space heater

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  • RandomJoeRandomJoe Solar Expert Posts: 472 ✭✭✭
    Re: space heater
    krisman wrote: »
    and when i do this, is this going to glue the door to the frame? because thats where the space is, between the door and frame. and whats going to happen when i spray this on and let it set, and then having to open the door eventually, wont it be stuck then, or when i do open it wont the foam break off?

    I had a feeling this was where your air gap was. The expanding foam is great for between the door frame and wall, but it isn't for this application. Yes, it'll glue the door to the frame, and when you try to open it the stuff will crack / break and look awful! How big of a gap are you talking about here? Normally there wouldn't be much of one unless it was poorly hung or something has settled.

    For the usual small gaps, there are various stick-on (cheap) or tack-on weather strips. I've seen felt, but for larger gaps you may need something thicker like foam or rubber. If the gap is between two doors that join in the middle of the doorway, you could attach a strip to one door that overlaps the other, thus closing the gap. (Means you have to open one door before the other, so a bit less convenient.) Across the bottom a taller sill plate or one with a big rubber "bumper" to push against the bottom of the door.

    In a few of the apartments I lived in I just bought a roll of the stick-on foam weatherstrip. Quite cheap, and it comes in various thicknesses as needed. It isn't likely to last terribly long though, especially if it's subject to side-to-side rubbing as the door opens/closes. I wasn't going to put a lot of effort into a rental though! :roll:
  • krismankrisman Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: space heater

    that is exactly what i need i think is foam weather stripping. i did spray the foam in the gap though and like you said it wanted to stick, but i did open the door before it sat too much and it didnt stick as bad, but it did help a little bit, i think the problem is the door isnt insualted and it is cold to the touch, i wanted to put some kind of fleece blanket over it but have no idea how to mount it up without getting tape on the frame or tack marks in the frame.

    anyway, i have found a major source of my heating problem, the filters inside the vents are so thick that it is cutting my heat down a lot. i want to know if theres anything that will filter, without being so thick and cutting my heat down. i thought about window screening but dont know how well that will filter. any help would be appreciated.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,608 admin
    Re: space heater
    krisman wrote: »
    anyway, i have found a major source of my heating problem, the filters inside the vents are so thick that it is cutting my heat down a lot. i want to know if theres anything that will filter, without being so thick and cutting my heat down. i thought about window screening but dont know how well that will filter. any help would be appreciated.

    Generally, the filter is installed in the main air plenum intake. I guess you could put one in the outlet instead--but this could collect dust/dirt on your heat exchanger and cause a "hot/cooking/burning" smell (especially at the start of heating season).

    If you don't find any filters around your furnace/central heat--I would remove the filters out the heating registers and look for a place to install a filter.

    In some very old heaters I have seen (I am no HVAC guy)--it turned out that you unplug and lift the blower assembly out of the furnace and place a standard sized filter right under the blower intake--and place the blower assembly right on the filter.

    For my home--I had a very large plenum intake under the floor grid where I could put two 16"x20" filters at a ~30 degree angle. I just got a piece of 1/2" plywood and cut out a frame that could hold the two filters. I screwed on a couple 1"x2" braces behind the frame and used a couple of long screws in the face of the plywood to hold the filters in position. Worked great (I should pull the plywood out someday and give it a coat of paint.

    I tilted my filters in the plenum so that I could get as much surface area as possible instead of dropping a filter in front of a 12" diameter intake pipe. If you do not have a place where you can do this--or are unsure what to do--a professional HVAC guy and/or a little duct work may be required.

    But in terms of costs--figuring out how to better insulate/seal against air leaks is going to be a money saver in the long run for your family.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,571 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: space heater
    krisman wrote: »
    ....
    anyway, i have found a major source of my heating problem, the filters inside the vents are so thick that it is cutting my heat down a lot. i want to know if theres anything that will filter, without being so thick and cutting my heat down. i thought about window screening but dont know how well that will filter. any help would be appreciated.

