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Best way to heat(secondary) a 12x12 bedroom?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: November 30, 2009 11:52AM
I have one bedroom in the house that is always significantly colder than the rest of the house. If it is 72 degrees in most rooms it is 68 in this room. I think this is mostly due to the fact that it is on the corner of the house with a lot of outside facing wall and it has 2 large windows. The windows are newer and seal very well, storm windows on the outside. They don't draft at all. We have tried adjusting the vents, but haven't had any luck getting enough hot air into the room. The house is on a single zone, and there is no way to make it dual zone without replacing everything.

So I have started to look at other options. It seems like the 2 choices are a ceramic baseboard heater or an oil filled radiator, both electric. Is either better than the other? I'd like to figure out what the most energy efficient way to heat the room would be. Only needs to be warm at night, no one spends time in there during the day.



C(-)ris
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Re: Best way to heat(secondary) a 12x12 bedroom?
Posted by: clay
Date: November 30, 2009 11:54AM
a blanket?

on a more serious note, I'm interested to see what's suggested here, as my wife and I are thinking about adding an additional heat source in a couple of rooms.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2009 11:55AM by clay.
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Re: Best way to heat(secondary) a 12x12 bedroom?
Posted by: AAA
Date: November 30, 2009 11:58AM
I like the oil-filled radiator type of heaters. I put a small fan behind them, and blow through the fins.
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Re: Best way to heat(secondary) a 12x12 bedroom?
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: November 30, 2009 12:08PM
The oil filled heaters work great. The main downside is that it takes a while
for them to get up to temp - where the ceramic is fast.

Their upside is that they hold heat very well once they are at temp. You can get them with
a built in timer so you can preset when you want it to come on.

My bedroom is on the far end of the heating system, faces north, and has two windows.
Also I keep my temp at 60° pretty much around the clock. I kick on the heater about an
hour before bedtime (on low w/ thermostat at half setting)
If I pull the door shut the room is very comfy by bedtime. Big fan of the oil filled heater here.



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Re: Best way to heat(secondary) a 12x12 bedroom?
Posted by: the_poochies
Date: November 30, 2009 12:09PM
Quote
AAA
I like the oil-filled radiator type of heaters. I put a small fan behind them, and blow through the fins.

They are cheap, movable and relatively safe. The biggest negative is that they use plenty of electricity. I use them to heat spaces 12x12 and as long as I keep the door to the room closed as to keep the warm air in, the room gets nice and toasty warm.
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Re: Best way to heat(secondary) a 12x12 bedroom?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: November 30, 2009 12:11PM
We have the same issue in our house. We did two things:

1- If it's a forced air system, you may wish to look at your ducts and check to make sure the system is balanced. Most forced air systems have adjustable vanes in the ducts that let you balance the system. In our house that improved things a bit.

2- For a bedroom, a manually operated oil filled radiator works well. The ceramic baseboard heaters function nicely, but are subject to being covered up with ejecta of the lifeform that lives in the room (read tossed clothing and whatnot). My son sometimes uses the fan trick described above, despite my explaining that he's heating a closed box, and it will get warm everywhere (but at the top first).
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Re: Best way to heat(secondary) a 12x12 bedroom?
Posted by: Don Kiyoti
Date: November 30, 2009 12:20PM
Oil-filled radiator here too. A ceiling fan on low speed prevents the warm & cool air from stratifying. Be sure to set the fan to blow air up towards the ceiling.





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Re: Best way to heat(secondary) a 12x12 bedroom?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: November 30, 2009 12:27PM
blankets.





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Re: Best way to heat(secondary) a 12x12 bedroom?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: November 30, 2009 12:29PM
I actually shut the heat completely off and use blankets at night, but it doesn't get that cold in Sacramento.
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Re: Best way to heat(secondary) a 12x12 bedroom?
Posted by: kj4btkljv
Date: November 30, 2009 12:38PM
Are the walls insulated adequately?

About 2 years ago I finally came to the conclusion that my kids bedroom was too cold in the winter, and poked into the wall. I found NO insulation in the cavity, none. We live in the Chicago suburbs, so winter here gets pretty cold. The next spring, after my discovery, we tore the drywall off the two outside walls (their room is on the back corner of the house), and sure enough, there wasn't anything in there at all. Took about two weeks of off-and-on work, but got the whole thing insulated. The last couple of winters have been completely different in that room.

Jeff



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Re: Best way to heat(secondary) a 12x12 bedroom?
Posted by: BernDog
Date: November 30, 2009 12:43PM
Quote
cbelt3
If it's a forced air system, you may wish to look at your ducts and check to make sure the system is balanced. Most forced air systems have adjustable vanes in the ducts that let you balance the system. In our house that improved things a bit.

I've been trying to balance our system at the vents to only a moderate degree of success. I've seen the adjustments inline, but I never put two and two together to try them instead/additionally. Duh, and thanks!

