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making the best of electric heat

 
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One idea is to use infrared heat instead of heating the whole space.

But even more clever is to have the infrared heat follow you.

 
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Super cool.

Imagine something like that on six light bulbs.  Less power, but just as much heat.   And it can heat you from all directions.  And light you from all directions.

 
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UPDATE--I made it.  Today is spring.  I did not need to turn on the radiator once al winter long. And we had a couple of really cold nights.

It may of course become winter again in five minutes, this being New England on global weirding steroids, but I think it's safe to say I don't need fossil fuel heat in my room.

I will admit I turned the heat on one really cold night for my partner, who was leaving next morning at 4 am for a flight, when we'd stayed up too late to really have time to heat with the laptop.  

It's not a fully scientific experiment, but it's an urban experiment, and it was comfortable.  I could sleep.  Usually I haven't even needed the dinosaur laptop, just my newish mac charger (supposedly 6 watts--though I would guess it's a bit more than that, let's say 15 to be really conservative).  

 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
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Another update--now I have moved, and am looking for help with a whole new set of questions.

The building where I live is a 12-unit, brick building.  We don't "pay" for heat, the landlord does.  But it is resistance base-board heating, our old friend from chapter 1 of this thread.

The Town or maybe the State has a program that subsidizes air-source heat pumps, and the apartments' air conditioner units go right through the wall already, so it would be an easy matter to switch those out for hte air-source heat pumps.

Here are the questions in my mind:

1 --are air source heat pumps actually not going to leak yet another greenhouse or ozone-layer-depleting gas into the atmosphere that will once again be a big problem? is it a net improvement to switch?  First it was CFC's, then HCFC's were found to be problematic if I have the right labels, and now it's...is there a really solid reason to trust the current coolant substance?
1 a. --what's the energy- and toxin-footprint of creating the new coolant substance??  (links to threads or websites please).  

ETA: I found bad news about the new replacment-for-the-R22-HCFC:

"Also consider that R-410A’s global-warming potential (GWP) is 2,088, and the refrigerant management program of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) defines any refrigerant with a GWP greater than or equal to 150 as a high-GWP refrigerant."

from www.archnews.com

If there is considerable doubt about air pumps (as there is in my mind at the moment since I haven't found a relevant info source yet), I would like to try to switch to radiant heat.

I am willing to do what I did last winter, and my plants also survived, heat Joshua and not the air.  However, my partner is probably not so happy doing the leave-the-air-cold, heat-the-person thing.  I can try to get her more radiant heat sources (incandescent bulbs in places she likes to frequent), but I think I'm going to need more than that.  Like maybe conductive heated slippers?  (In her culture they say to keep your head cool and feet warm.)

--anyone have any batter-heated slippers or clothes that worked well?

Next, I don't have the extra money to pay much for these things myself.  I would like to sell the landlord on paying for them--since they (the landlord is really a management company here, I don't have a name or a face to reference) will be saving significant money with us not having our heat on.  But I don't know how much.  Under the rental agreement, the landlord must provide heat, but we don't see that bill...only the regular electric bill.  And I imagine it's probably a collective heat bill that the landlord sees rather than unit-by-unit...

--How would you go about talking to/seizing control of a landlord about this? what are the holes in my case I'm not seeing? what fears will they have (safety, cost, etc.) might I have allay?

(My tactic of last resort is going to be hardball--threaten to crank the resistance baseboard heating up to the maximum setting the thermostat will allow, open the window, and wait till they're interested in having a conversation about homesteading and permaculture...but I doubt I'll sleep better being combative than I would going with the herd-approved solution of doing the violence to the Earth and atmosphere...so I really don't want to get to this point.)

And then there's the rest of the building.  I have made some connection with the neighbors, though I wouldn't say we're on close terms yet.  I would like to get them on board with this. . .but they are all from much warmer climates than here, and my imagination is that a bunch of people from much warmer climates are going to be skeptical of a person from here telling them things about how to heat their homes...at least I would come across as insensitive.  And they are all very busy, working multiple jobs some of them to pay their rent.

3--what could make a really iron-clad request/proposal of the fellow tenants?

Do you think I could negotiate with the landlord to lower the rent if we manage to give them cooperation on the heat?

