Using A Wall Heater Safely

 

Not all of your house uses heat in the same way. Perhaps the back rooms get chilly when the wind whips up. Maybe the basement needs more heat when there’s a cold rain. It doesn’t make sense to turn up the thermostat just to make a room or two more comfortable. Not when heating costs are rising. The answer may be a wall heater for those cold rooms.

Many Choices

These days, space heaters come in all shapes and sizes. Assess your heating needs before you make your choice. You can find portable heaters that can be moved from room to room as needed and even warm up and area on the deck or in the back yard. You can find heaters for almost every kind of fuel: electric, gas, propane and solar. If your heating needs are fairly permanent and you have safety concerns with the portable units, you might want to consider a professionally-installed wall heater.

Once installed, you won’t have to worry about the heater being tipped over or a child or pet becoming dangerously curious. Although today’s space heaters have many safety features, it is always better to provide your own additional features by planning for the best installation for your needs. Have the wall heater installed in an area where there won’t be objects that will block the air circulation around it or where flammable things may be kept. Think about how you use the room, especially at the colder times of the year. If that is the room where you set up the Christmas tree, make sure the wall heater is in the part of the room away from decorations.

 

A wall heater with an ignition is safer than one that needs to be lit with a match. A thermostat will prevent overheating and over drying the contents of your room. A ventless wall heater should have an oxygen-depletion-sensing shutoff feature. The ventless heater takes the air from the room to heat it. With an automatic shutoff, it will stop heating if there is not enough fresh air in the room. Of course, the heating element should be shielded. Many heaters are safe even around blowing curtains.

Once the wall heater is installed, make sure that you understand the maintenance directions in the manual. A wall heater needs to be cleaned once or twice a year to remove debris that has been taken in with the air. You can enjoy warmth in every room of your home all year round and save money, too, with a good wall heater.

 

Using A Solar Heater For Swimming Pool

To keep your swimming pool a source of joyful baths even in cold weather, some source of heating the pool’s water must be employed. Now a day, many people choose to install a solar heater for swimming pool. The reason behind this popularity appears to be the easy and cost-effective way by which a solar heater for swimming pool raises the pool water’s temperature, usually from seven to ten degrees, and provides a warm, comfortable feeling of bath in a free and open space.

Function Of A Solar Heater For Swimming Pool

A solar heater for swimming pool basically works by forcing water of the swimming pool through a filter that leads it into a solar collector. This contains solar heat collected from the sun by means of specially designed panels. The pool water absorbs the collector’s heat and returns into the pool through the pump. Certain kinds of solar heaters serve a dual function i.e. besides heating the pool water in winter they can be run during the night and kept off during daytime. This helps maintain a cooler water temperature during the summer days.

Price And Heating Capacity

The price and heating capacity of a solar heater for swimming pool depend on the heater’s size. The most popular size of the heater is the one with 2’x20’ panels. It costs about $150 a set. Two panel sets i.e. 4’x20’ suffice to heat a 18’-24’ round pool. If you have a 16’ round pool, you can do with smaller panels i.e. 4’x10’.

Installation

Installing a solar heater for swimming pool is fairly easy and usually takes less than an hour. What you need to do is take a hose and clamps and with these, connect the solar panel to the pump. Now roll out the panel to finish your installation. Remember that you need not mount the panels permanently. You may either simply mount them up on the roof or position them by using frames available from the dealer. On first turning on the panels, they will feel hot to touch for some minutes. After that, they’ll cool down.

Maintenance

Though little maintenance is required for a solar heater, keeping balanced water chemistry is important as well as keeping the filter in proper working condition.

Using solar heater for the pool is very beneficial since it is totally free after you pay the initial cost. You can also use solar heaters in conjunction with another swimming pool heater. This brings down the costs by as much as 70 per cent.

Keep Warm Safely With Propane Heater

Whether it’s for a tent, a single room or a whole house, a propane heater can do the job, and do it safely, if proper precautions are taken. As with any device, which uses any type combustion, proper ventilation is required to insure the safety of the user.

