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What to use for heat??

Discussion in 'Everything Else Energy' started by abigalerose, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Jan 8, 2017
    abigalerose

    abigalerose Power Conserver

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    What's the cheapest, yet still safe, way to heat?
    Ill just need to heat a 12 x 20 house.

    Also, as a bonus, are there any cheap alternatives to cooling and how expensive are 12 volt refrigerators?
     
  2. Jan 8, 2017
    MoonShadows

    MoonShadows Almost Self-Reliant

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    Hi @abigalerose
    Google can be your friend.

    Google....cheapest way to heat a small house...lots of information

    Also, lots of info if you Google...cheapest way to cool a small house

    And, finally....how expensive are 12 volt refrigerators....once again, a lot of info if you Google it.
     
  3. Jan 8, 2017
    abigalerose

    abigalerose Power Conserver

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    Not really finding the answers I want on google, that's why I came here.
    Trying to think outside the box, I wanna know what's cheap AND safe for heat.
    Because I know wood stove is cheap, but would it be safer to have a propane heater? But how expensive is propane? Maybe there's a better option. Idk. Google has too many different answers. I want some real life advice
     
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  4. Jan 8, 2017
    sumi

    sumi Super Self-Sufficient Administrator

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    The cheapest way to heat a small house, that I can think off right now, would be a wood stove. You can buy a big or small one, some come secondhand in good nick. Wood, if you can get to a good place to collect it, is free. Windfalls in forests, damaged wood pallets, etc make good fuel and it doesn't cost anything except the effort to cut it into smaller pieces to fit the stove. A looked after chimney and stove would be perfectly safe too.

    Cooling down a small houseā€¦ We lived in a tiny house years ago in an area where the summer daytime temps were between 115 and 130. We kept the house closed up completely during the hottest part of the day to keep the heat out and the windows open in the evening and during the night with an electric fan or two to help keep us comfortable. Insulation under the roof is a huge help there too.
     
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  5. Jan 8, 2017
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Almost Self-Reliant

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    Sumi is correct -- close up daytime & open night time -- I actually pull shades in daytime on side of house that gets the sun. Wide porches cover the others.

    Lot depends on where you live to determine weather temps for both seasons actually. Also the layout of the area. I will assume that most of it is open since it is not large. Placement of heat in the center would be most efficient. Insulation values plus type of base you have (crawl space, slab, etc.) also plays a part. Safety is a concern for both, so installation of unit used, any flue needed, etc, is extremely important. Costs for both can be pricy. Always have a carbon monoxide detector installed!!

    I have a fairly large 2 story. In winter I use a propane heater in the living room which keeps the entire downstairs nicely warm. I can keep the shades up on the S side to allow heat from sun coming into some large windows. In fact, during a lot of the day simply the pilot puts off enough to keep it in 60s. If I'm out that's fine. When in up the burn and it heats very well. 2 ceiling fans can be used on low to circulate...then off. My downstairs is more than double what you mention. The propane is less than the electric heat pump and I don't keep upstairs "heated".

    Propane cost varies from area to area. I find that there are different levels of pricing within the co you use based on how much you use, frequency of fill and how it is paid. ASK questions at the dealer.....check more than one!!

    Wood can be free to expensive -- as Sumi points out. But is a lot of work if you do your own splitting, etc. You will need to be able to saw, split, haul & store. Often this is a large factor for use because of physical ability as well as equipment.

    Since you did not give any info as to self or available supplies you got a lot you may already know. LOL
     
  6. Jan 10, 2017
    Britesea

    Britesea Super Self-Sufficient

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    Not knowing what sort of foundation you might have... You might want to look into Rocket heaters too. The thing about propane heaters is that if SHTF, propane might be hard to get, while wood is always there (unless you live in the desert, or the great plains).
     
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  7. Jan 14, 2017
    waretrop

    waretrop Almost Self-Reliant

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    In my house I use fuel oil...our house uses very little.. like I get a fill up 1 time a year. I also close off the back of the house, bedrooms and bathroom. We go pee fast in the winter. Lol. At night the thermostat automatic ly goes up a little before bedtime. Goes off early in morning. Front of house is heated with a pellet stove and if I want also a wood fireplace. I realize I am not set right if TSHTF bit I have other resources. My greenhouse uses a pellet stove and a karocene heater as back up. I have 2 nice generators if I need them. Btw, I keep almost 2 ton of pellets in shed and gave about 12 propane bottles to use with those heaters if I need to. I do believe in lots of Bach up things.
     
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  8. Jan 15, 2017
    Hinotori

    Hinotori Super Self-Sufficient

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    We use wood heat. Modern wood stoves are super efficient. Our house is about 900 square feet. I use 1 to 1.5 cords of wood. Our climate is usually fairly mild.

    We have a window AC for the bedroom if it gets to warm in summer so we can sleep. In a normal year, 80 is our summer high so AC isn't common here.
     
  9. May 6, 2017
    Bruce

    Bruce Sustainable Newbie

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    How well insulated is this 12x20 house? Is the total usable space 240 sq ft or is there a loft as well? Is it already built?

    I'm not sure I would put a wood/pellet burner in something that size if only due to the amount of space you need around it for safety. It would be a somewhat significant amount of "lost" square footage. Unless, of course, you are using a wood burning cooking stove ;) You could use an outdoor wood furnace. I've not spent any time looking at them but I ASSUME you need a fan and duct work, or hot water pipes going from the furnace to the house and "registers" of the appropriate type in the house. I don't know how complicated this is.

    How bad is the humidity where you are in MO? Before home A/C existed people used "swamp coolers" but they aren't very useful in areas with high humidity.

    As mentioned, think passive. Overhanging porch roofs to keep the summer sun out, set so the winter sun can come in the windows. If you can set up a "heat sink" inside those windows, you can heat, at least to some degree, with direct sun exposure. Windows you can open to natural airflow to help cool the house at night.
     
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  10. May 6, 2017
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    I agree with Bruce. If it's about cheap and sustainable, I'd go with really, really good insulation, strategic shade, capturing heat in the winter, etc. In a space that small, if well insulated, you can heat it quite cheaply with electric, particularly if it's one big, open area. You could even explore solar power for heating that size of space...not cheap initially, but more sustainable than depending on the grid.

    Remember to have a ceiling fan on low that can direct the heat downward as it rises, pedestal fans that can circulate the heat into other rooms if needed and utilize fans for cooling the house as well.

    We don't use AC here, though last year we finally broke down and got a small window unit for Mom's room as her room doesn't get good airflow. We only turned it on for a bit in August, though. Most of the summer is fans, lowering the shades before the sun hits that side of the house, keeping the windows closed from midmorning to evening, using fans to circulate air, etc.

    Wood is cheapest for us but not sure how cheap it is were you reside. If you could give us some idea on the price of such things and utilities where you live, we could maybe give a more informed answer.
     

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