Appologies in advance - I am a total clueless newbie. I did try a
google search of the archieve, but no luck.
Last year, I bought a cottage in the Muskokas in Central Ontario. The
cottage was built in 1993, is well insulated and is lived in all year
round by the previous owners until I bought it. The primary heating
source is an efficient wood stove, but there are base-board electric
heaters. The cottage has post and beam construction, and there is 5-6
feet under the cottage, with a dirt floor (what I call the crawlspace).
The walls of the crawlspace are cinderblock, but are insulated. The
"roof" of the crawlspace (which is also the floor of the cottage) is
not insulated - it is bare wood covered in carpet upstairs. The
cottage has heated lines bringing the water from the lake, and the
pipes run in the crawlspace (with the water heater etc.)
Last year, my first year with the cottage, I left the heaters on at
about 15 degrees C when I wasn't there, but the pipes froze on me when
the weather hit - 20 or 30. The previous owner never had a problem
with the pipes freezing, but then living there year round, the place
was always warm (and presumably some heat went through the floor and
kept the crawlspeace warm) and the water was being used. The copper
pipes are insulated with that grey foam stuff.
My initial thought was to use something like this
http://www.heatline.com/palprod.htm , but I was advised that if the
power went out (which it does from time to time), the heat would
dissipate quickly and things would freeze. So I might be better to
insulate the ceiling of the crawlspace and put a heat source down
I am looking for any suggestions overall, but if the advice to heat the
crawlspace is right, what type of heating can/should I use, given that
it is going to be on a dirt floor (or maybe a sheet of metal or
something on a dirt floor) and will be left alone for a few weeks at a
Is there a heater with a themostat that I can use in this application?
If so, presumably I would then insulate the ceiling of the crawlspace.
Sorry for the long question.