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Questions tagged [heating]

Heating is warming a space for human comfort. Use this tag for questions on space heating and central heating. For questions about heat for preparing food use the [cooking] tag. For heating water use the [water-heating] tag.

62
votes
10answers
12k views

What is an energy efficient way to get fresh air indoors during winter?

Letting some fresh air inside is always a good idea, but during the winter it seems a bit wasteful to fling open the window and let the fresh air in at the expense of all that hot air going out, and ...
28
votes
5answers
1k views

Should I use my wood fireplace?

I live in a relatively modern (built 1983) home, which has a fireplace in the living room. How should I decide if I should use the fireplace for heat, or strictly use use the natural-gas central ...
27
votes
4answers
129k views

Which type of portable electric heater is better?

When one is buying a portable electric heater, there are at least three different types available: Radiative halogen heaters Fan heaters Oil-filled radiators and similar Images of examples of each ...
23
votes
6answers
11k views

How can I add thermal mass to a woodstove, without a lot of weight?

It's well-documented that adding thermal mass to a woodstove will improve efficiency. You can burn smaller splits of wood hotter, causing more complete combustion. The additional heat output won't ...
22
votes
5answers
6k views

Planting trees for firewood - how many?

I'd like to heat my house using self-grown firewood. How do I go about calculating the number of trees I'd need to plant each year to make it sustainable - same number of trees harvested each year as ...
21
votes
4answers
133k views

Leaving the oven door open for heat - bad idea?

I've heard before that it's a bad idea to use an oven to heat your house, because it's inefficient and carries the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. But what about leaving the oven door open after I'...
16
votes
5answers
21k views

Is it practical to use an infrared space heater along with a heat pump system?

We live in a house that has a heat pump system, for AC and heat, with a second-stage heating coil for aux/emergency heat. It frequently gets down to below 30 degrees in our climate, at which point ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Which kind of paper should be recycled and which should be burned?

Paper has a relatively short life-cycle (compared to natural gas or crude oil) and belongs to sustainable materials. Paper can be nicely recycled by: reusing making notes on the other side of one-...
14
votes
4answers
202 views

Is it true that if you have a thermostat, then there is no such thing as 'waste heat'

Consider a situation in which I live in a fairly cold climate, and I like my house kept at, say, 17 degrees. I have a heating system in my house that produces more or less heat depending on the ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the most sustainable heating strategy for a home?

I am looking for a new place to live and I know the winters will be very cold (-20 C). Coming from a warm climate country, I want to learn what to look for in a heating system. From the bit I ...
13
votes
2answers
282 views

How to keep warm with limited use of fire?

The general rule for keeping warm in wilderness in cold climate is to make fire, as big as possible. While being effective, it's not sustainable in longer perspective because it is depleting natural ...
13
votes
4answers
185 views

How can I decarbonise my domestic heating, given severe physical constraints?

tl;dr : For the millions of dwellings that have significant physical constraints imposed by the physical fabric of the building, its configuration and location, that rule out heat pumps, biomass and ...
12
votes
4answers
294 views

Water heating / electricity production by using earth's warmth?

I'm very curious, why hasn't anyone done this? In most places on earth, the temperature gets 25 degrees higher (celsius) for every kilometer in depth. How hard would it be to drill 4-5km, put a U-...
12
votes
5answers
382 views

Lowering the heating thermostat at night: is it really worth it?

I've heard some very conflicting information regarding the effect of lowering the house heating thermostat at night. On one hand there are academic papers (such as Thermostat strategies impact on ...
12
votes
1answer
239 views

Is it economically sensible to install a heat exchanger on my wastewater pipes?

In the winter, I rather enjoy hot showers. I try to keep them short (5-6 min), but it's still a lot of heat going down the drain and out of the house - particularly with 3 other people who do not have ...
11
votes
3answers
758 views

Use waste heat of electrical appliances in place of traditional heating?

Does it make sense to keep electrical appliances turned on, or at least not turned off, during the winter as a partial replacement for traditional heating? I'm thinking in particular of computers, ...
11
votes
1answer
597 views

Reducing the setpoint by 1 degree C will save 7% energy: what's the origin of that claim?

