grocery bag full of chocolates, forget about them, and they all melted. :-)

5. Radiant Ceiling Panels - these inch thick panels mount on a ceiling and radiate heat downwards. Like cove heating you can target areas where family actually sit.

6. Ceiling fan heater - Very clever, a ceiling fan with a built in heater so the fan works great in summer or winter.

7. Room to room ventilators - or "through the wall fan". If you have one room that is always too warm, you can put a fan in a wall vent and blow the warm air to another room.

Bottom Line

Heat wisely. Apply heat to the places you work, eat, and play instead of trying to warm all the air in a house.

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