cheaper to use oil-filled heater and keep thermostat at 62?

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I work in an unheated basement all day and the temp ranges from 55-62 degrees. I've grown accustomed to the temp with an array of fleece pants, jackets and socks. My children don't seem to be bothered by cold temps. The problem is my wife, she cannot handle any temperature lower than 66 degrees. I feel it's a little wasteful to turn up the heat for the whole house (we have one-zone heat) when she is the only one uncomfortable so I was considering an oil-filled heater to follow her around. I'm just wondering if it's worth it or will it be a wash cost-wise. Has anyone else tried this?
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What part of Uzbekistan do you live? 66 degrees is not an unreasonable temperature to keep your house. It's probably better for the interior surfaces and structure as well. That few degrees probably won't make that much monetary difference and everyone will feel better.

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55 to 62 is reasonable if you are active. A bit chilly for most that are not. We use 68 here and are comfy.
You'll probably find the space heater very expensive to operate. I tried doing that by keeping our family room warm and the rest of the house cooler. Oil bill went down, but the electric bill went up twice the oil savings.
Many people think keeping a house in the mid 60's is some sort of torture, but that is really considered warm compared to typical homes before cheap central heat. Can you imagine what it was like in some of the big stone castles? Last March we stayed in a stone house built in the 1100's. (Yes, 1100's, in Italy) The owner kept the heat at 57, but I had to boost it to 62. The walls were about 2 feet thick so it took some time for it to warm up.
--
Ed
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You know what gets meare the people that have weekend homes around here and the can't understand why they go through so much oil during the winter.
"I keep the thermostat all the way down at 60 degrees!"
They can't understand that when it's in the lower 20s at night, it's going to burn some oil to keep it at 60.
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wrote:

I dunno, it's pretty routinely around that temp where I live at night, and I keep the thermostat on 64 after 11PM and the heat rarely comes on overnight. (I'm kind of a night owl on weekends, so I know.) Thing is, if you've got a house that's good at holding heat, it's going to take it a while to really drop down into the lower 60's assuming it's kept close to 70 during the day. (We keep ours at 70.) In fact, my heat usually only comes on twice a day unless it's really down at around zero degrees outside - then it starts to have a hard time keeping up.
We do have plaster walls that are good at holding heat, and we've done our best to weatherstrip the hell out of this place and replace any leaking doors and windows. This house was not this efficient when we bought it, that's for sure. But I'm sure plenty of houses are more efficient than ours, even now.
Those old stone castles are actually also really good at holding in heat. The problem is there's no good way to heat an entire castle, so of course they're cold today if you go and stay in one now in a room that was never used during winter when the castle was built. That's not what they used to do back in the day; the family would live in a couple of interior rooms during winter and they'd heat that with a couple of massive fireplaces that were constantly running. I guarantee you those castles were plenty warm - stone walls radiate warmth and seal out any cold air pretty darn effectively.
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That was exactly the reason I didn't buy a castle

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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

I've done some experimenting and found that 65 seems to be my hard limit. At 65 I am comfortable, at 64 my fingers start to develop permafrost.
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Truth About the cost of using a typical Electric Oil Filled space heater. I keep a vigilant watch over my eating/cooling expenses. Last Year I paid $351.40 for 4306 kWh. This works out to $0.08 per kWh making a 1500 w (1.5 kW) oil heater cost $0.12 per hour to operate. I have a Fuel Oil Furnace that has a 0.65 gallon/hour nozzle. That is, I use .65 gallons of fuel oil every hour the furnace runs. At say ~$3.35 a gallon for fuel oil that makes my furnace cost $2.18 per hour to operate and and my Oil Filled Electric Heaters are only $0.12 (each) per hour to operate. Now you can think about what you should do and not listen to people who can't do or don't understand simple math.
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On Wed, 23 Jan 2008 15:31:13 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You might not understand that simple math yourself. Your furnace may cost $2.18 per hour but that is actual burner run time. Most furnaces dont run for an hour each hour. Way less actually. Your single electric heater however probably will run a solid hour and more. Your oil furnace is heating your entire home. Your electric heater is heating a single spot in that home. Add up the amount of electric heaters you need to put out the same amount of heat as your oil furnace. Now add all of those $0.12 per hour electric heaters. It all depends on how many heaters but the numbers will be a bit closer now than in your example of "simple math". Bubba
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I used 228.10 gallons of fuel oil for last years heating season of ~5 months. This is on average 1.5 gallons of fuel oil per day. Understand some days I don't run the furnace, but lets just say on average to keep the math simple, thats approximately $5.00/day at today fuel oil price. As a comment to a previous post
"You'll probably find the space heater very expensive to operate."
All I was trying to prove is that Oil Filled Electric Heaters cost $0.12/hr to operate and this might prove more cost effective to the original poster's problem. And yes it is rooted in simple math. I use one in the family room and keep the rest of the house closed up and much cooler. Mine does cycle and I don't leave it on 24/7. So in my humble opinion, for some applications, oil filled electric heaters offer a cost effective efficient alternative.
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Joe wrote:

