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Home Forums General Discussion heat alternatives for residence Re: heat alternatives for residence



You say your east and west walls are almost completely glass single pane glazing. I do not know to what extent you are handy or mobile. Nor what your finances are like. In your situation, I would use ordinary construction grade vapor barrier plastic. This is six mil thickness and has a slightly milky appearance. Granted it is not optically clear like the 3M heat shrink window stuff, but you get a lot more coverage for a given price. The 3M cost $15 for a 60″ X 80″ window in the hardware stores around here. For $39 I can buy a roll of vapor barrier covering 1000 square feet. Roll is 100 feet long and plastic is 10 feet wide.

I’m in similar situation to you. Nearest town is an hours drive away.It cost $20 in fuel to make one round trip but that is a moot point since we no longer have a vehicle with a valid licence. It expired and we can’t afford to renew it. After my stroke I lost my drivers licence.

The key to insulation is the air gap in between panes and sheets so I would frame the window space using 1″ thick wood strips. If you can’t do that maybe some handy person in your area can help.

Morning sun does not feel like it gives warmth as much as the afternoon sun so put two separate film barriers on the east wall for a triple glaze effect. Even 1/2″ separation is good. If you line the framing where the plastic film contacts it with double sided tape you get a better air tight seal. Place one layer of plastic on the west wall unless it happens to face prevaling winds that does a lot of cooling.

The incoming sun on west wall will give a bit of heat.

Sounds like you have individual furnaces(electric?) for each unit. My guess is a lot of heat is dumped out through the duct wall before it gets to the living compartments. Is there any way to reach this space and place insulation around the duct to minimize heat loss? Although the oil filled heaters are nice and safe get one of the radiant heat dishes that you can direct to face you when you sit in your favorite chair. this will heat you directly not the air around you as th eoil filled heaters do. Set your thermostat to 60F not higher. that will prevent cycling as often and thus reduce your electric heat bill.

Where we live it sometimes gets to be -30 below at night and stays there for days on end. When that happens we each sit in our easy chair while watching a DVD movie (we have no cable) or reading while wrapped in our arctic sleeping bags. The bag is already warmed by bed time and we stay comfortable even though the rest of the trailer is only 60F and sometimes lower. As long as our pipes don’t freeze we don’t really care. Because we have switched to counter top cooking appliances the cooking heat stays in the food, and does not get wasted leaking through the air and out the cracks in the walls. We can warm up with the food or hot drinks like tea which are not that expensive. We only pay $100 per month up here in the far N-W interior and they have not shut us off yet. We used to live closer to the coast which was a bit warmer but always raining. It got depressing not seeing the sun for weeks on end.