(A big challenge with this is that by the rental agreements and I think State law the heat has to be included with rent payment, we can't be billed for it separately--and so the heat can't be our responsibility, the feedback if we waste or don't waste heat doesn't come back to us, the tenants.  On the other hand, the landlord has no incentive to reimburse us for saving them money.  How do we incentivize that? "We were easy on your pocketbook this last winter, would you like to see us do that again?"

I guess my biggest hangup is the assumption that it is unlikely anyone is going to sit down with me and take the time to have a rational conversation with me--so it's a matter of selling them on having a conversation in the first seven seconds.

Sorry this is more of a politics game question than a heat question, but it follows along in the topic of making the most of electric heat--and if we manage to crack this here at my apartment building, others might follow suit.

Me: hello landlord/management company, I have question for you, why do you hate money?
landlord: what do you mean?
Me: well you're wasting about the rental cost of one unit in our 12-unit every month over the course of the winter, it's like you just want to pay Con-ed more than you want to pay yourself.  Since you're so altruistic, how'd you like to give me some of that money and put the rest toward a cleaner planet? oh, you're not altruistic? OK then, let's talk about a more efficient heating strategy.

 
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Mark Rose wrote:One idea is to use infrared heat instead of heating the whole space.

But even more clever is to have the infrared heat follow you.



Cool gadgetry, Mark and you are quite the whiz with these units. Maybe you should approach the manufacturer with a patent [yours] that would have the "follower" be part of the unit.

Can I ask, why is your basement only at 13C? Is the basement insulated?

Are there no heat ducts that empty there? Is the system a gas/forced air heating arrangement?
 
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Electric blankets are probably the most efficient use of electric heat to keep a person warm.

I had electricity at a job site, but did not have an electric blanket. I did have an incandescent light bulb on a cord and a small metal garbage can, made out of wire. I suspended the bulb in a manner that would prevent it from catching anyting aflame, and used it as a bed heater until I went to sleep, and again when I woke up. 60 watts for a couple hours, which is a bit less than you'd use an electric heated house.

Sometimes when I exhaust the battery from a cordless tool, rather quickly, it warms up. These can be placed under the blankets. I like to keep the charger close enough to the bed, that I can keep feeding it until all batteries are charged. Easy to find because they are the lumpy things beside me in bed. I'm sure somebody can have fun with that last statement. :-)

The charger gives off a minor amount of heat.
 
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When I lived on solar electric in passive solar heated houses that go down to 15C (50sF) on winter nights, a hot water bottle was my essential sleep tool. Without it, I could and often did lie awake in bed for 3 or 4 hours due to cold feet. Joining a dance party with my students was the only other effective alternative, but only about once a month.

Now that I'm in a passive solar heated house with grid power (and no dance parties), an electric mattress pad is even better. It says it's only 100W or so. I turn it on a half hour before bed on chilly nights, and turn it off when I get into bed, or in the coldest season might leave it on for a while.

I did try the hot rock mentioned by somebody on the previous page. I would put a stone on the gas burner for a while, then wrap it in some wool. However since I couldn't control the temperature of the rock, I did burn the wool a few times, and once it changed the color of a stone from a drab grey with a white stripe to a pretty sunset-pink with a white stripe. Years later in my garden it still has that color.
 
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Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:Another update--now I have moved, and am looking for help with a whole new set of questions.

The building where I live is a 12-unit, brick building.  We don't "pay" for heat, the landlord does.  But it is resistance base-board heating, our old friend from chapter 1 of this thread.

The Town or maybe the State has a program that subsidizes air-source heat pumps, and the apartments' air conditioner units go right through the wall already, so it would be an easy matter to switch those out for hte air-source heat pumps.

Here are the questions in my mind:

1 --are air source heat pumps actually not going to leak yet another greenhouse or ozone-layer-depleting gas into the atmosphere that will once again be a big problem? is it a net improvement to switch?  First it was CFC's, then HCFC's were found to be problematic if I have the right labels, and now it's...is there a really solid reason to trust the current coolant substance?
1 a. --what's the energy- and toxin-footprint of creating the new coolant substance??  (links to threads or websites please).  


The standard refrigerant is identical in both a modern AC unit and a heat pump unit.  The only difference is that the heat pump has valves and controls that allow the heat to be pumped in either direction.  But you don't own the building, so this isn't even an option for you.


