Does anyone in the cold climate area use electric


  #1  
Old 01-24-09, 06:03 PM
1
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: US
Posts: 95
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Does anyone in the cold climate area use electric

or ceramic heaters to save on the gas bill. Has anyone experimented with this and saved money? My house heats very unevenly and I was thinking about using a space heater in the problem areas (living & dining room) and possibly basement instead of running up the heat just so that I can keep these areas warm. I have weather stripping on the doors and windows but to no avail. The Chicago winters have been unkind and I am fearful that my heat bill will hit a record number soon <sigh>

On second thought, should I check my vents going to the living & dining room to see if something is wrong? If yes, how do I go about doing that?

Thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 01-24-09, 06:39 PM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,524
Received 37 Votes on 34 Posts
Hi 1sttime, using electric heaters to supplement a homes heating system has become a popular option, but one that should put safety first. Leaving heaters in unattended areas is probably not good. The list of cautions is long and available on the web. Electric Space Heaters

http://www.esfi.org/cms/files/u1/Ele...ter_Safety.pdf

When used, they can help you be comfortable without heating your entire house, but be careful not to allow water pipes to freeze.

You mentioned checking your heat vents, is there any heat coming out of them when your furnace is running?

What I would suggest is a long discussion here on the board and let us talk you through a series of simple and effective ways to improve your heat and reduce your bills. Sometimes it is so simple, with savings that more than pay for any cost. If you want, tell us more about your home and we will get started.

Bud
 
  #3  
Old 01-24-09, 07:58 PM
M
Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: 54935, planet earth, star sol, galaxy Milky Way
Posts: 60
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
uneven heat

Assuming you have a furnace, there should be little flaps with exposed handles in the ductwork. Open and close these and see how much heat is coming out of the problem registers. You may need to lessen heat to warm areas to increase heat to cold. Electric heat is alway availible but can be costly if just too even the heat. They end up running to often.
 
  #4  
Old 01-25-09, 10:52 AM
1
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: US
Posts: 95
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yes Bud9051, I would rather stay away from using electric heaters if I can figure out a reason for the colder areas in the house.

House.
---------------------------
My house is a raised ranch with the furnace in the garage. I can see ductwork going into the ceiling of the garage and that's about it as my basement is finished. Its a 4 BDR, 1.5 bath with 3 rooms on the main level. 1 room sits directly under the furnace and the room opposite it...the bath room are the hottest rooms. When I'm forced to set the heat to 74 (and at times higher) to force the living & dining room to get warm, those rooms are nice & toasty. The thermostat is in the hall close to the "fully-heated" rooms and I wonder if that is why everything is so uneven because if the temperature reading is at the point, its somewhat false. What else do you want to know or want me to check out for you? I actually removed the vents in the living & dining and noticed that the ..... um...what is it called.......the ductwork? surrounding the vent area is not a tight fit, its torn... ergo I can put my finger/object thru to the open space? I hope I explained that last part okay.

Oh, I should mention that I am a novice, so I will need "break-it-down-like-I'm-ten" descriptions.
------------------------------------



mcircus,

Yes, I do have a furnace.....but where are the little flaps supposed to be? I looked around the ductwork around the furnace and I didn't see anything.

Oh, I should mention that I am a novice, so I will need "break-it-down-like-I'm-ten" descriptions.
 
  #5  
Old 01-26-09, 01:03 PM
1
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: US
Posts: 95
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
One more thing......does furnace cleaning help with energy efficiency?
 
  #6  
Old 02-04-09, 08:22 PM
F
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,495
Received 36 Votes on 28 Posts
I hope I'm not too late in posting a reply.

If by "furnace cleaning" you mean duct cleaning the answer is usually not. However, if you mean an annual servicing of the furnace proper which includes cleaning of the gas burners and other testing and and adjustment the answer is yes.

The "little flaps" that you couldn't find on your ductwork are handles for internal dampers and they are often not installed on homes built in the last thirty years or so. Even if your home does have them they would not be located at the furnace but at the point where the individual ducts to the rooms are connected to a main duct.

I'm assuming that you have what is called a "counterflow" or "downflow" furnace and the duct that you see going into the ceiling is likely the return air. Where are the supply registers in the living areas located and where are the return grilles? By this I mean are the supply registers in the floor and returns in the ceiling? Do you know about changing the filter in the return air system?

Some pictures of the furnace may help.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: