|Most homes in a house with forced air heat
are heated uniformly throughout the house
or in one of several heating zones. However,
many owners want to either heat a single
room or supplement the heat in it without
increasing the temperature in the rest of
their house. Or, some would like to heat
rooms that are traditionally not a part of
the central heating system, such as a garage,
a workshop, an unheated porch, or an exterior
space such as a potting shed or pool house.
Portable space heaters can be a solution, but sometimes they cannot
provide enough heat. |
Here are some suggestions on
of individual room heaters that
higher heat output:
- The dancing flames of fire in a fireplace can add heat and charm to a room. Properly
started, a roaring wood fire can warm even
the coldest room, and gas fireplaces allow
for the convenience of "heat on demand,"
but neither type of fireplace is very practical
for routine heating.
- Wood burning stoves are a popular choice in suburban and rural
areas because the wood is often available
on the property at no cost. However, these
stoves need to be properly vented, require
regular cleaning, need to be started, and
wood needs to be added periodically to them
to keep the fire going.
- Thermostatically controlled pellet stoves use low cost, compressed wood scraps for
fuel. They are easier to install than wood
stoves and require less maintenance.
- Natural gas heaters are a good choice for those buildings that
are already hooked up to a gas line because
the flame is automatically fed from the pipeline.
Gas burns very cleanly, so gas heaters need
very little maintenance. However, the price
of natural gas can fluctuate quite a bit,
and it cannot be stockpiled by the homeowner
during periods of low cost or low demand.
Some gas heaters are mounted on the floor
and sit against the wall so they can be vented
directly to the outside. Others can be hung
from the ceiling. Most of these gas heaters
can be adapted to also burn propane, but
propane must be delivered to an outside storage
tank. Propane is generally more expensive
than natural gas, but it has the same low
maintenance advantage and can be stored.
- Electric heaters are the easiest models to install because
they do not require any venting to the outside.
Electricity is a reliable and clean source
of energy, so the heaters require very little
maintenance, but they are often the most
expensive to use. These heaters come in many
sizes suitable for a variety of spaces (for
example, a kickspace heater can fit beneath a cabinet), but they cannot
produce as much heat as other types of heaters.
- Kerosene and oil burning heaters are usually
the least expensive types to operate, but
they need regular cleaning and maintenance.
They also require an outside place to safely
store the fuel. In really cold weather, oil
can become so thick that it is unusable unless
special additives are added to it, a further