Just moved in, sunroom heating problem

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  #1  
Old 11-15-07, 06:15 AM
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Just moved in, sunroom heating problem

I just moved into a new home, in Lancaster, PA. This house has a 4 seasons room which looked great when I was looking at buying the house. But now that it's colder outside, during the night the room is just emitting freezing cold air into the rest of the house. So far we've kind of been able to isolate the kitchen/4 seasons room so that the cold air stays in those 2 rooms. However, I don't really want to live like this every winter. I have thought up a couple of options, but wanted to see if anyone else had some suggestions.
1.) Buy really thick curtains and put them around on all the windows.
2.) Put a door in between the 4 seasons room and the kitchen, and just use the 4 seasons room during the summer (I'm not too fond of this 1)
3.) Put in a wood burning stove in the 4 seasons room (If i chose this I would probably look around on craigslist or something for someone giving one away for cheep)

If anyone has any other suggestions please post !!

thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 11-15-07, 07:06 AM
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Sun Room Heat

Install a propane stove.
 
  #3  
Old 11-15-07, 07:37 AM
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Not a bad idea, nothing in the house uses gas, and I was trying to keep it that way since gas/oil is priced rediculously. And eventually I am going to install solar panels to keep the electric bill lower (but that's a whole other discussion).

How long can you run a gas fireplace on your average propane tank? This room is also pretty large (the exact dimensions are excaping me at the moment, but it is something around 40'x10' ) So I'm not sure if this will properly heat this room

Also there is heating/AC ducts running into this room, but it isn't enough to keep that room warm
 
  #4  
Old 11-15-07, 10:03 AM
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Heating Sun Room

Look into adding an additional heat source such as heating coils to the a/c duct near the sunroom. Any route you take will cost money. Good luck.
 
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Old 11-15-07, 08:15 PM
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We've built quite a few sunrooms and try to impress on the homeowners that they can be challenging to climate control. What we've encouraged them to do is to install electric baseboard heaters around the perimeter of the room with a separate thermostat that they can set to a comfortable level- not so that it runs all the time, but so that it prevents the room from getting so cold.

IMO, it makes no sense to cover up the glass, because that's the main reason people HAVE the room in the first place- so they can see OUT. Sure there are thermal blanket curtains and such, but they actually will make the glass get even colder, which will almost certainly lead to ice buildup and the associated melting and dripping. Your best bet is to add additional heat, and circulate air CONSTANTLY (by ceiling fans, box fans, what have you) to keep that glass warm and dry.

For around $1000, you could also get a wall unit that looks like a big window air conditioner. These work very good for rooms that are around 400-500 sq ft or less. Bigger units, like what you might see in a motel room would be better suited to handle a larger room, if needed. It will have both heating and air conditioning, has its own thermostat, can likely be centrally located on one of the walls in the room, and can be set at a comfortable level that will prevent the room from dropping below, say 65F. Electric heat is your most economical option.
 
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Old 11-16-07, 05:46 AM
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thanks for all that info xsleeper, I don't really want to cover up the windows, but it was just 1 of the more cheaper options I thought up. You mentioned electric baseboard heating, I just googled them, and they seem a pretty resonable price for the cheapo ones (around $60) and little more expensive for the nicer ones. Now would you suggest getting enough to run all the way around the room, or should I start with a few, and then see how that goes?

Also since I just bought my first house, and pretty much bought all the furniture to go in it, I don't really want to spend $1000 on this (that's why I was going to go with curtains). What did you think about wood/coal stove in that room? Do you think it would be overkill? Plus I would have to bust a hole in the wall (which I'm not looking forward to lol)

anyways, thanks for your input, and if you could let me know of perhaps a company that you would suggest electric baseboards from (I just went to the first site on google)

http://www.air-n-water.com/product/2546W.html
 
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Old 11-16-07, 04:14 PM
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I don't think highly of the wood stove idea. The walls and roof of 4 season rooms are usually EPS foam panels that have a skin on both sides. I'd be quite leary of punching a hole in it for a chimney- both because of the fire hazard and the leak potential. Not something I'd recommend DIY, at any rate.

The same would go for the electric baseboards. I'd subcontract an electrician to handle that. They usually prefer to sell the appliances and lighting that they install, since they will be responsible for them. If you have an electrician out, he might be able to advise you on how many you need. Personally, I would think that you'd want to do the whole thing at one time- not necessarily continuous heaters, but sections that would evenly heat the room and the windows. Heat rising off those heaters will help warm the windows, making it a LOT more comfortable for you. As mentioned, you'll want them all on one thermostat, and the electrician will be able to locate the best spot and wire it up for you.
 
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Old 11-21-07, 03:32 PM
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My 4 season room was built where the deck used to be. I have double pane sliding doors as a barrier. I also installed a combination room air conditioner / heat pump in the lower wall of the room. I can isolate the room when not using it or fire up the heat pump when we want to spend time in the room.
 
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Old 11-26-07, 02:19 PM
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I would look into the insulating properties of the room.

Was the floordeck properly insulated?

What type of roof do you have?
 
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Old 11-27-07, 06:39 AM
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Try putting a glass door in between the kitchen and the sun room to help isolate the temperature difference (as suggested) - you don't lose your light or the feel of the room being there.

Wood stoves are great, especially if you have access to free wood (thinning operations on nearby properties or forest land, etc.) but take maintenance to keep the fire hot. Moving our wood stove from the infrequently used basement to the main living space means we can keep it going so much more easily, and we are more prone to use it too. Plus wood stoves are generally designed to heat a much larger space (often 800 sq ft or more), and need to be kept going at a fairly high temp to reduce creosote buildup.
 
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Old 11-27-07, 06:43 AM
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thanks for the reply's

My walls/cieling are all made of dry wall, roof is shingled with insulation between drywall/plywood, not to sure how the walls are insulated, but I'm assuming the same way (well besides the sliding doors)
recently i've installed a bunch of curtains along the doors with thermal insulated backing, they have been keeping the room atleast 5 degree's warmer, and there is no signs of the doors/glass freezing do to the cold refelecting off the thermal curtains back to the glass.

1 problem with the baseboard electric heaters is that there's no wall to run them along, as all the walls in the room are pretty much glass doors except for maybe 2 ft on both sides

I'm thinking about also getting a decent electric space heater, and just turning it on when we want to warm up that room a little (they also have a thermostat built in)

thanks again for your options, please let me know if anyone thinks up any crazy ideas to warm this room up lol
 
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