Dear 100 Hour Board,
We have one of these heaters (http://goo.gl/DvOtud). It is the only source of heat in our apartment.
Our apartment is 550 square feet with two bedrooms. It is the basement of a 100 year old house. We have concrete walls with no insulation.
We need to keep the windows cracked at all times as a safety precaution for the gas heater.
We can't have the heater running when we're not home (obviously). The heater company says we can run the heater all night but we aren't comfortable with this.
My husband gets sick if he's too hot. He's been this way since he was a baby. Because there is no thermostat control on the heater, even if we leave it on the lowest setting all night, it will get too warm. Also, the heater automatically shuts off if there's not enough oxygen. It's done this twice.
The heater is too strong for this small of a space. The company even says it shouldn't be the only source of heat in the home. But, we are stuck with it.
Since we can't leave the heater on when we're not home and we don't want to leave it on all night (and it might get too hot for my husband), how can we keep warm?
We have a 6 month old baby. Last winter and I my husband went without heat in our old place to save money. It was freezing but we bundled up. We can't let it get cold for the baby.
Should we get a space heater? Can you leave those on all night? When you're not home? Trust me, concrete walls and living underground makes things get cold fast.
Has anyone lived in this situation? With all these old houses in Provo, I'm guessing many of them don't have central heat. Or do they?
All utilities are included in our rent by the way. And, we already have an air purifier and humidifier running (it's usually 30% humidity --we got a reader-- when it should be closer to 50% for the baby). If we run to many appliances at once, we blow a fuse. For example, we can't vaccum and run the dishwasher at the same time....
That sounds like a difficult situation to live in. There's a number of efficient, economical and safe space heater options on the market, many of which are temperature controlled. You can leave them on when you're not there—my family uses a space heater to keep a bathroom somewhere in the mountains from freezing over. If you're planning on leaving it on when you're gone, though, remember you must absolutely not have anything too close to the front or sides of the heater as this poses a fire risk.
You can look for "temperature-controlled electric space heaters" online, or you can simply stop by a Sears, Home Depot, or Lowes next time you're running errands and see what's around. Be sure to ask someone knowledgeable there about how much energy different models consume and whether or not they suit your electrical circuit's parameters.