    Standard Forced Air Units (FAU) are NOT designed to push air thru filters at outlet registers. They are designed to suck clean air thru intake filters. It sounds like you need to spend some $$ for a duct cleaning session. Often, someone forgets to install the intake filter, and the crud in the air contaminates the whole system. Dust gets carbonized as it goes past the heat exchanger and turns into a gunky mess all over.
    You might have something different, but it would be odd.
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  • krismankrisman Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: space heater

    i have no idea where the filter is on the main unit, we have looked everywhere. thats why we stuck filters in the vents to keep stuff out of the house....in my case spiders. i went to the hardware store and bought some filtering paper for like a buck, it wasnt like the old, this one has small holes, i think i can already feel a difference and maybe it wont work AS HARD until i can get out and try to find the external filter again. and if i dont find one or it doesnt have one, do you think a piece of window screen folded double would work to filter and save it from working so hard? it is a 20 year old heat and air unit remember, and the furnace is natural gas. if that helps any
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,608 admin
    Re: space heater

    I am not an HVAC guy--but I have seen filters on 50+ year old simple gas fired heaters for small apartments--so I would guess that yours should have one too.

    My inlaws have a 35 year old central heat system on their house with an electrostatic filter (I don't think has worked in 25+ years).

    I am wondering if you have spiders in your ducts because you have organics from non-filtered air circulating/collecting bugs--which attracts spiders. :confused:

    It may really be time to bring a HVAC guy in or invite your HVAC friend over and offer him a case of beer and to watch a football game on your wide screen TV. ;)

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • krismankrisman Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: space heater

    as far as i know, nothing has crawled up so far. but just the thought creeps me out. paranoia i guess. ill keep checking on the unit for the filter, but ill keep the screening idea just in case, surely that wont overload it too much
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,608 admin
    Re: space heater

    Interestingly... Having no filters in a forced air furnace is what may overload the blower motor.

    Like a vacuum cleaner, they typically centrifical type blowers. The motor loading is reduced as the airflow is reduced.

    The big issue is the balance of back pressure--if only a few vents have a filter installed, then the air goes to the vents that are not restricted.

    Screen material will reduce the air flow a bit--but then dust may collect and eventually need to be cleaned.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,571 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: space heater

    You need to call a HVAC tech to go over your system, check the heat exch for cracks, clean dust out of the burner, show you where the air filter goes. Currently, our heater just has a slot, the filter slips into, unless you take one out of it, you;d never guess it went anywhere, Old place had a filter that wedged under the blower housing, and had a U shape retaining wire hold it against the suction. Nearly every brand has one, and in a different place!!

    sample instructions:
    http://www.filtersusa.com/filterchanging.cfm
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
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  • krismankrisman Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: space heater

    i think i know of a guy who could do some service on it, he didnt know anything about the electrical parts and everything because he didnt install it, but you wouldnt have to know anything special just to do some routine service work would you? until then, yeah theres one vent that doesnt have a filter (the filter with the small holes thaat seem to be letting air out a lot better) and this vent puts out extremely warm air, then there is one that has the old type filter, and then one big vent in the hall that has a big square filter. i think im going to get another sheet of material and put in those 3 vents to even the air out, until i can get it checked out better. is this a good idea?
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,571 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: space heater
    krisman wrote: »
    and then one big vent in the hall that has a big square filter.

    BINGO Get a piece of tissue paper, and see if that vent sucks or blows .

    if it sucks (I'm sure it does) you have located your intake and filter.

    Carefully, pull the filter (and the crud stuck to it.) and don't slice your finger on the metal parts. There should be a size marked on it, record the size, and go to the store, and get a couple new filters to replace it with. Generally, they should be replaced every season. Some are rated for 30 days use, some 90 days use. Some are washable, most are disposable.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

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  • krismankrisman Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: space heater

    are you kidding me? my mom replaces it every month. i noticed that it didnt put out much heat, i just thought the big filter had it bogged down, the vent that has the most hot output is located within like 5 feet of it which would explain why it is the hottest in the house right?
    anyway the big vent has like wood sides, and is like maybe a foot deep, maybe like a 12 x 12 square or something. but she buys the old disposable ones at wal mart, ive heard you can get a permanent one at the hardware store. should i go with that?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,608 admin
    Re: space heater

