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Electrical Optimization

September 1, 2010 3 comments

Our house is tall.  Most of our day is spent on the main floor, the bedrooms are on floor 2 and the attic houses a playroom for the kids.  Sadly, while there used to be a radiator at the bottom of the attic stairs and one in the attic they had been removed a long time ago.  Possibly when the steam boiler got swapped 30 years ago the one they put in didn’t do a good job for all the floors so they took them out.  What is left up in the attic is a set of 3 baseboard heaters that I’m not really happy with.  They get a bit too hot, and last winter Petra’s Cinderalla Barbie suffered some hair meltage because she was placed up against one of them.

 

I’ve been thinking of ways to try and reduce the electricity usage needed for the playroom and I’ve been batting around a few ideas.  One is that I need to get a programmable thermostat for the attic.  There aren’t any kids up there between 8PM and 8AM so having the heat off/very low would do a good job to cut usage by up to 1/2.  The other thing I’d like to put in is a ceiling fan which would pull up the cold air and force the warm ceiling-level air to circulate down.  As our house has no forced air heating it can get pretty stagnant and it should help to make the room more comfortable when set a bit cooler and make the heat created more usable.  The third thing I have in mind is I would like to have an on-demand heater that senses when the room is in use and heats it up.  I know that infrared heaters create heat immediately, so I would like to go to the store and give some a try.  If I could have the baseboards hold the temp at cool but manageable during the day the infrared could quickly make it comfortable.

 

I don’t know if I will have the time/money to do the infrared thing this year.  Heck, I think it would be efficient to put in-floor heating under the carpet but the cost is just waaaay to high for that.  Even without the infrared I think I can save half the heat costs which at 10c per kwh x 3 1000w heaters x 16 hours heating per day x 30 days x 5 months would mean saving half of $720.  Hmm…  looking at it that way it might be a good idea just to shut down the playroom for Jan-Feb… 

 

Well, that’s the plan, I’ll have to let you know how it works out.

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