alternate heating source : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

Okay, it's nearly ninety out there, and I'm thinking of how to heat my apartment this winter. I rent; the apartment is on the 2nd floor of a very large, very very cold, uninsulated old house. Don't misunderstand, it's a 'charming' place. But just prior to moving in last December, gas prices went through the roof (sic). The owner installed attic furnaces as the heat source for the two upstairs apartments in the building. Each unit has its own furnace. The heat vent comes DOWN out of the ceiling, blows the heat around for a while, makes the ceiling area nice and toasty, leaving your feet freezing. I hate the smell of kerosene, so that's out. Woodburning is also out. No fireplaces. The original gas lines for room heaters are cut and/or plugged. Would a free-standing propane heater (do they make them) work? What does a unit like that cost? How about the fuel? Does it come in tanks, or bottles? I'm trying to be like the ant the Sriptures advise us to look to in thinking of preparation for the winter. Thanks all. Stef.

-- stef (, July 22, 2001


Only nearly 90? I'm envious. It's over 100 here and has been for several days running now. As for the heat problem, you might consider asking the landlord to install a ceiling fan. This would circulate the heat down off the ceiling and onto the flour area. If the landlord doesn't want to shell out the sheckels for that, you might try buying a fairly small fan and putting it up on a shelf near the ceiling to accomplish the same thing. As for the heater arrangement, I've known people who bought the protable propane bottles like the ones used on RV's and gas grills. They used these on regular space heaters with by attaching the two together with a regular flexible pipe like is sold for use with a propane stove. I'm not sure, however, this is legal and might get you in trouble if you get caught. Good luck.

-- Green (, July 22, 2001.

Hey Stef! First--the heaters shouldn't have been put in -in the attic area unless wall stacks were installed to kick the heat out on the floor. Wall stacks are heat ducts that fit inside the walls [can also be located on the interior walls, exposed to the living quarters] with the vents just above the floors for heat and below the ceilings for a/c if a/c is used. Lots of times furnaces are installed above the rooms that need the heat. Some installers [duh] don't know that heat rises!!! Well anyhow---as green just said--see if he will install ceiling fans. If not--buy a couple cheap ones yourself and install. I think wallyworld has some for about $25 or so. Money well spent too. We use ours year around.

Propane heaters would work but locating a place to set the tank will be a problem, I imagine. Using small bottles is not practical at all and would cost a fortune to heat with'm. In addition to the cost, all ya'll would get done is gettin'm refilled. They would have to be located outside the living quarters too. Email me if'n ya'll wanna. Might come up with something else if I know more about the building. I'm ready for cool weather! ole hoot. Matt.24:44

-- hoot (, July 22, 2001.

Stef, They make propane fire places that fit into a corner of a room and can be vented out an outside wall with a stove pipe type arrangement. They can be very nice, but they also have economy models. Shop around and see what you can find. Perhaps a used one from Ebay from your area. Contact your local stove shop type people and ask them what else they have that might work. There are also corn stoves that burn dried corn. You buy it in a burlap bag and could store it. I've looked at them, but I have a wood stove and have no real need of replacing it. Corn stoves burn very clean so the vent may not need to be too substantial.

Good luck.

-- Bobbi (, November 03, 2001.

Hi! Stef: My solr heaters work whenever you can see a shadow and are a supplemental source of heat that can be practical if you have long cold winters with lots of sunshine. If your landlord can run a six inch pipe from the return plenum of the furnace, to remove the colder heavier air, say hidden in a closet and terminating close to the floor, you will in effect be removing the colder heavier air from the floor causing what ever heated air that is available to spread evenly throughout the appartment. That's sort of how my solar heater works. This will improve the performance of the furnace and cut heating costs as well. Check out my website at Thanks and Best Regards: Jim Meaney.

-- Jim Meaney. (, November 13, 2002.

your url didn't work for me

-- jumpoff joe (, November 16, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