When making these adjustments, do they need to be redone each season to account for convection changes (we have two stories), or will fine tuning at the vents take care of that? Anyone?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2009 12:44PM by BernDog.
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Re: Best way to heat(secondary) a 12x12 bedroom?
Posted by: Wailer
Date: November 30, 2009 12:56PM
Have you closed all the vents except the one in the cold bedroom?

You could have a leak in you duct.

If you don't have a leak, then I'd go with the oil filled space heater. We use them in our kids' room. They're safe and I think they are the most efficient electric heater.
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Re: Best way to heat(secondary) a 12x12 bedroom?
Posted by: decocritter
Date: November 30, 2009 01:21PM
I have 2 oil filled radiators. One Kenwood with electronic digital thermostat with timers and a basic Delonghi with 2 push button setting and a manual dial for thermostat.

The simple Delonghi heats up faster and works better, puts out more heat even on the low setting, I use it in a closed bedroom. The 3 settings are more convenient than playing with a digital thermostat. I think it is $36 at Lowes.

The other one is a pain in the a** and does not work well at all on manual. The thermostat is off by 10 degrees and the thing cycles on an off too much. It was around $69
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Re: Best way to heat(secondary) a 12x12 bedroom?
Posted by: M>B>
Date: November 30, 2009 02:11PM
You might also consider an inline duct fan to increase the air volume to that room...



Many varieties out there.
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Re: Best way to heat(secondary) a 12x12 bedroom?
Posted by: davester
Date: November 30, 2009 03:32PM
Either one of those heater types will use the same amount of energy (a lot) since they simply transform current into heated air and heat via conduction/convection alone. The only way to reduce energy use with electric is to use a radiant or combo heater (i.e. one of those that has a glowing red element and reflector. That type will use less energy because it won't (much) heat the air, but will instead heat the objects that the radiant energy shines towards.

That said, if it were me I'd fix the heating system before taking the expensive brute force approach of adding an electric heater. The first things to check are:

1) Are the ducts are leaking? How old is your duct system? There was a period of time during which standard cloth duct tape was used to attach duct segments and registers. However, it was later discovered that the adhesive in cloth duct tape fails after a few years so many houses with ducts installed during those periods (i.e. roughly the 60s through mid-90s) have duct systems that are falling apart.

2) Are the system dampers properly balanced? The system balance is controlled by dampers in the duct system, NOT by opening/closing vents. If the dampers are not set right then fiddling with the vent will not help at all.

3) If the ducts are OK and dampers balanced, the other problem might be that there is insufficient air return in the bedroom area (if the cold air can't get out of the room then there is no way that hot air can get in to the room). That could be because of poor system design (insufficient return ducting) or because the bedroom door seals too tightly (can be fixed by cutting off the bottom of the door or by installing a vent between room and hallway).

Several of these things you can check yourself, but you might want to pay for a couple of hours time by an HVAC/energy efficiency expert to check this stuff out. It would probably be far cheaper and more satisfying than having to run a wasteful and expensive electric heater all the time.




"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Best way to heat(secondary) a 12x12 bedroom?
Posted by: DRR
Date: November 30, 2009 05:49PM
Ditto Davester. Great suggestions.

FWIW I had a room in my house also not getting enough heat, or AC. I initially attributed it to the same reasons you listed - corner room, 2 big windows. Also it's above the unheated garage, so there's no radiant heat rising up from above, as in other rooms. Had a HVAC guy come out to test airflow with a sensor because the vent felt a little weaker than others - turns out the duct feeding that room was damaged in construction of the house, and it was getting a fraction of the air intended.

This was new construction, not even an older house, so it goes to show, anything can go wrong. Just because it's new doesn't mean it's working.
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Re: Best way to heat(secondary) a 12x12 bedroom?
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: November 30, 2009 09:10PM
68 is a good sleeping temp. We supplement our Den with a $5 yard sale Delonghi Oil filled heater
but never need to run it on high and shut it off at night. There's only one duct going to our Den
and it's 400 sq.ft. and the flow is weak. I like the Vornado heater I got for $2 last year but the wife
has gotten used to the silence of the Delonghi. We keep the house on 68 at night and 70 during
the day.



Grateful11
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Re: Best way to heat(secondary) a 12x12 bedroom?
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: November 30, 2009 09:33PM
Bedroom - use an electric bedwarmer.

Heat the people sleeping, not the room
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Re: Best way to heat(secondary) a 12x12 bedroom?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: November 30, 2009 11:06PM
Quote
Bill in NC
Bedroom - use an electric bedwarmer.

Heat the people sleeping, not the room

electric blankets use 1/10th the power of a heater, and one of you can be colder than the other.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2009 11:06PM by Racer X.
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Re: Best way to heat(secondary) a 12x12 bedroom?
Posted by: decocritter
Date: November 30, 2009 11:10PM
I have a mattress warmer, but sometimes a heating pad at feet on low is enough. I have to fight Baby for it.
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