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Old 01-19-2009, 01:59 PM   #1
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Alternative Heat

you northern and cold climate individuals please don't throw rocks...

here in central florida, the need for heat is very limited. in fact, if it weren't for the kids, we would almost never use it.

the problem is the dry air. my question is concerning practicality, safety, and efficiency(price too). would it be a better to buy a few humidifiers(or something to moisten the air), or electric blankets, or space heaters to remedy this?

naturally, we would leave the heat on at a low setting regardless of which "alternative heat" is chosen for the really cold nights, rare as they are.

we forgot to turn on the heat a few nights ago on a mildly cold night, and it felt so good to wake up w/out a sore throat and dry sinuses. and for anyone listening from the Dept Of Children, the temp was ~65F when i got up, and i immediately turned on the heat before leaving for work(several hours before the kids got up).

thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:34 PM   #2
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An ultrasonic humidifier will cost very little to run and is quiet.

Electric blankets would be much cheaper to run than turning on a whole house heater or using space heaters- but some people get worried about the EMF (electro mag field). Space heaters on all night might be a safety hazard if a bed comforter fell off a bed and got pushed into one.

Or- how about just buying extra blankets?

I bet most of my childhood winters in IL were spent in a bedroom that was less than 60 degrees (the woodstove was at other end of the house) and I never recall being cold as a kid. It is all just what you are used to.
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:56 PM   #3
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Ultrasonic ones are a PITA they put a white dust on everything and seem to blow out after a couple of months.

I've got one of those "Warm mist" steam/vapor ones by Vicks/Kaz now and it is a lot better. Have to descale it every couple of weeks 'coz my water is hard, but it's a lot less trouble than finding filters for the other types.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:00 PM   #4
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Yes the ones that boil the water by conduction of electricity with a little salt added to the water will draw about 1500 watts of power if you really salt the water and provide heat and humidity. The ultrasonic ones are vaporizing the minerals in the water and leave that "white dust" everywhere including in the TV electronics and your lungs. You can use distilled water but that is at least $1 a gallon.
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:28 PM   #5
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thanks for your comments.
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:41 PM   #6
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When I was a kid my parents used to humidify the house by putting a big pot of water on the stove on low setting. It wasn't hot enough to boil, but you could see the steam floating off of the top. We used a dedicated pot since there was a ring around the edges after a few days.
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Old 01-20-2009, 06:06 PM   #7
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Yeah, back when I had radiators, I just used to put pots of water on them. I've also got a large vent downstairs that I put bowls of water in, the humidifier is upstairs.
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I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
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Old 01-20-2009, 06:15 PM   #8
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When I was a kid we had several large bowls (one in each room and one in the hallway ) with a brick in each.
The brick was end on and would wick the water up at add to the surface area.
The bowls were filled each morning and evening and none of my family ever suffered from the respiratory problems of the kids in the neighbouring houses.

Simple , effective and low cost and low tech.
By the way it is based on a system used in the middle East for the past 3 000 years or so. They used earthenware pots but the idea is the same.

Cheers , Pete.
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:24 AM   #9
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fantastic idea Pete. gonna try it, thanks!
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:16 AM   #10
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bought a brick and dryer vent(for WAI experiment) today @ home depot...

brick: 71 cents, dryer vent: $7.98, experimenting: priceless.
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