If there is considerable doubt about air pumps (as there is in my mind at the moment since I haven't found a relevant info source yet), I would like to try to switch to radiant heat.



Good idea.  If baseboard electric heat is paid for in the rent, is all electric?



I am willing to do what I did last winter, and my plants also survived, heat Joshua and not the air.  However, my partner is probably not so happy doing the leave-the-air-cold, heat-the-person thing.  I can try to get her more radiant heat sources (incandescent bulbs in places she likes to frequent), but I think I'm going to need more than that.  Like maybe conductive heated slippers?  (In her culture they say to keep your head cool and feet warm.)

What about electric floor mats?  You can get long ones for hallways, and more squarish ones for special spots such as the floor in front of your couch.  They are pretty low wattage, and can be left on for hours.



Next, I don't have the extra money to pay much for these things myself.  I would like to sell the landlord on paying for them--since they (the landlord is really a management company here, I don't have a name or a face to reference) will be saving significant money with us not having our heat on.  But I don't know how much.  Under the rental agreement, the landlord must provide heat, but we don't see that bill...only the regular electric bill.  And I imagine it's probably a collective heat bill that the landlord sees rather than unit-by-unit...

--How would you go about talking to/seizing control of a landlord about this? what are the holes in my case I'm not seeing? what fears will they have (safety, cost, etc.) might I have allay?

(My tactic of last resort is going to be hardball--threaten to crank the resistance baseboard heating up to the maximum setting the thermostat will allow, open the window, and wait till they're interested in having a conversation about homesteading and permaculture...but I doubt I'll sleep better being combative than I would going with the herd-approved solution of doing the violence to the Earth and atmosphere...so I really don't want to get to this point.)


Excessive utilities use is grounds for eviction.  Don't try this.



And then there's the rest of the building.  I have made some connection with the neighbors, though I wouldn't say we're on close terms yet.  I would like to get them on board with this. . .but they are all from much warmer climates than here, and my imagination is that a bunch of people from much warmer climates are going to be skeptical of a person from here telling them things about how to heat their homes...at least I would come across as insensitive.  And they are all very busy, working multiple jobs some of them to pay their rent.

3--what could make a really iron-clad request/proposal of the fellow tenants?

Do you think I could negotiate with the landlord to lower the rent if we manage to give them cooperation on the heat?


No, I don't. The regulations regarding shared utilities are so rigid, I don't think you have any chance at all of moving the landlord.  Probably best to work on your own comfort, while conditioning your other to the value of radiant heat. When I first got married, my wife had never used a gas stovetop, never lived in a home heated with wood, never had a heated bed, never owned a quality wool throw.  I introduced each of these luxuries to her one at a time, and she'd have a fit if I took them away now.  Now she asks me to start a fire in the woodstove when she's chilled, because the feel of radiant heat coming from the woodstove in winter cannot be compared.  The heated mattress pad alone let me drop the overnight setting on the programmable thermostat by 4 degrees; for the cost of less than one KWH per night.
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
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Thanks, this is brilliant!  Especially the heated mattress pad.  I need to look those up, hadn't heard of them.  I'm so glad she'd throw a fit if you removed these luxuries now, this is the jackpot!


Creighton Samuels wrote:

Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:Another update--now I have moved, and am looking for help with a whole new set of questions.

The building where I live is a 12-unit, brick building.  We don't "pay" for heat, the landlord does.  But it is resistance base-board heating, our old friend from chapter 1 of this thread.

The Town or maybe the State has a program that subsidizes air-source heat pumps, and the apartments' air conditioner units go right through the wall already, so it would be an easy matter to switch those out for hte air-source heat pumps.

Here are the questions in my mind:

1 --are air source heat pumps actually not going to leak yet another greenhouse or ozone-layer-depleting gas into the atmosphere that will once again be a big problem? is it a net improvement to switch?  First it was CFC's, then HCFC's were found to be problematic if I have the right labels, and now it's...is there a really solid reason to trust the current coolant substance?
1 a. --what's the energy- and toxin-footprint of creating the new coolant substance??  (links to threads or websites please).  


The standard refrigerant is identical in both a modern AC unit and a heat pump unit.  The only difference is that the heat pump has valves and controls that allow the heat to be pumped in either direction.  But you don't own the building, so this isn't even an option for you.