Small propane heaters are widely used by campers, ice fishermen and others needing heat outdoors. The small, propane heaters, usually attach to a one-pound propane tank and uses a burner, often reflected by a metal dish to distribute heat, provided at about 5,000 BTU. Since 1990, there have been 31 deaths attributed to the unsafe usage of a propane heater.

Larger units are available, which can produce up to 15,000 BTU of heat, and are generally used in larger structures. However, regardless of size of the propane heater, proper ventilation is needed to prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide, a tasteless, odorless and colorless gas, which replaces oxygen in the blood stream and may cause serious injury or death.

Properly Install Whole-House Furnaces

People living in rural areas and those with the benefit of a natural gas pipeline often turn to a propane heater for their home. Propane gas is stored in a pressurized tank outside the house and is fed to the furnace as needed. Most homeowners have their propane heater installed by a professional and it is properly vented, decreasing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. However, it is a good idea to equip the home with a carbon monoxide detector.

There are also propane heaters, which are used in construction for warming a house under construction during colder months. This type heater generally throws a burning flame into the air, warming the building site. Care must be taken with their use, as not only the danger of carbon monoxide exists, there is the added potential for fire.

While propane heater manufacturers are doing a far better job of cautioning consumers on the dangers of their use, as well as discontinuing production of those not meeting safety standards, there are still numerous propane heaters in use today that were not being sold for several years.

While a propane heater can offer affordable, portable options for when a heat source is needed, certain precautions should be taken to insure the safety of the user. A simple precaution of proper ventilation, even in a tent or ice fishing house, can make the use of this type heater much safer.

Evenings With An Outdoor Patio Heater

How many of you will disagree that spending a cool evening outside in the patio during the transition of winter into summer (and the reverse) is a joyful experience? Many, if not most, since the scene lacks the real source of enjoyment and comfort-an outdoor patio heater that will not allow you chill or have Goosebumps in the lurking cold of the early spring. A wide variety in the size, design, and fuel sources has facilitated choosing an outdoor patio heater according to individual liking.

Fuel Sources Of Patio Heaters

Most commonly, an outdoor patio heater will run by any of the commonly used fuels: natural gas, propane, electricity, wood/wood substitutes, and Alcogel. How much space the heater keeps warm depends on the heater’s size. It might be a few feet or the whole of the outside yard.

Varieties Of Outdoor Patio Heaters

The selection of an outdoor patio heater depends on both the design and the fuel source of the heater. One of the most popular varieties is the Umbrella Type Patio Heater. Fuelled by propane gas, these heaters are ideal for keeping larger spaces warm (up to 20 feet in diameter). The heat is radiated out through the cylinder at the top while the fuel burns at the bottom of the heating unit.

Another popular variety of outdoor patio heaters is the Wood Burning Patio Heater. These type use wood and its derivatives as fuel. While these are attractive choice for people caring for economy, some areas have laws against wood combustion in the property so their selection depends partly on the area where one lives. A luring thing about wood patio heaters is that these can be purchased with a cooking grill, so that you can enjoy making a hot snack while feeling the cool weather outside.

The material of composition of patio heaters varies. Many outdoor patio heaters are made of stainless steel. They can also be purchased with an antique copper finish, painted black, and other materials depending on individual taste.

Outdoor Patio Heaters And Safety

While using an outdoor patio heater, remember that it is not meant for indoor use and hence should be used only in the patio. The gas cylinders providing fuel for these heaters should not be stored inside. In case of Wood Burning Patio Heaters, a chimney must be installed so that sparks coming out are limited and possible damage may be prevented. Take care that children do not play with the heater or its elements. Also, clean and maintain regularly in order to minimize the pollutants emanating from the heater. Store all the fuels and chemicals in a secure garden shed, locked and out of children’s reach.