    There are several types of "permanent" type filters.
    • Washable: Just fibers that take washing and not fall apart
    • Washable+charged: This have plastic fibers that are formed in a strong electric field so that the fibers have a +/- electrostatic charge on the surface. Supposed to attract smaller particles without using a fine meshed filter (better air flow). I don't know how well they work
    • Washable Electrostatic Filters: Uses high voltage electronics and wires/screens to charge the particles and attract them to oppositely charged plates. Would require a change to duct work and installation of hardware. Work well, not cheap. Electronics do fail (aka in-laws home)
    Do the "Mike Test" and see if the large vent draws air (most likely) or outputs air (unlikely). That would be where the one and only system filter should be located.

    If there is a heating vent nearby--that would normally be a mistake. The heat from the register would be drawn right back into the furnace intake. I would think about blocking the heating register if it is that close to the intake.

    Also, if you have "cool" heating registers... You might have uninsulated duct work in the attic or crawl spaces (your home sounds new enough that the duct work should be insulated--my 70 year old home had uninsulated duct work--added metalized bubble wrap to our exposed ducts--made the heated air much warmer from our registers and saved a bunch of natural gas costs too--we also replaced our heater with an 80+% efficient unit too--95% efficient models are also available).

    Or, you might have air leaks/broken duct work that is leaking most of of the air elsewhere.

    All of the heating vents should have roughly the same temperature output--just different air flow (small rooms, low air flow output; large rooms with big windows, lots of air flow). I have one remote room over a garage that has pretty cool "hot air" because of a long run in an unheated garage (again, some insulation was added to the duct work--but it only helps so much).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • krismankrisman Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: space heater

    ok, so once i do this test and it does suck air like you say, then it is safe to remove all the other filters from all the other vents? and only worry about the main big one right?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,608 admin
    Re: space heater

    That would be my guess...

    It should be pretty obvious if you looked at your forced air unit... There should be the inlet side (typically one large/short duct) through the heating/fan unit, then to a box with a bunch of smaller ducts running throughout the home.

    You might check for air leaks around inlet box/ducting. I have seen older homes/apartments where they really did not care too much about the inlets. So they would draw air not only from the home but from crawl spaces too (in my case, I used to have water under my home in the winter and it was a bit bad smelling--adding a filter forced more air through the leaks and made the problem worse).

    Air leaks were one way to get more fresh air into the home.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • krismankrisman Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: space heater

    problem solved! now in my bathroom, when i reach up under the shades, i can feel a pretty good draft right at the bottom of the baseboard of the window, what do you guys recommend for this? plastic over the outside windows, towels over the inside?
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: space heater

    do you mean the bottom of the trim around the window is where you feel the draft ? if so take the trim off and use the foam to fill the gap or the 'hole'.. if it is around the glass, use silicone sealant or if it is a moving pane look at seals to stem the flow of air in...


    Eric
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
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  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: space heater

    3m indoor window insulator kits. Cheap, easy and reusable. Clear as glass, you don't even know they are there, and they reduce heat loss from the window by ~50%! (Not including cutting infiltration losses! Cost a few bucks a window. But first, find and fill as many air infiltration (drafts) you can. Remove trim, use spray foam and or caulk.

    Tony
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,608 admin
    Re: space heater

    If you need to pop of the trim... Take a utility knife and core/cut the paint around each piece of trim. Then use a set of thin pry bars to gently work the trim off to do your insulation job.

    If you do it right, just a little bit of putty on the nail holes and a bit of touch up paint and your are done (PS: with your finish nails, cut the point off with a pair of wire cutters--the blunt end will help reduce the chance of splitting the old dry trim--whereas the sharp point will tend to spread the grain and may cause splits).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • krismankrisman Solar Expert Posts: 57 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: space heater

    its coming around the main bottom of the bottom piece of wood trim. it being wood and me never fooling with trim before. is the great stuff still the best option? or is there a better route for a first timer?
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: space heater

    depends how big the gap is, but generally , yes...
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
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