If there is considerable doubt about air pumps (as there is in my mind at the moment since I haven't found a relevant info source yet), I would like to try to switch to radiant heat.



Good idea.  If baseboard electric heat is paid for in the rent, is all electric?



I am willing to do what I did last winter, and my plants also survived, heat Joshua and not the air.  However, my partner is probably not so happy doing the leave-the-air-cold, heat-the-person thing.  I can try to get her more radiant heat sources (incandescent bulbs in places she likes to frequent), but I think I'm going to need more than that.  Like maybe conductive heated slippers?  (In her culture they say to keep your head cool and feet warm.)

What about electric floor mats?  You can get long ones for hallways, and more squarish ones for special spots such as the floor in front of your couch.  They are pretty low wattage, and can be left on for hours.



Next, I don't have the extra money to pay much for these things myself.  I would like to sell the landlord on paying for them--since they (the landlord is really a management company here, I don't have a name or a face to reference) will be saving significant money with us not having our heat on.  But I don't know how much.  Under the rental agreement, the landlord must provide heat, but we don't see that bill...only the regular electric bill.  And I imagine it's probably a collective heat bill that the landlord sees rather than unit-by-unit...

--How would you go about talking to/seizing control of a landlord about this? what are the holes in my case I'm not seeing? what fears will they have (safety, cost, etc.) might I have allay?

(My tactic of last resort is going to be hardball--threaten to crank the resistance baseboard heating up to the maximum setting the thermostat will allow, open the window, and wait till they're interested in having a conversation about homesteading and permaculture...but I doubt I'll sleep better being combative than I would going with the herd-approved solution of doing the violence to the Earth and atmosphere...so I really don't want to get to this point.)


Excessive utilities use is grounds for eviction.  Don't try this.



And then there's the rest of the building.  I have made some connection with the neighbors, though I wouldn't say we're on close terms yet.  I would like to get them on board with this. . .but they are all from much warmer climates than here, and my imagination is that a bunch of people from much warmer climates are going to be skeptical of a person from here telling them things about how to heat their homes...at least I would come across as insensitive.  And they are all very busy, working multiple jobs some of them to pay their rent.

3--what could make a really iron-clad request/proposal of the fellow tenants?

Do you think I could negotiate with the landlord to lower the rent if we manage to give them cooperation on the heat?


No, I don't. The regulations regarding shared utilities are so rigid, I don't think you have any chance at all of moving the landlord.  Probably best to work on your own comfort, while conditioning your other to the value of radiant heat. When I first got married, my wife had never used a gas stovetop, never lived in a home heated with wood, never had a heated bed, never owned a quality wool throw.  I introduced each of these luxuries to her one at a time, and she'd have a fit if I took them away now.  Now she asks me to start a fire in the woodstove when she's chilled, because the feel of radiant heat coming from the woodstove in winter cannot be compared.  The heated mattress pad alone let me drop the overnight setting on the programmable thermostat by 4 degrees; for the cost of less than one KWH per night.

 
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PS. our electricity is not included in rent, and we have wind power PPA, so I'm comfortable using our own electricity.  The heat is on a separate circuit.
 
I do want to do something about the rest of the building...in time.

 
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Another question--I've rather come to depend on my computer chargers for heat.  

1 they're warmer than an electric blanket.  Even after a half hour I can barely feel the electric blanket, on top setting.  Maybe it's partly broken?  with all those 100 watts going in, I'm getting very little out, compared to (it says) six watts on the mac charger and nice hand-warming potential out.

2 they're placeable and localized


But--once i move into my shiny old homesteady type situation, then the electricity will be limited and these will be not an option--unless i wnat to run our battery at night to charge the computer.

My question--isn't the charger really an inverter? so its only function is to go from AC to DC and lose a lot of energy as heat as its doing so?  In that case, if I'm on DC for all my appliances anyway (which is cell phone and computer and a few fans and lights only, maybe a few battery-powered power tools for occasional use, electric chainsaw etc.) then I don't need to invert.  So I'd just plug the 12 volt cell phone into the 12v battery, same with the computer.

What if I want to arrange a targeted heat source like the computer charger?

I'm going to assume there's no good electrical solution to this, but I'd love to hear if there is something I don't know about--for example, a place where there's already a lot of heat lost in the system of photovoltaic-battery-appliance.  The mac itself can heat up occasionally, but only in the summer.  (the dinosaur PC heats up pretty good, but that's a huge energy hog).

