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  #1  
Old 12-31-2001, 01:33 AM
Captain Jay Captain Jay is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Hudson, MI, USA.
Posts: 26
Default Need help heating sun porch!

I know there's people on here in the heating and cooling business, so here's one for ya.

I have a 12' by 27' "sun room" on my house. All 4 walls, ceiling and floor insulated, but no heater ducts. I purchased a wall mounted ventless propane heater, but when the gas man came to hook it up, he said it was a bad idea. The room has 5 bay windows, 4 glass doors, and 2 regular windows. He advised that with all the glass, the ventless heater would cause to much moisture, and it would just puddle on the windows forever. He advised I had to buy a vented heater, which was over 650.00, plus it would have to be hooked up to my main propane tank.

Today I borrowed a kerosen heater and put it in the room. Got the room to 65 degrees, and the windows fogged up at first, and then cleared up.

My question is, what's the difference between a keroseen heater in the room, or a ventless heater?? Was the gas man feeding me a line to get me to buy an expensive heater, which they would have to run the lines for, and then I would have to run their gas, instead of the gas from my 100# cylinder??

Any info on this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2001, 03:44 AM
Kaz Kaz is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Plymouth, MN, usa.
Posts: 647
Default RE: Need help heating sun porch!

Capt. Jay: I had somewhat of the same problem. I found that 240vac strip heaters worked very well. My porch is 14'X 22' and I have twelve low "E" glass windows, which are double pane and a gas filled that retards heat transfer either way. I still get a little moisture on the windows but not very much. I have two 2500 watt units with one thermostat that runs both units. I live in Minnesota which needs no explanation of how cold it gets. They keep the porch at 70 without any problems. I also insulated the floor too, walls are R19, ceiling R40. Good luck HEATING....Kaz
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2001, 06:45 AM
Mk
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Default RE: Need help heating sun porch!

One of the byproducts of combustion of propane is H20 or water vapor. The ventless type will put a lot of moisture in the room. When the windows are cold you will get a lot of moisture build-up on the interior surfaces. When the windows finally warm up, the moisture will start to dissipate but this may take hours. The kero heater puts out some moisture, but not nearly the amount as the ventless LP type.

Personally, I'd go with electric on a glass porch. There are some relatively inexpensive portable models that look like baseboard heaters or install permanent baseboard units.
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  #4  
Old 12-31-2001, 10:34 AM
The Great Guide
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Default RE: Need help heating sun porch!

I'm not in the heating business, but I've had some work-related experience with ventilation.

As you heat air the capacity for moisture retention (humidity) increaces. Windows are normally the coolest spot in a room. When the warm moist air reaches the cool windows condensation occurs. The best way to solve this problem is to add heat to the window area. One way to add heat is to install an electric heat panel under each window. The heat will rise and keep the windows from fogging. Another way, if you live in a moderate climate, would be to install a celing fan. The fan would increase the warm air flow outward causing the windows to warm up, thus minimizing the condensation.

From what I've been able to accertain from my research is that venting a heating source is always desireable.

TGG
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  #5  
Old 12-31-2001, 11:54 AM
Kaz Kaz is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Plymouth, MN, usa.
Posts: 647
Default RE: Need help heating sun porch!

Jay: I should of been more clear, Strip heater is a base board heater. I just called it by the slang name. They come in two types, liquid filled and straight heat rod. both work equal I believe. Good luck HEATING....Kaz
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  #6  
Old 01-01-2002, 02:39 PM
Cangl
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Default RE: Need help heating sun porch!

Ventless combustion, I can tell you in theory it's that and with the additional humidity of window condensation and combustion the electric panel would serve you well. Consider another option at this time for an additional cost you can get "baseboard electrical" with 110v receptacles built into them which will give you more electrical outlets. With areas where your "glass" is tight to the floor with no wall studs the only practical method of heat may be electrical elements built under or into your floor. Dark floors and furniture will give you more solar load during the winter also. Ventless tends to burn up more carbon but as a non smoker I can tell you its there the minute I walk into the door!
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  #7  
Old 01-01-2002, 02:48 PM
Cangl
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Default RE: Need help heating sun porch!

Kerosene cab be smelt clearly and has more of a taste. Ventless combustion tends to smell dry and taste warm and dry?


God it's great being a non smoker it could save your life.

Fire burns oxygen as well an will starve areas oxygen.
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  #8  
Old 01-01-2002, 09:52 PM
Rickk
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Default RE: Need help heating sun porch!