I often hear a claim saying that reducing the thermostat's setpoint by one degree C will reduce the overall yearly energy consumption by 7%. I've heard heating control manufacturers, energy ...
10
votes
4answers
196 views

Why are electrical cars encouraged but is electrical heating discouraged?

Electrical cars are very much promoted for a sustainable future, because they do not rely (directly) on fossil fuels. In the meantime, most of the electricity is produced with fossil fuels, such that ...
10
votes
1answer
24k views

Is Using Blankets to Insulate Doors and Windows Effective?

Are heavy blankets effective insulation when used over drafty windows as curtains or when hung in doors to shut off an unused space? Is it more effective to seal the windows with plastic?
10
votes
1answer
694 views

Is opening windows wide or opening them slightly more efficient for exchanging air in a room on a cold day?

For those who wish to replace the air in a room during a cold day with active heating: Given that the purpose of opening the windows is to exchange as much of the air in the room as possible with the ...
10
votes
2answers
363 views

Should I take advantage of the higher heat pump COP during the warmest part of the day and “bank” heat in the house?

I am aware that heat pumps are able to move more heat into a building per unit of energy input (the "coefficient of performance" or COP) when the source (outside) temperature is higher. My question ...
10
votes
1answer
136 views

Is building vertically instead of horizontally in climate with large seasonal temperature changes more sustainable?

My main line of thinking would be that you would build tall skinny housing that would allow the heat to gather in the upper levels in the winter and the cooler air would gather in the basement/lowest ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Potential health risks with keeping temperature in a house low?

In this question on an alternative way of heating a comment was made that There are significant potential health risks with lowering a house to 16 degrees C What kind of potential health risks ...
9
votes
1answer
149 views

Solar water heater from plastic windows - what are the considerations?

I've been able to acquire several plastic-framed ("energy-saving") windows - it appears some contractor messed up the measurements and a whole batch of new custom-made windows for a nearby ...
9
votes
2answers
117 views

What is the rationale for a base temperature for degree-days of 12 degrees?

When evaluating the energy demand of a building, the weather conditions are supposed to be controlled for by calculating degree-days (sometimes also known as accumulated temperature difference). In ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

Heat Pump vs Air Exchanger, What's the difference?

I hope this is the right place - I'm looking at buying my first home in a climate where a heat pump would make a significant difference on our energy requirements for heating and cooling. I've done ...
8
votes
3answers
380 views

How can a rocket mass heater be combined with a tight modern construction?

I currently have a house under construction. The overall design is for a tight, well-insulated building with a balanced active air exchange system (an ERV: a unit with two blowers, one in and one out,...
8
votes
1answer
209 views

With regards to a Air Source Heat Pump, what is a “thermal shift setting”?

I have had a Panasonic Aquarea ASHP installed. The manual talks about a "water temperature thermal shift setting" which can be set to -5°C to 5°C. It doesn't make it clear at all what a "...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

At what point is it better to use a room heater vs a central heating unit?

I have a house which has a central heating and cooling system which I assume uses a heat pump. This central heating system is not zoned so when I turn it on, I need to heat the entire house. I live ...
8
votes
2answers
153 views

Would you save energy by heating the air in a shower stall so that you could use colder water?

It is refreshing to take a cool shower in hot weather. And for the sake of discussion, lets assume that one should be "comfortable" with temeratures when taking a shower. Considering that the vast ...
7
votes
5answers
339 views

Practical and cheap ways to get warm at home this winter?

Since winter is near, can someone suggest some practical ways to get warm at home without spending too much in gas or electricity? Also for every solution, please add if it can be done homemade and ...
7
votes
2answers
940 views

How to save heating energy with roommates?

I live with roommates, and am only a renter not owner. I'm looking for ways to help with energy conservation despite this. We have one roommate who is wasteful about leaving lights on and, in ...
7
votes
1answer
66 views

What should I do with coal that I have been given?