The Luxury Of Hot Water Heaters

There’s an old saying: A woman is like a tea bag; you don’t know how strong she is until you put her in hot water! Although this truism is unquestionably accurate, it would be difficult to put it to the test without a hot water heater.

In industrialized nations, hot water heaters are just simply “there.” We don’t even notice that they’re working properly until, all of a sudden, they aren’t. When that’s the case, we start panicking about things like showers, washing dishes and doing laundry. We think of all the things that are part of our everyday living, realizing that until the hot water heater is working, languishing in a warm bubble bath is a thing of the past.

What we take for granted – that hot water will spew forth on command when we turn on the faucet – other civilizations view as a luxury. In some parts of the world, even in some parts of remote, rural America, hot water heaters are non-existent. For example, the Aboriginal people of Australia and North America still haul water from streams and rivers in buckets, heating the water over an open fire. Why, we wonder, do they continue this practice when they know that all they have to do is flick a switch on a hot water heater, and it’s time to wash clothes? Respect for the traditions of their people, plain and simple. Sometimes what’s “easy” isn’t always “best.”

In most of the world, there’s a hot water heater in every basement or closet. Its capacity and rapidity of heating depends upon the number of family members who find hot water essential at various times of the day. With a capacity of 50-60 gallons, hot water heaters aren’t viewed as a luxury, but as a “given.” They replaced the burden of hauling and heating water from the nearby stream. But they also replaced the pleasant social interactions that once accompanied water-bearing, plus the self-esteem building that comes from viewing a job well-done.

How Dependable Are Hot Water Heaters?

If you live in a house most of your adult life – raising a family and doing all the activities that we cherish as a people, your hot water heater should last up to fifteen years, perhaps even more. These appliances are built for endurance and heavy use; another luxury. But of course, something’s bound to go wrong sooner or later, and your heater will need either repair or maintenance. Whether your hot water heater is power by natural gas or electricity, or even by solar power, there are some definite warning signs that tell you it’s time to call a repairman: (1) When you stop getting hot water from a faucet, (2) When you smell gas in the air near the heater, (3) When the appliance is sparking electricity or (4) When you notice a puddle of water near the hot water heater. Most of the time a simple repair job takes care of the problem, but there might also be a time for the heater to be replaced. Plan to spend about $300-$700, and you’ll return to luxury.

The Mysteries Of Heater Immersion

As the prices of heating fuel soar, many homeowners have become curious about exactly how their home and the water in it are heated, are kept heated and how they might become heated in a more energy-efficient way. Some hot water heaters, for instance, heat the water and keep it warm until it’s used. Other types don’t heat the water until it’s needed, saving the energy needed to keep it hot. Many of the storage types use heater immersion to heat the water. With heater immersion, an electrical element fits into the side of the water tank with the thermostat extending to the exterior of the tank for easy use.

Types Of Heaters

The common storage tank heater can be made more efficient by adding a timer to your heater immersion device to heat the water at off-peak times when energy is less costly. Even if that option is not available in your area, your storage tank can become more efficient by the addition of insulation around it. The less heat is lost to the surrounding area, the less energy is used to keep it warm. You may have an indirect water heater system. This means that your furnace or boiler heats your water while it heats the house. Most often, hot water from a boiler circulates through a heat exchanger in a nearby tank. Less often, a heat exchanger coil filled with water to be heated circulates through a furnace then through the storage tank. Since the exchanger penetrates the tank in either case, it is similar to the heater immersion method. Using modern equipment, this is often the most efficient system. The storage tanks are efficiently insulated, the heating equipment is high-efficiency and the need for the heater to turn on and off is much less frequent.

The on demand water heaters don’t use energy to warm storage tanks. The most efficient ones use natural gas and an electronic ignition to save on energy used in a pilot light. Solar heaters are making a comeback from the 1970s. While the sun’s energy is cost-efficient, the start-up costs are higher since tax credits are no longer available. However, today’s less expensive units compare with electric and propane heaters over the lifetime of the unit while natural gas still beats them all.

Whether you decide on heater immersion, on demand, solar power or some other technology, the most efficient heater for you is the one that uses the fuel you have at hand, works for your climates and personal needs and best integrates with your existing water system.

Need Determines Size Of Electric Water Heater

Whether building a new home, remodeling an older home planning your current and future needs can help you pick the right size electric water heater so you don’t have to suffer cold showers.

An electric water heater is basically a storage tank into which cold water flows. There is a switch, which shuts off the flow of water when it gets full. Most electric water heaters have two electric elements, which heat the water and keep it hot until it’s used and replaced by colder water. Each element is controlled by thermostats.

While an electric water heater can be as small as six gallons or as large as 120 gallons, the average family can generally be served with a 52-gallon electric water heater. However, the larger the family, the more capacity will be needed. When planning your needs you should also plan for potential growth of your family as well as the frequency of visitors, which may increase your need for additional hot water.

An electric water heater offers several advantages over gas, for example, as not having to be vented and it can be installed closer to walls and they do not have a pilot light which requires a small open flame or a thermocouple to keep the pilot light burning, which generally needs replaced every year or so. There is also less chance of overheating.

Adjust Temperature To Your Choosing

Another feature of an electric water heater, like most others, is the ability to adjust the temperature of the water through the use of a thermostat. By raising, or lowering, the water’s temperature, it can be adjusted to the family’s liking.

Electric water heaters also have built-in protection for pressure build-up in the form of a pressure relief valve. Occasionally pressure may build up and if it reaches a point higher than the check valve on the water line, it could push the hot water back into the feed line. This pressure release valve will harmlessly release any over pressure. However, having a leak from the pressure valve may be an indication of some other problem, which needs attention.

While maintenance on an electric water heater is minimal, problems can arise and unless the homeowner is experienced in plumbing and electrical repairs, it may be best to leave any repair or replacement to professionals. This could lessen the time needed to male repairs, or replace the unit, ensuring you have the hot water when it’s needed.

The Interplay Of Humidity Air Conditioner, And Heater

The term humidity refers to the vaporized water existent in the air surrounding us. We commonly hear of relative humidity i.e. the percentage of water vapor measured in the air at a specific temperature. Absolute humidity is the total mass of water vapor in particular volume of air at a given time. It is a well-understood fact that warm air can hold greater quantity of water vapor than cold air. Since air conditioner and heater both alter the air temperature, the humidity level indoors changes significantly with their use.

Humidity Levels And Comfort

The relative humidity level for comfortable condition of the human body is between 20 and 60 percent. For home environment an average 35 to 40 percent relative humidity is optimum given an outside temperature of 20°F or more. But during winter, water vapors on windows and inside of walls occur, raising the humidity level inside. This may cause damage to the structures. In such a case, you need to adjust both your air conditioner and heater to lower degrees. The air conditioner lowers the temperature, which induces condensation on the inner sides of windowpanes. A heater, on the other hand, speeds up the process of evaporation from moisture contained in household items. However, running a patio heater in times of higher humidity inside can counter the problem to some degrees. With air conditioner and heater units, using a humidifier is the best option.

The most obvious signs of discomfort caused by low humidity levels indoors are dry nose and throat, itching, dryness of skin and hair, and irritation of the respiratory tract. To increase the humidity level, instead of an air conditioner and heater, you can use a humidifier. The increase can be brought about in three ways. First, by evaporating more water inside. Here you can use your heater to speed up the process. Take care not to set the heating level too high or you can possibly harm both your health and the indoor plants. The second way is to let air circulate through your room from a wet pad or by discharging a very fine mist of water into your room. For this, you have to add water manually on a regular basis until the desired level of comfort is attained. The third method employs direct introduction of moisture into the room, by means of a furnace.

While using air conditioner and heater for regulating temperature indoor, always use a humidity control unit so as to prevent the levels of humidity from going too high or too low and cause possible health problems as well as structural damage.