Well Cap,...I "might have some ideas for you,..it kinda depends where you live,..but in my area electric heat is very pricey,..glass,..even double pane, argon filled low E glass loses a LOT of heat,..much more than a basic insulated wall,...I don't know if you have a basement or how your house is set up or how much work you want to do/hire out and what your budget is,..but if money is a factor, instead of buying new you can get decent hot water baseboard radiators from building salvage places,..they are around everywhere,.any med sized city will have one or two,..the other things you need to buy is a water heater,..for some reason in our local paper there will be a propane water heater 1-3 years old for 25-75 bucks,..every month or two,.(or you can buy a basic one new?) you will be hooking this up in the basement (best) or in a little side "building" boxed in outside ,.you will be attaching this to the baseboard plumbing,..and if outside,..adding water with nontoxic antifreeze,..your heating supply store can help you get this,..,...actually even if in a basement I would add it, just in case if you have a poweroutage in serverely cold weather it "might" be useful,..then, either new or salvage,..a small in line circulator pump and a 110 v thermostat. When the room gets cold, the pump turns on and circulates very hot water thru the radiators,..turns off when it gets to your desired temp. Most hot water heaters will have plenty of BTUs to keep that area warm,..MUCH cheaper than elect,..("IF" you had natural gas,..much cheaper than propane in this area) note: don't try to use a natural gas HW heater for propane,.unless its converted,...the jets are very different,..you might also put boiler conditioner,..also available from heating supply places (I think even Home Depot,..they have the antifreeze too),..this keeps the HW heater lasting MUCH longer than the one you use for you domestic hotwater ,..should last many years,..its already insulated,..often well insulated,..but esp if you have it outside,..you prob know you can add a wrap it help conserve heat even more,..the additive is important as it can be keep the water alkaline and not rust out for many years, beyond your home hot water heater. This works fine,...you can even heat a large house by doing this with 2 heaters in series,..cheaper than a boiler,..if some heating guy says it can't be done,..find someone else,..somewhere on the web,..its late for me and I can't recall the site rt now,...but a master plumber mentions that he has heard this from other plumbers and heating men but they can't tell him why,...but that it "just isn't done",...BTW HE has done it a number of times,(and I have done it a couple of times. If you elect to do this,..have someone check out that its installed properly,.proper blow off valve and , that it that its vented correctly, far enough away from combustables and so on,..I think you may be unhappy when you get the electric bills from using baseboard elect heaters and thus,won't use your room in cold weather. It would be a shame to have this new room and not get full use out of it. I personally would never have a ventless heater in my house,..that includes kerosine (ventless) heaters,..breathing in those complex hydrocarbons long term can't be good for you,..even short term I can tell rt away when I'm in a house that has one,..(I have a gas stove in my kitchen )and I'm not crazy if THAT burns for very long,..... hope this helps,..
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  #9  
Old 01-02-2002, 11:58 AM
Rickk
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Default RE: Need help heating sun porch!

Oh yea,...those windows that allow heat to come in so well during the day,..act almost like a heat sink to pull heat out of your house at night,..a lot of it is lost thru radiant heat loss,...(ever see an infrared picture of a house? look at the windows! esp ones with no covering,..) so if you can,..cover those windows with "something" best is something called WINDOW QUILT and another (a kit) is WARM WINDOWS both can be seen with a search from GOOGLE or similar,..if you can't swing that,..hotel liquidatators (.com?) can sell you those THICK hotel drapes with the hardware really cheaply,..(they pull em out of good hotels and often they look like new for a fraction of the price) if you stand naked in a glass box and its 80 inside the box and zero outside,..you will start to shiver in a very short time,.lining just a sheet of paper on the inside of the box (still 80 degrees inside ) and you can be in that box for a very long time before you start to shiver,(and YES you WILL start to shiver after a while at 80 degrees if you are naked and not moving)...cause the radiant energy isn't being pulled from your body like an anode,..and enough bounces back to feel warm,. hope it helps in what you decide to do. BTW you can do a "poor man's infrared scan" by taking a portable stove and on a very cold day boiling a lot of water as quickly as you can,..note WHERE the water condenses,..(generally the windows,..even the double pane low E argon ones,...often you can find where they skipped insulation and even see the studs in the wall,..(use a small fan to stir the moisture around a bit,.) The gasman was right,..all combustion produces water,...every ten gallons of gasoline your car burns produces about a gallon of water,..an unvented heater I think it would be a mess in that room! not to mention poor air in your home.
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  #10  
Old 01-02-2002, 06:30 PM
Kaz Kaz is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Plymouth, MN, usa.
Posts: 647
Default RE: Need help heating sun porch!

Cpt Jay: I read all of the posts and the only negative about electric heat is the cost to run. Everyone will agree they are the cleanest to use, easiest to install, and probably look the best in a room of this type. To answer the cost question, check your local power company and see if they have a rate for electric heat. In my area they have a price for "Duel Fuel". This means, if you have some other means of heating, but also use electric, they give you a special rate for the electric used for heating. Our regular electric cost is .09 per kilowatt hour. The reduced rate is .027 per kwh. And to top it off they paid for the heaters too. Now the bad news, they can turn you off from their office by radio control, up to several hours at a time. That why they require the duel heating. They also have a rate called "Off Peak". These units have a built in heat storage (bricks)in them. They look like a box about the size of the old fashion radiator but are much more modern looking. This type comes on when the demand is low and heats up to radiate the heat the rest of the time. And they don't turn you off either. This is most common in the rural areas but is also available in many of the small towns of less than 10,000 people. Check out the local power company and see what they have. You are always better off with new equipment than anything used no matter what the savings are. Good luck STAYING WARM....Kaz



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