My wife and I recently moved from London to a lovely old cottage in the countryside with electricity, no gas and a wood-burning stove. We are incrementally improving insulation to make the house more ...
7
votes
2answers
196 views

Which is more “meter” efficient? I would like my utility bill to significantly cheaper

I live in a 3 bedroom, two bath, large den, kitchen, attached garage Patio home. I live alone except for when my kids are in from college which is rare. I am hot natured so I keep my electric heating ...
7
votes
3answers
185 views

Temperature equalisation throughout the house

We have been living in our home for a year now, so have seen both summer and winter, and we are now looking to solve the heating and cooling problems we have. Heating The walls and roof of the house ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Oxyhydrogen as home heating method

I'm curious about the efficiency of using Oxyhydrogen as a home heating method. Oxyhydrogen can be generated from water. I understand the fact that it takes more energy to generate the oxyhydrogen, ...
6
votes
2answers
418 views

How much CO2 do those gas flame pits outside restaurants emit?

I've been noticing gas-fueled flame pit displays outside some "hip" restaurants, such as this one shown in a Portland Monthly article. I find myself reacting to them with disgust; it looks like they'...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

How can I estimate the gas usage of a pilot light?

Can anyone provide a method to estimate the gas flow rate to sustain a pilot light, using just the apparent size (flame width and length) and reasonable assumptions for things like gas line pressure? ...
6
votes
3answers
292 views

Good alternatives to a fuel oil heating system in an apartment block

I live in a building of 8 apartments, in Belgium. We share a communal fuel oil boiler in the basement to provide hot water and heat. For the latter, each apartment has radiators through which a hot ...
6
votes
2answers
134 views

Are ground source heat pumps a form of geothermal energy?

This question may be about semantics as much as sustainability, but let's see... When I think of geothermal energy, I think of hot rocks (or hot aquifers) that are kept warm by the internal volcanic ...
6
votes
1answer
472 views

Does burning used motor oil to generate heat on-site have a lower impact than sending it for recycling?

The service station next to my office saves the used oil from oil changes to burn in a special heater in the colder months. It is my understanding that used motor oil can be recycled in a number of ...
6
votes
1answer
417 views

Relative carbon footprint of gas or electric heating (UK)

Inspired by this question: Given the current UK (2014) generation mix, would changing a house from gas to electric heating increase or decrease its carbon footprint? The original question was about ...
6
votes
1answer
686 views

Setting radiator temperature to save energy

The heating system at our home is set to auto. I guess this means that our boiler will automatically operate as to maintain the temperature of the home. How much should we set the temperature of the ...
6
votes
1answer
307 views

How to manage a clogged chimney problem in a rocket mass heater?

I see some designs for rocket mass heaters on the internet and I found them very interesting as a sustainable heat source. In a normal wood-burning fireplace, the chimney needs frequently cleaning. ...
6
votes
2answers
55 views

Boosting radiator convection with fans

I found an article online from somebody who built a rig consisting of a number of pc fans mounted under a radiator, blowing upwards. A temperature sensor ensured the fans would kick in as soon as the ...
6
votes
1answer
96 views

Are there different types of water-source heat pump?

I have heard multiple names for water-source heat pumps. What's the difference between something called a water-to-water heat pump, and a seawater heat pump? Are they just different names for the same ...
6
votes
1answer
56 views

How to interpret the efficiency of ground-source heat pumps?

This page at energy.gov says the following about geothermal (or ground-source) heat pumps. Geothermal heat pumps (GHPs), sometimes referred to as GeoExchange, earth-coupled, ground- source, or ...
6
votes
1answer
71 views

Where to find cross-country data on winter thermostat (temperature) settings?

P. 136 of this pdf tells us that the average internal winter temperature of homes in Great Britain in 2010 was 16.9°C (62.4°F). I am interested in finding the corresponding figures for other ...
6
votes
2answers
182 views

Scavenging heat from exhaust flues

I am building a set of greenhouses. they will be 2700 sq.ft. each. I intend to grow year round in one and extend the season in the other two with them being dormant for 6 weeks mid winter. We will be ...
6
votes
1answer
73 views

Is it possible to calculate energy efficiency of a flat by knowing how much energy was consumed for heating?

During 6 days my heating system consumed 11,4 m3 of natural gas keeping its temperature at 20 degrees of Celsius. No human or other energy source (except for refrigerator) was inside the flat at that ...