Saturday, November 23, 2013


For the first time in months, we aren't going to the farm at least one day this weekend.  It's cold, rainy and wet.

There is certainly nothing I could do outside and inside it would be cold as well.  You see, we don't have heat in the farmhouse.  We have had a couple of small heaters we've used a few times, but it really wasn't until this year that the house was fully livable inside (just got hot water last Spring).  So we had air conditioning via window units and that got us through the heat.

Now the cold has arrived and therein lies the quandary.
What type of space heater to get?

I know there are all types, propane, wood, gas, and of course electric.  In reality, at this point in the farm progress, we can't do anything permanent like central heat or a piped gas system.  Can't really do anything that requires any sort of venting out the wall or roof (need a new roof first).  So that really limits us to electric heat or something that doesn't have to be vented outside.

In electric, there are the oil filled radiator types, quartz, ceramic, etc.
Does anyone have suggestions and/or personal experience with these?

We were thinking of one of the oil filled radiator types for use in the small bathroom, but we need others that will heat the bedroom well, and of course a couple more for the kitchen and living area.  Something that will just keep the rooms at a warmer temperature?  

The house is very well insulated and the windows are newer and so even when it's pretty cold outside, it's surprisingly not as cold inside.  It's been in the 30's outside and the house was hovering in the 50's with zero supplemental heat.  That's not so bad.  The rooms are also small so they could be warmed up individually but on the flip side, because of the house being chopped up into smaller rooms, we'll need supplemental heat in each room.

Also, any advice on tricks to keep the heat in and the cold out once we get something?  A dear friend in Wisconsin mentioned covering the windows with plastic to get a good seal on them and insulate from the cold coming through the glass?  But I wasn't sure how to go about that.  We also put the heavy fabric 'doors' on each room last Spring so we can keep the warmth in or conversely, keep the cold out of whatever room we are or aren't using.

Hope you are warm wherever you are!


  1. I'm sure it's quite expensive, but looking at long term actual living at the farm, I'd opt for something that would cover heating and this:

    I couldn't find any pricing, so it might just be for millionaires, LOL!

  2. For a short term solution the oil filled, plug-in radiators are, in my opinion, the safest choice. Plus many styles are on wheels and you can move them as you please. I have used them in very cold climates with excellent results! Good luck!

    1. We don't have central heating here, and it gets COLD. We have two oil filled radiators upstairs at each end of the house and we have a wood fire in the family room. You should be fine with the radiators until you have a permanent solution. The plastic on the windows works well but is expensive ..there are instructions on the rolls of plastic film so just follow those and you'll be fine.
      Jane x

  3. Whatever heat you get, think about getting all the ceiling heat back down to the floor or moving warm air from one room to another. Ceiling fans, if you have them, or fans sitting on a counter or dresser. I only have space heaters and can effectively move the heat with ceiling fans and other fans. Heavy blankets over doors help greatly.

  4. I have a couple of the EdenPure heaters. They work very well---I use one in my "morning" room before I turn on the furnace for the day. Hubby uses one in his unheated shop. They are fairly reasonable to run and do a great job. There is NO fire danger involved. We love ours.
    We have 6+ inches of snow on the ground today!!! Hooray!

  5. You could try experimenting with a few tea-light and flowerpot heaters - the idea has been making its way around the internet recently again (here's one youtube video on it:
    Otherwise I think I've always heard that the oil-filled radiators are the best to use, I'm just not sure if that was from a heat or an energy efficiency point of view. In general as well as having decent curtains up on the windows and the doors, you could think about hanging some tapestries on any spare walls. They weren't just for decoration originally. I've also always been intrigued by the idea of window quilts - to supplement curtains in cold weather.

    1. I like these ideas. Especially the tea light/flower pot combo, having seen it earlier on the internet. Actually 1st Man, your house is a prime candidate to experiment with this, to see if it really works, given that it has no heating at the moment…
      Do it! Do it!!!! (You know you want to)

  6. The plastic that is taped over the windows will absolutely amaze you. We put it over sliding glass doors in the kitchen/eating area and it made it quite comfortable to linger at the table. Sure beat a dark brown blanket clothsepinned to the rod.

  7. We also used an oil-filled radiator in our uninsulated double garage which also functioned as our smoking room.

  8. Those are some great ideas. I suggest electric blanket for the bed. You can turn it on before going to bed and getting the bed warm. Close off the rooms you are not using and try and block as much air from coming into the space you are trying to warm. Space heaters sound good. Put on more clothes and the kind that would keep you warmer. And, do some baking.

  9. For short term I'd get one or two of these

    For long term I'd go with a wood pellet stove. My neighbor has one and he SWEARS by it. Heats up his entire 3 story 1,700 sq. ft. home. I'd love to get one myself.{22EE58FF-A75F-481B-ACFF-598709444741}#

  10. Also, I'd try some of these
    Keep doors closed in rooms that you don't use. And a heated blanket or heated mattress pad is a definite YES

  11. We just moved to Wisconsin from the PacNW so I'm learning all about fighting winters chill. It's 2 degrees outside as I type this.
    The plastic over windows is a must - you buy it at hardware stores and "shrink wrap" it onto the sill with a hair dryer and it stays all season. Highly recommend!
    Next, I have a neighbor that pins heavy wool flannel over the bottom half of her windows and she loves it.

    A lot if people have hunting cabins out here and they use individual space heaters for each room and seems to be very nice and comfortable. I have even seen those heaters that look like fireplaces but kick out heat at Costco.

    Last, pretty much everyone out here in the country has a wood burning stove. One log at a time and it heats the entire house. I think that is your best bet!!

  12. You know I swear by my wood burning stove - I LOVE my Rosie :)

    1st Man - ensure you have good ceiling insulation - try and find the newspaper one - it's brilliant!

    Re: - windows - I've heard that usibg bubblewrap on the glass helps to keep the heat in, whilst still permitting (filtered) light through. Also, try installing a curtain rail at your external doors and then hang a blanket on the curtain rail in front of them. You may have to sew some rufflette onto the one blanket edge so you can insert some hooks to hang them by.

  13. As a cover for your windows, may I suggest bubble wrap? Both my large windows face West so they are a problem both summer and winter. I keep sheers on both closed year round. This past summer I covered them in bubble wrap. Spray glass with water and apply wrap, bubble side to the glass. The wrap allows light to come in but keeps out cold and heat. I haven't covered the smaller windows and doors that have smaller panes as I like to have some I can look out. Hope this helps.

  14. Shannon, welcome to Wisconsin. Wait until it drops below zero. :)

    First man, We use an oil radiator before we turn the heat on. It does a great job of taking the chill out of the air. Since you don't get bitterly cold or stay cold for long, you can use just about anything. What did Ma use?


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