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advice needed! propane vs electric heat for sunroom / pet area


twentythreemx's Avatar
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11-06-17, 11:29 AM   #1 (permalink)  
advice needed! propane vs electric heat for sunroom / pet area

Hello, hoping somoene can give me some advice. After purchasing and remodeling the whole home we decided we didn't watn the dogs in the house destroying it. We've got like a 20x20 sunroom (separated by doors) on the back. Located in northeast Ohio.. so will see some pretty low temps.

In the summer it got pretty warm - used a portable ac unit with the ceiling fan running to keep temps down those few days we needed it. This is our first winter in the house. There is currently a ventless propane heater installed the previous owners used, it heats the room just fine.

I have 2 concerns:
1. no thermostat to monitor/control temp. When gone for the day it might get too hot, use too much gas, etc..
2. i'd have to think thats too much of a risk to leave running 24/7? What if somehow the flame goes out? Not positive how those work but I'd assume its going to keep dumping in propane. I do have co2 monitor but that won't do me any good if I'm not home.

Am I worrying too much about that heater and its OK to use? or Should I look for an electric alternative? My last house was oil so I have 2 smaller radiator type oil heaters, along with a small electric fireplace looking one that i often used there.. they would heat it fine as well, but I don't know how safe those are to run 24/7 either for a few months.

Whats my best option, with my dogs safety in mind, cost being the second most important factor.

Thanks!!!!

 
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11-06-17, 11:49 AM   #2 (permalink)  
Whats my best option, with my dogs safety in mind, cost being the second most important factor.
Replace the non-vented heater with a vented heater.
A non-vented heater should never be used in a sleeping area.


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11-06-17, 12:46 PM   #3 (permalink)  
If you don't want the dogs in the house, I would suggest finding them a new home.

 
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11-06-17, 01:23 PM   #4 (permalink)  
What an intelligent and helpful response...

 
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11-06-17, 02:16 PM   #5 (permalink)  
Dogs are pack animals and by denying them the ability to be in the house with you, you are denying them the closeness with the pack they want and need. In other words, I think you're being a poor guardian to these dogs and that they would be better off with someone else.

 
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11-06-17, 04:02 PM   #6 (permalink)  
It's not unusual for dogs (or any pet) to be restricted to certain parts of the house. Especially when the owners are not at home (like during working hours or visiting). It does not mean the owner are negligent or not caring. Many dogs owner keep their dogs outside 24/7 without harm depending on the type of dog and the need or use of the dog! I know of a dog that self imposed his house roaming to one room only although he was free to go anyplace. Dogs, cats or any pet animal will adjust accordingly, as long as the animal is kept safe, fed/watered, and given adequate shelter.
I think you are being too harsh, without knowing about the circumstances.

To the OP...I would not worry too much about heat during the winter months. Most homes are too warm for a dogs natural system. If you get a supplemental heater that will maintain a 65 F degree temp, then you and the dogs will be fine.

Side note: I have friend who keeps horses (well basically just one). He is located on the edge of town where there is forest, creek side and open farm land, bordering a main and populated and busy city street. He also has a barn with the door always open with plenty of hay and water. Every year he gets a visit from the county sheriff to investigate a claim from individuals of cruelty to animals because the horse is seen hanging out in rain, snow blizzard conditions and the worst weather you can imagine. The horse refuses to take shelter! He is also perfectly healthy and is a great pet (not to mention expense). The authorities know him well and although they must investigate every complaint, it's a chance to say hi. They know each other on a first name basis.

 
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11-06-17, 04:28 PM   #7 (permalink)  
Propane combustion puts a lot of water into the air which can be a real problem if the walls are cold (like an aluminum sunroof would tend to be in the winter) and anything cold will want to get condensation on it.

For that reason alone I would recommend electric heat and fans to move the air around... like maybe a ceiling fan set on low, with the blades pushing air upward to circulate the warm air that rises.

 
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11-06-17, 07:49 PM   #8 (permalink)  
I also would not recommend using the ventless for the reasons others have posted. While electric will be more expensive, you have much more options.

You could get some pet heating pads for them to lay on as they need. You could use an infrared heater, parabolic heater that will warm them directly, or just use a space heater. If possible, having the space heater with a thermostat would be best. With the infrared heaters, place them at some location so that the dogs can move in and out of the heat so that they could regulate their own comfort level. Another option would be a hanging light like what is used in a chicken coop.