Best I can come up with, plug in the energy hog into the PV panel during the day, charge its battery full while the sun shines.  Then at night let that warm me up for a few minutes by sticking it under the blankets for the five minutes or so while I'm brushing my teeth and stuff.  It'll probably not last much longer than that, but it'll take the edge off.



 
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Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:Another question--I've rather come to depend on my computer chargers for heat.  

1 they're warmer than an electric blanket.  Even after a half hour I can barely feel the electric blanket, on top setting.  Maybe it's partly broken?  with all those 100 watts going in, I'm getting very little out, compared to (it says) six watts on the mac charger and nice hand-warming potential out.

2 they're placeable and localized


Your electric blanket is broken, and doesn't consume that 100 watts.  The First Law of Thermodynamics (The conservation of energy) prohibts the idea that an electro-resistive heat device can consume power without producing heat.

Also, that's a label rating, which is required by law to be the maximum continuous power draw that's possible, not it's actual power draw.  There's no way that a 6 wattt laptop charger could produce more useful heat than a working 100 watt max electric blanket.  That's actually a lot for a blanket.


But--once i move into my shiny old homesteady type situation, then the electricity will be limited and these will be not an option--unless i wnat to run our battery at night to charge the computer.


When you move to an off-grid homestead, you will find that the "heat bubble" concept even more effective for your purposes.  For example, the heated mattress pad will allow you to let the woodstove die down overnight without either smoldering (and stinking up your valley) nor requiring you to get up every 4 hours to add new fuelwood.  You will need some degree of overnight power for your refrigerator anyway, unless you're going to be using a propane absorption fridge.



My question--isn't the charger really an inverter?


No, an inverter goes from DC to AC.



so its only function is to go from AC to DC and lose a lot of energy as heat as its doing so?



It doesn't lose a "lot" in the big scheme of things.  It wastes almost as much power while idling as while actively charging your laptop, which is why it's considered a 'parasitic load' most of the time, and should be unplugged.




In that case, if I'm on DC for all my appliances anyway (which is cell phone and computer and a few fans and lights only, maybe a few battery-powered power tools for occasional use, electric chainsaw etc.) then I don't need to invert.  So I'd just plug the 12 volt cell phone into the 12v battery, same with the computer.



The problem is that electronics are fussy.  What you will need is a regulated DC to DC power supply that delivers both 12 volts and 5 volts.  These are available, but they are usually sold as computer power supplies for cars/RVs.



What if I want to arrange a targeted heat source like the computer charger?



A 12 volt heated blanket can be found at any "Travel Center" in America that serves professional drivers.


I'm going to assume there's no good electrical solution to this, but I'd love to hear if there is something I don't know about--for example, a place where there's already a lot of heat lost in the system of photovoltaic-battery-appliance.  The mac itself can heat up occasionally, but only in the summer.  (the dinosaur PC heats up pretty good, but that's a huge energy hog).



Oh, there are certainly good electrical solutions to this kind of problem, but they are all very specific solutions.  Search for the term "kotatsu table" on google.



Best I can come up with, plug in the energy hog into the PV panel during the day, charge its battery full while the sun shines.  Then at night let that warm me up for a few minutes by sticking it under the blankets for the five minutes or so while I'm brushing my teeth and stuff.  It'll probably not last much longer than that, but it'll take the edge off.



The heated mattress pad would work far better for this purpose.  But if you're electrically poor when that day comes, then you should learn about a "happy rock".  The happy rock is just a piece of soapstone that lives on my woodstove, and when I need a bit of concentrated warming power (that won't burn the beneficiary, nor risk a fire) I will take a wool sock, stick my hand in it, grab the (hot) soapstone, pull my hand out so that the rock in now inside the sock, twist and then push back through.  Gotta do this quick; but you are left with a hot soapstone inside two layers of wool sock.  I used to do this for my kids as toddlers during cold nights, because I didn't trust a hot water bottle not to bust or leak with how much they move around while asleep.  It lasts about an hour and isn't too hot to the touch, so you put one or two of these into your bed under your blankets while you're getting ready for bed, then just push them away or put them on the floor once your in bed.  They won't leak onto the floor nor into your bed, nor will they catch anything on fire.
 
