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gavino200

Space heater recommendations

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gavino200

I recently moved house. I've been fixing various things but am now ready to start building a hobby/work room. It'll be in a pretty big room in the basement The problem is, it's always freezing cold. 

 

Any able to recommend a good, save, quick, quiet heating solution? Thanks. 

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Socimi

At the club we use a couple of these electric portable heaters (not sure what would be the exact english translation for "calorifero") connected with two timers, so that they'll automatically start heating the room a couple hours before the meeting begins.

 

They usually range between 30-70€ so they shouldn't be a lot expensive. Ours is quite a large room, but for a domestic hobby room one should be more than enough.

 

 

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gavino200

How long does it take to heat up? I like the idea of setting it. But I'd also want to be able to go down there and work on an unplanned job without freezing. 

 

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cteno4

Gavin,

 

if it’s well insulated (if basement it should be) then you might look at some baseboard heaters to try to keep the base temp up all the time and then just augment with a little fan heater near where you are working to do the last bit. If good insulation the heat put into the air should not escape quickly and may be more efficient than trying to blast the room up from really cold repeatedly.

 

i have a heating issue in my garage wood shop. In the winter it’s impossible to heat much as it’s not insulated and any stored heat bleeds off fast. I use a 1500w fan heater and a 1500w radiant heater in combo but it just gets temp up like 10-15 degrees and takes an hour or two to do that. But that can be enough to make it more tolerable. Radiant heaters don’t heat the air much they just heat surfaces with ir, so more about heating your body not the air around you. In the right situations working in the shop it cna feel good (too close and you can burn and dry skin and too far and you don’t feel much of anything). Fan heaters will heat the air more, but this of course quickly dissipates into the room. Again too close to you and they can dry your skin out fast and too big a room and poor insulation they can’t keep up to really warm the room.

 

be careful with all these heaters as they are a big fire hazard. Also each 1500w heater eats up a whole 15a circuit. Also keep extension cords short and bigger gauge to be safe. Cord plug junctions also are where you will get the most resistance/heat so always feel these when plugged into an extension cord. Some extension cords that are big gauge (like 10 or 12g) have very small contact points in their sockets to the prongs of the heater cord. I had one shop 12g cord like this. When I usually used it for stuff that drew high current it was only for a few minutes but when I used it in a 1500w heater for a few hours the socket got way hot to the point of getting close to melting down. 

 

might talk to hvac person as if you have central air a vent in the basement may work as well. They may know the most efficient way to keep it warm.

 

cheers,

 

jeff

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gavino200
28 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

Gavin,

 

if it’s well insulated (if basement it should be)

 

 

It's not. There are two rooms. One is finished and is relatively warm in spite of no heating. That will be the train room. I may install headed tiles. but haven't decided yet.

 

The other is not finished. It's got bare concrete walls. It's icy cold. This will be workroom and storage.

 

28 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

 

then you might look at some baseboard heaters to try to keep the base temp up all the time and then just augment with a little fan heater near where you are working to do the last bit. If good insulation the heat put into the air should not escape quickly and may be more efficient than trying to blast the room up from really cold repeatedly.

 

This might work for the train room.

 

28 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

 

i have a heating issue in my garage wood shop. In the winter it’s impossible to heat much as it’s not insulated and any stored heat bleeds off fast. I use a 1500w fan heater and a 1500w radiant heater in combo but it just gets temp up like 10-15 degrees and takes an hour or two to do that. But that can be enough to make it more tolerable. Radiant heaters don’t heat the air much they just heat surfaces with ir, so more about heating your body not the air around you. In the right situations working in the shop it cna feel good (too close and you can burn and dry skin and too far and you don’t feel much of anything). Fan heaters will heat the air more, but this of course quickly dissipates into the room. Again too close to you and they can dry your skin out fast and too big a room and poor insulation they can’t keep up to really warm the room.

 

This is more like the situation. I may consider just having the room finished. Electricity savings would probably pay for it eventually. I can't imagine sitting down there working on things as it is. Way too uncomfortable.

 

 

28 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

 

be careful with all these heaters as they are a big fire hazard. Also each 1500w heater eats up a whole 15a circuit. Also keep extension cords short and bigger gauge to be safe. Cord plug junctions also are where you will get the most resistance/heat so always feel these when plugged into an extension cord. Some extension cords that are big gauge (like 10 or 12g) have very small contact points in their sockets to the prongs of the heater cord. I had one shop 12g cord like this. When I usually used it for stuff that drew high current it was only for a few minutes but when I used it in a 1500w heater for a few hours the socket got way hot to the point of getting close to melting down. 

 

Yeah, I was concerned about that. I think I was just tripping that this would be an easy fix.

 

28 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

 

might talk to hvac person as if you have central air a vent in the basement may work as well. They may know the most efficient way to keep it warm.

 

 

 

Yes, I'm leaning more and more toward a definitive solution.

 

Thanks for all this great advice. 

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cteno4

Hmm might look at simple stud walls and either styrene foam insulation board or just blow foaming the whole stud wall and then Sheetrock. Also cheap flooring with thick foam pad under also helps greatly. Cork is a wonderful flooring and insulator as well for underlaminent and flooring and renewable but a bit more expensive. We have cork in our kitchen/family room and lower level rooms that are on concrete slab and not super cold and soft on the feet even though on hard slab!

 

im lucky one of our forced air furnaces is in the basement so it’s nice and toasty in the winter! I’ve tried to get in the habit of small shop in the basement in the winter and save the big stuff for the garage in spring/summer/fall. Once below 50 it’s a bit hard for a few hours in the garage, especially on the hands even with fingerless gloves, below 40 no way for more than 15min. I got a cheap thin pair of ski bib/pants and that helps along with fleece lined work pants and a long sleeve thermal base layer and one of those really light thin down jackets. Works pretty well but not as comfortable as it would be in the 60s!

 

might throw a forced air heater if you have one in that work room and close the doors and see what it does. If it’s not too huge a space and you get the air heated up the walls may insulate enough to keep it comfy enough, sometimes it’s getting to just a point where you no longer notice it. I tried that wirh ac in the garage at the height of summer last year and just taking off 10degrees went from sweltering to ok. Luckily the cold air stays down with me unlike the winter where in the garage I have to warm all the air in the rafters first or at the same time (with the air dust handler going circulating air in the whole space).

 

sounds like a baseboard heater would finish off the train room with little electrical cost.

 

jeff

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Socimi
11 hours ago, gavino200 said:

How long does it take to heat up? I like the idea of setting it. But I'd also want to be able to go down there and work on an unplanned job without freezing. 

 

 

Depends, but for a medium-sized room it would be in the 10-15 minutes range.

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chadbag

Welcome to the basement!  (My office is in the basement in our current rental house and the basement is unfinished with the fresh air outlet for the furnace across the room from me.  The ceiling is finished and there is a semi finished, uninsulated wall with door opening (no door) in between.  My train room is part of my office.

 

The first thing you want to do is figure out why it is so cold.   Even an unfinished one, if underground, should not be that cold without some sort of external air (in my case the furnace fresh air outlet).  It will be cold enough that you need to heat it to be comfortable, but the first thing I would do is figure out if there are any gaps between the foundation and the upstairs, around windows in window wells (builders often scrimp when installing basement windows on insulation around gaps) or any other places that cold air could be entering in.  Fill those with spray foam.  What about your mechanicals?  Is your furnace etc in its own (insulated) room?  I am not an expert but I believe anywhere with a gas furnace (or oil) you need to have a fresh air source per code (which is my problem in my basement since the furnace is not in its own space but open in the basement).  That fresh air duct is a one way cold air stream coming in.  So if your furnace and stuff is open in the basement, put a wall up around that to keep that cold air to the furnace area.

 

Jeff had good ideas when finishing -- foam board or spray foam insulation and sheet rock.  But first make sure you are not getting cold air infiltrating in.   

 

Our new house we are hoping to start building soon (architect thinks the plans will be permit-submission ready this week) uses ICF for all outside walls including foundation so has foam built in.  Then there is no furnace or forced hot air; rather, a heat pump with radiant heating in the living portions of the basement (which will be finished) and the main floor.  The train room will be in "bonus" space above the garage, and will have no heating of its own, but should stay relatively close to the same temperature as the rest of the house (which is all vaulted ceilings except where the garage, mud room, pantry, and small parlor by the front door are and above which the bonus space is).  If it gets colder there a small space heater (Dyson or something 🙂  ) will make due.   I am tired of being in a cold basement, wrapped up like a mummy, for work and play.

 

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cteno4

Chad makes a good point. You might try warming the air in the room some with a forced air space heater, then turn it off and wait a few minutes then walk around the walls feeling with your hands for any cold drafts coming in. Window casements and the outside boards on the floor above that are exposed to the exterior are places most likely if there is a leak. Other issue can be if you have an older forced air gas furnace is a lot of times they use a bit 4 or 6” flue that goes up thru the roof. Basically a big hole to the outside that cold air comes down when the furnace is not on and hot air goes out! Newer high efficiency furnaces use what is called a direct vent that only vents fumes from the combustion chamber so no cold air coming in. These are like 2” pipes but have a limited height, length, and turns they can do and always have to be traveling up, so can be hard to retrofit in some situations. 
 

our basement heater was just at the limit on height for direct vent when we went to replace it so had to use the old flue one, but the connection to the new furnace is not as leaky at all. I actually like having the flue as it helps keep fresh air in there some and mildew at bay!
 

Other furnace (house layout makes it better to use two small furnaces than one big one) and hot water are now direct vent and laundry room (where they are) is much warmer now w.o a big flue in there!

 

sadly insulation has only been done really well in the last decade or two on house construction. with good insulation a basement should be quite toasty with just a little baseboard heaters. In the summer it should get a lot of sinking cold air from the rest of the house when ac is on.
 

jeff

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