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Last edited by Tolyn Ironhand; 11-07-17 at 05:14 PM.
 
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11-07-17, 04:27 AM   #9 (permalink)  
Tolyn, good call on the infrared heaters. They are line of site heater and the dogs can easily get warm or cool off as desired.

Ever notice that many dogs will lay next to a door during cold months? Any cooling they can get.

 
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11-15-17, 02:44 PM   #10 (permalink)  
OK bringing this back up for some more opinions / advice.

Propane company just left, came and picked up my propane tank after I read stuff that scared me about the ventless heaters.

So i started researching again, wondering if I messed up by having them pick it up and deciding not to use it.. and IDK what I read before that scared me so much, most of the stuff I read today made it sound like it IS safe. I was concerned about what if the pilot shut off..but looks like my heater has ODS and that makes that pretty safe?? The room isnt the most weather tight room, so it probably has enough ventilation just from the doors not being fully sealed up and crappy cheap windows etc..

THis is the heater i have.. .Comfort Glow CSBT cast iron stove and gas logs @ FMConline

DIdn't realize those things are so expensive.. wondering if I should sell the thing!! Cant find anything online as far as what it cost or what its worth though. 2 model numbers i found were SL30PT and CSPBPT.

Is something like this safe for eletric to leave on all the time? I'm not sure what better options I have.. IDK why this is so difficult lol i cant be the only one in this situation.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005DKN20W...a-309333845673


What do I do... use what I got, or sell it and get a little wall mounted electric (or something else elctric?) just looking for safety. dont want to worry all day!!!

 
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11-15-17, 05:00 PM   #11 (permalink)  
We have always had dogs, as pups they are caged for potty training, after that they have the run of the house.

Personally I think your over thinking this and if you really are concerned just confine them to a single room and forget about all this heat krap!

 
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11-15-17, 05:30 PM   #12 (permalink)  
Again people dont know all of situations... so no im not over thinking it. 1 of my dogs is getting old and has pretty bad knees (and everything at this point) she struggles to get up. The whole house has all new vinyl flooring in it. If she decides to go lay down somewhere other than a rug.. she probably is NOT getting up. She struggles to get up on the carpet where she has traction. Also, the amount of hair she sheds...there is no containing that to a single room!!! I've always had dogs in my house and its super super weird to NOT have them in here, but not having the mess is nice and they have really grown to liking "Their room"... im outside 80% of the time and they are always out there with me. so when they are in there they just want to lay down and sleep!

 
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11-15-17, 06:41 PM   #13 (permalink)  
Ventless heaters are illegal in Canada so you have to wonder why lol. Not sure what your electric costs are there but here they are astronomical, propane for the win . I would buy a cheaper but not the cheapest direct vent wall heater that will keep the room warm enough for the dogs and if you sit out there perhaps a nicer fireplace. Not sure but my dog loves the heat and sits by the pellet stove all day. If electric costs are reasonable then electric is a viable option. Don't be fooled by the "ultra efficient" heaters, they are all 100% efficient so you can't get any more than that lol. Good luck with your choice and hope your dog is doing ok, mines having issues as well .

 
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11-19-17, 08:41 AM   #14 (permalink)  
I would definitely consider portable oil-filled thermostatically controlled radiators. They are compact, very safe and inexpensive to buy and run. Perfectly safe to set and leave on day or night. The ones I use have an automatic shut-off if tipped over (probably a UL requirement) . Though not recommended...good for warming socks on too!

 
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11-19-17, 09:29 AM   #15 (permalink)  
I agree with Andy. The only problem is that they tend to be expensive to run and have a long start-up time period. But once on they do a good job in small rooms.

 
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11-19-17, 08:14 PM   #16 (permalink)  
The electric heater you linked would likely work, but will run 24x7. (400 watts at .15 per KW = $43.20 per month) Your better off with something with a thermostat. if you are heating the room.

Andy's suggestion is another good option, I also stand by my earlier suggestions.


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11-20-17, 11:10 AM   #17 (permalink)  
Why not a ductless split? Heat and cool with one unit. Heat pump!

 
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