Access-A-Hut's Blog

October 11, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 9:40 pm

We had had expensive floor heating put in. But of course, our contractor filed bankruptcy at the penultimate payment,and there is no way to enforce the warranty.  And the floor heating never did work.  So there went $6,000!

But I have a $45 heater that works quite well. It is a ceramic heater, and it has a timer and a remote control, so I can just snuggle in bed, get warm, turn off the heater–and then in the morning, turn it on again. This should work well.  The heater heats the entire house in about a half hour.


  1. In-floor heat is wonderful. It puts the heat right where it is most needed – near the people. Sorry to hear you were robbed by the contractor. I’m not sure what you mean by “it never did work”, but it may be able to be finished/repaired by a plumber or other contractor. (Of course your short term solution may make the most sense when comparing cost and potential disruption). If the contractor installed insulation or heat shield under the floor you have a better built home than most people even though the in-floor heat doesn’t work.

    The ceramic heater sounds like it’s working, but watch out, my experience has been that they are so cheaply made they usually are only safe to run one or two seasons. Just toss it and buy new. They don’t seem to be able to be repaired or salvaged. They can be major fire hazards. Keep any area near heater clear and set it on a an oversized ceramic or cast iron trivet so the heater doesn’t dry out and heat up the floor or furniture it sits on and cause a fire. (careful not to touch the trivet until it cools a few hours after the heater is turned off.

    Take a look for books and info on “movable insulation” at favorite web book sellers or your library. Movable, insulated panels installed after initial construction of a home to cover windows at night can dramatically save energy loss and your money. They can be made safe and have been recommended by federal energy and housing agencies for decades. Some can be quite decorative too. Movable insulation can be held tightly closed with a magnetic strip and yet easily operated by hand or by hand with a small stick for physically impaired users/occupants.

    Comment by Mike — October 12, 2011 @ 3:31 pm |Reply


    I should add, that if you have pets be VERY careful with portable heaters. Portable heaters generate concentrated heat from a single small area and are not like usual radiators, forced hot air, or in-floor heating that is spread out. The ceramic heater puts out an intense heat in a small area and then is switched off rather than delivering a large amount of less intense heat over a longer period of time and space. They are really two very different ways of heating.

    Although the portable ceramic heaters usually have tilt or tip-over safety switches that turn the heater off if tipped, the heaters can get so hot as to burn or otherwise injure your pets.

    If you have furry pets (dog or cat or bunnies), put the HEATER in a large sturdy cage to prevent your pet from coming in direct contact with the intense heat. Make sure the cage for the heater is large enough so that the cage (metal) does not become too hot to touch.

    If you have fish, birds or hamsters in their own aquarium or enclosure you will want to position the heater a few feat away from the pet, so your pet doesn’t get overheated or dried out. Make sure there is plenty of room air space around the aquarium or enclosure to disperse the heat.

    In all cases: Keep up with refilling the pet’s water and watch their behavior and condition for any changes. Deal with symptoms immediately AND move the heater or stop using it.

    Comment by Mike — October 12, 2011 @ 4:05 pm |Reply

  3. Thanks Mike! That is very good advice!

    By “never did work” I mean when I tuned on the heat for the floors, the tiles barely ever got warm. And the contractor is long gone, so I can’t even get someone to look at the radiant floor heating!

    But the house is well insulated. So I have the portable heater on a timer–I turn it on when I get home, have it going until i go to bed, and then start it about a half hour before I get up. Then when I go, I turn it off.

    The cat seems to be just fine covering up in bed or being active–the house, even unheated, doesn;t seem to get below 50 or so.

    But I will watch that cat around the heater!

    Comment by accessahut — October 13, 2011 @ 9:23 pm |Reply

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