Swimming Pool Heater Adds To Enjoyment

Nobody enjoys swimming in cold water, which is why most people installing a pool opt for a swimming pool heater to keep the temperature more comfortable. Several options exist, including gas, heat-pump and solar power. Which option is chosen by the pool owner will be determined by their budget.

Understand, most swimming pool heaters operate on the same premise. Water is pumped from the swimming pool, through the heater and back into the pool where the heated water raises the temperature level of the pool water. A thermostat installed on the line into the pump records the temperature of the water in the pool and stops pumping until the temperature drops below a pre-set temperature.

How the water is heated is what determines the cost. There are two variables to consider when deciding the type of swimming pool heater is best for your pool. The initial cost and the annual operating cost. Some may offer cheaper installation costs, but prices of utilities and the climate in the area, may make them expensive to operate during the season.

Installation And Operating Expenses

Of the three main types of swimming pool heater, gas, either natural or propane, is the cheapest for initial installation. For comparison purposes an example of a 15 foot by 30 foot kidney shaped pool will be used. A gas swimming pool heater will cost roughly $1,200 and another $500 for installation. A homeowner can usually install a swimming pool heater themself, but it is highly recommended that connections for gas and electric be left to a licensed professional.

A heat pump swimming pool heater is more expensive to install, about $3,900 including installation and a solar powered swimming pool heater will run about $3,000 with installation. Their operating costs are what sets them apart.

A gas swimming pool heater will cost about $1.20 to realize a dollar’s worth of heat. On an average, it’s expected to cost between $1,000 and $1,500 per season to operate on propane. Depending on the price of natural gas in the area, it could cost about 50 percent less.

A heat pump swimming pool heater, on the other hand will cost about 20 cents for $1,00 worth of heat, bringing the annual cost of between $250 to $500 per year, which can offset the initial cost. A solar powered swimming pool heater will cost about $30 to $75 in electric to operate the pump required for water circulation, but not for the power itself.

Solar Heaters: Wave Of The Future

Solar heat, or energy, is radiation produced by nuclear fission deep within the sun’s core. Solar heat travels to Earth through space via photons, or “packets” of energy. Our Earth’s atmosphere and clouds absorb much of this heat, and the energy varies with the time of day and the season. 1.4 kilowatts per square meter is considered to be the “solar constant;” any substantial change in this wattage would alter or even end life on Earth.

We can make good use of the solar heat that we collect. Primarily, we can tap into solar power stored in water by directing the flowing water through turbines, thus creating hydroelectric power. Since plants are living solar heaters via the process of photosynthesis, we can use a plant’s stored solar energy through natural fuels such as wood, alcohol and methane.

How Do Solar Heaters Work?

To make solar energy work for us, we’ve devised two ways of capturing and using this source of power. “Flat plate collectors” and “concentrating collectors” need large surfaces exposed to the sun to create solar heaters of any purpose. For example, to use the sun’s energy to power a home solar heater for one day requires a collector surface as big as a two-car garage.

Flat plate collectors are just that: flat, thin boxes with transparent covers that are mounted on rooftops facing the sun. To empower solar heaters, the sun’s heat absorbs into the plate and heats either air or water in tubes running within the collector. This type of solar heater is an excellent, predictable way of heating water or a structure, where collectors are concentrated in the roof.

For many industrial heat requirements, flat plate collectors aren’t sufficient. Concentrating collectors in large areas provide much more efficient solar heaters. These collectors actually move to follow the sun, unlike fixed flat plate collectors. They also power solar heaters by using curved mirrors with aluminum or silver reflecting surfaces that gather much more of the sun’s energy than flat plates.

The future of solar heaters is exciting indeed! As we grow more proficient in using the sun as an energy source, we could eliminate the need for gasoline-powered automobiles. We could also generate solar heaters on a large scale. As solar science progresses, we will see government, industry and utility companies forming partnerships to reduce the cost of solar collectors. Imagine: a world without reliance on oil. Peace at last?