Small space heater is a good idea. Ones with fan are cheaper than oil filled. Know what you are going through because my wife is like that.
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buffalo ny: it's actually 71 degrees, so you may be wrong, but read on: a wife is never wrong, and she may change her mind, but personal comfort is unrelated to a democratic vote of your household population. comfort is often related to a combination of many things including temperature, humidity, barometer reading, and oxygen levels as well as frequency of fresh air changes. boost your home's insulation for immediate energy savings in dollars, and zone your heat. adding silent warmth from a brooder lamp's 250 watt infrared bulb will warm her frozen skin while you skiers thrive without thinsulate outerwear from www.LLBEAN.COM {get a warmer answer of what she wants, or you'll be on the receiving end of more than her cold shoulder, mister! -ann landers never said this. } the 71 degrees standard and more are at: http://ergo.human.cornell.edu/studentdownloads/DEA350notes/Thermal/thcomnotes1.html -b
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I heat 99% with wood (oil this year $3.21/gal). I will be sittign around in t-shirt and wife "I'm cold, put some wood on". I think she would complain if the house was 85 degrees.
Harry K
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Joe,
Buy her some thermal underwear, not sexy but hot in it's own way.
Dave M.
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You want a wife to be practical ? ;)
Free men own guns - www(dot)geocities(dot)com/CapitolHill/5357/
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I assume when you say oil-filled, you are talking about an electric heater. Chances are that electric is going to be far more expensive than oil. It will be heating a smaller area so it may not be too bad and it will make heating the rest of the a little less expensive, but overall you are going to save money if you can heat that area without going to electric to do it, even if it means heating the rest of the home a little more.
Do you have air or water distributing the heat from the central furnace?
I suspect a professional HVAC man could make some suggestions that would allow you to get more heat in the basement without replacing the current furnace.
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Joseph Meehan

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wrote:

It's hot water heat, I don't need the heat in the basement. It only gets unbearable when the temp gets down to the 55 range at the end of the winter and the ground is saturated with cold water. I'm just looking for a way to keep my wife warm without having to warm the entire house. It's her hands that are the problem.
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You should be able to set up the current system to provide the needed heat or additional heat to whatever location you wife needs the heat. It may or may not require some additional hardware, but it is almost certain to be less expensive in the long run to use the system you already have taking advantage of the much lower cost per BTU of your hot water system than electric. Of course in a few areas the cost of electric is very low and there the situation would be different.
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Joseph Meehan

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wrote:

Just a suggestion. It actually works.
If appropriate re-locate the thermostat. Choose a location like the drywall directly in front of the furnace flue pipe. The thermostat will show a higher reading than the actual temperature of the house because of the radiant heat behind the wall. You can set it at 72 and no one will be the wiser. Who would ever turn a thermostat above 72? They'll just thinks that there is something wrong with them.
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On Wed, 16 Jan 2008 15:20:21 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

Another less radical option (and one less likely to raise suspicion) is to relocate a floor or table lamp either directly below or in close proximity to the wall thermostat -- the heat radiated from this lamp will "fool" the thermostat into thinking the living space is warmer than it really is.
To ensure good results, you may have to remove any lower wattage CFL or energy saving lamp, if so equipped, and revert back to a traditional 40, 60 or 100-watt incandescent (for really demanding applications, substitute a 150 or 200-watt version and mumble something about your failing eyesight). =:o
Experiment with this and, above all, be subtle about it so that the powers that be don't catch on to what you're doing and, if they do, feign ignorance, as in "oh, how silly of me, dear... I never would have thought of that...".
Using trickery and deceit to save one marriage at a time...
Cheers, Paul
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