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Thanks, this is awesome Creighton!  

I guess the charger is not an inverter, but an anti-inverter (Ac-to DC), is its main function.  My experience is it clearly heats up only when the computer battery is drawing power (charging), and it's cold when the battery is full or not connected.

I do have a solution which is kind of risky, a metal lamp...with (sorry Paul) a CFL bulb.  It's protected from crunching by the lamp "shade" thing (metal), and it's worked for me.  Problem was it was actually a bit too hot--I forget how many watts but it was the lowest wattage we had lying around, I used this mainly just as a night light.  But even that was too hot.  I want to say 12 watts.  I looked for a smaller, lower-watt incandescent but for some reason I couldn't find what I was looking for.  It only burned a tiny hole in my sleeping bag one time, but still the metal "lampshade" would get too hot to be directly on my skin.  I would have to turn it off after a few minutes.  So I infinteily prefer the charger/anti-inverter (a "rectifier" is the technical term for this).

So, the DC-DC voltage adjuster thing won't be a heat source, I take it.  How does something change voltage in DC? i thought that was the whole point of AC, you can change voltages with a transformer...and I thought my computer and phone both ran on 12 volts.  I guess not.  Glad that there are heat blankets available to run on 12 volts already.

The soap stone trick I know, I heard of it with a brick, they teach that to kids in Vietnam that Ho Chi Minh used to take home a brick from his baking job for the night.  I look forward to getting to feel it with my own hands and put a physical experience with theory.  Thanks for the reminder.



 
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Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:Thanks, this is awesome Creighton!  

I guess the charger is not an inverter, but an anti-inverter (Ac-to DC), is its main function.  My experience is it clearly heats up only when the computer battery is drawing power (charging), and it's cold when the battery is full or not connected.


Are you sure that it's not a 60 watt charger? 6 watts seems low to me, closer to a phone charger.


I do have a solution which is kind of risky, a metal lamp...with (sorry Paul) a CFL bulb.  It's protected from crunching by the lamp "shade" thing (metal), and it's worked for me.  Problem was it was actually a bit too hot--I forget how many watts but it was the lowest wattage we had lying around, I used this mainly just as a night light.  But even that was too hot.  I want to say 12 watts.  I looked for a smaller, lower-watt incandescent but for some reason I couldn't find what I was looking for.



What you want is an appliance bulb.  They can be found as low as 7 watts incandescent with a normal socket (Type A15 screw socket) at Walmart. But if you're putting it next to your body like a conductive heater, you're using the incandescent lamp wrong.  This is supposed to be used like a radiant heater that produces light, which is why a 40 watt bulb works so well.  Put it into a lamp that is about a foot above your head while you are sitting down, pointed mostly where you'd want it to be able to read well.  The radiant heat will wash down over your head and shoulders, and warm you directly without contact.



So, the DC-DC voltage adjuster thing won't be a heat source, I take it.  How does something change voltage in DC? i thought that was the whole point of AC, you can change voltages with a transformer...and I thought my computer and phone both ran on 12 volts.  I guess not.  Glad that there are heat blankets available to run on 12 volts already.



DC to DC converters are solid state electronic devices, so the trick wasn't even possible in the early decades of public power; but even if it was it would have been too expensive for a DC grid to work.  That said, a DC2DC works by creating an internal AC signal by using an oscillator circuit to produce a square wave AC, then a "cascade multiplier" to increase voltage, then a rectifier circuit and a regulator circuit to output the exact voltage required.  That internal AC signal isn't correct for a 60 Hertz sine wave, so it wouldn't work as an invertor, but it's enough to allow the circuit to change the working voltage.



The soap stone trick I know, I heard of it with a brick, they teach that to kids in Vietnam that Ho Chi Minh used to take home a brick from his baking job for the night.  I look forward to getting to feel it with my own hands and put a physical experience with theory.  Thanks for the reminder.



Yes, well; soapstone is better than a brick, but you work with what you have available.
 
Creighton Samuels
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Joshua, I've just reviewed our conversation in this thread, and I have a couple recommendations...

1)  First of all, get that heated mattress pad.  Your warm cultured significant other will thank you for it, no matter how cold or warm your apartment may be.  Get one with two controllers, one for each side of the bed.  This one is not the model that I have, but it might work for you...

https://www.amazon.com/Giantex-Low-Voltage-Temperature-Detachable-Connector/dp/B07DJ1SW58/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=1N94LYUO9Y4H1&keywords=electric+mattress+pad+full+size&qid=1575517356&sprefix=full+size+mattress+electri%2Caps%2C200&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzNE44MVY0WExHNDJRJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMTA4NzMzMTMzQkdRVVVHNEhKNyZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMTc3NDA1Mk82RlVNMzhRRlhKMiZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

2)  Next, you need a counter-top somavar, to make hot drinks on the fly.  Hot tea or hot coffee warms the body from the inside out.  This one is similar to the one that I own...

https://www.amazon.com/Costway-Electric-Spillage-stainless-Dispenser/dp/B079Z4MS5P/ref=sr_1_34?keywords=countertop+water+heater&qid=1575517531&sr=8-34

3)  Consider a kotasu table as your TV table, etc.  These are small, squarish tables that Japanese use as low desks, that have a heater underneath.  They work best with a blanket, and usually have a double top that allows the blanket to be installed under the hardtop surface.  There are low "chairs" that exist that allow you to have back support while sitting reclined with your legs under this table.  The heater only heats the airspace under the table, captured by the blanket, so your legs are very cozy; but a throw for your upper body while you watch TV, read a book or do desk work is how this system works best.

https://www.amazon.com/Yamazen-kotatsu-surface-reversible-SEU-752/dp/B07MZVD369/ref=dp_ob_title_home


But if you don't want to spend that kind of money for a table, a freestanding reading lamp would help a great deal.  This is the one that I bought for my wife, that lives behind our couch.  A 40 or 60 watt incandecent bulb works great as a radiant heater and reading light...


https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Designs-Home-LF2000-BLK-Mother-Daughter/dp/B01MFC2O83/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=free+standing+reading+lamp&qid=1575518163&sr=8-6

 
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I've used a bed-warmer for decades. I generally turn it on for about an hour before bed and then turn it off when I get in, as I find that if the bed starts out warm, I'll be fine, but if I have to use my own body heat to warm it up, it can take an hour or more. Our climate's not particularly cold, but it tends to be damp. If I wake up cold in the night, I can always turn it on again, but that's probably only 1 night in a week or two. I've taught a few of the locals the usefulness of them, so we can't all be wrong.

I've used the hot rock trick, but I find it doesn't distribute the warmth the way a bed-warmer does. I'd need a dozen small ones rather than the couple of large ones we keep on the wood stove for a little thermal mass.

Recently, hubby bought me an electric throw blanket which now lives by my computer. If I let my feet get cold in the evening, it takes a *long* time for them to warm up, so I'm finding I'm more likely to turn the power on either first thing in the morning for a bit, or for the last 1/2 hour that I'm up at night. I've suggested he put his special meter on it so we have some idea of how much electricity I'm using, but it hasn't happened.
 
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Heat pumps are 400 % more efficient than any induction or resistance heating .This efficiency drops if outdoor its minus 5 C but there are somme high efficient air conditioner units like Daikin wich defrost the the outdoor unit pipes periodically and these work until minus 20-25C.
One Kw of gas power( natural piped gas) its 10 times cheaper than electric where i live and even if the heat pumps( air conditioners working on heating) are soo much more efficient than electric heating,it cant still not beat the gas.
 
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Vulturul Ilie wrote:Heat pumps are 400 % more efficient than any induction or resistance heating .This efficiency drops if outdoor its minus 5 C but there are somme high efficient air conditioner units like Daikin wich defrost the the outdoor unit pipes periodically and these work until minus 20-25C.
One Kw of gas power( natural piped gas) its 10 times cheaper than electric where i live and even if the heat pumps( air conditioners working on heating) are soo much more efficient than electric heating,it cant still not beat the gas.



Well, that's true enough depending upon your area.  But natural gas is still a paleo-fuel, and Joshua has gone to the extra trouble and expense to contract with a wind power supplier.  So his stated environmental life-goals are achieved by using electric power while also subsidizing industrial grade renewable energy.  Natural gas heat wouldn't satisfy that requirement, and nor is it typically available "off the grid".

So while a heat pump would be better than baseboard electric resistive heating, he doesn't own  the building that he lives in, so that's not an option either.
 
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