Heat – Adding Heat and Humidity

It’s so hot here I can’t experiment with new ways to keep warm in winter, so here’s another clip from the book:

Adding heat and humidity

“You’ll feel warmer in winter if you run a space heater in the room you are occupying. Space heaters are the second leading cause of house fires (after cooking fires). Be very careful to keep flammable things away from the space heater. Always supervise young children and pets around it.

Some people vent the clothes dryer inside, with a special filter. This lets you use the heat from the dryer to heat the inside of the house in winter. There are many cautions attached to this idea. Caution: never do this with a gas dryer, due to the danger of carbon monoxide. The air coming out of a dryer is very moist. It could cause mold problems unless your area is quite dry in winter. Some sites also warn about lint in the air causing breathing problems. Because of the lint and the possible mold, I haven’t tried this idea.

When venting indoors, it is all the more important that you keep lint buildup cleared out. Disconnect the vent hose from the outside vent opening. Thoroughly clean all lint out of the hose. Use clamps to fasten a vacuum cleaner bag to the end of the hose to help keep lint out of your indoor air. Check the bag often. If it gets too full, the dryer will be less efficient.

Amazon.com sells a readymade version of this, the ProFlex Indoor Dryer Vent Kit, for about $13. Unless your dryer is centrally located, it may make sense to set a floor fan where it can blow the warmed air into the living area.

Does your heat come from radiators? The room will feel warmer if you put a foil-faced insulation board against the wall behind the radiator. The foil side should face in to the room. This will reflect heat that radiates toward the wall back into the room. It’s possible that taping aluminum foil on the wall, shiny side out, will do about the same job. Use masking tape or painter’s tape to avoid damaging the wall surface.

Are your kitchen and bathroom fans vented to the outside, or to the attic? If they are, running them will pull heated (or cooled in the summer) air out of your living space. Do you have the type of ceiling fan that reverses so it blows the air up instead of down? Running it upward on low speed will push the heated air from the ceiling area back down to where the people are.

Sometimes I open the curtains on the east windows to let in the warmth of the morning sun. Then I close them when the sun has passed. When it’s very cold, the leaky windows let in more cold air than the heat from the sun can overcome. After using the oven, leave the door cracked open so the leftover heat can get out into your living space. Do the same with the dishwasher.

If your winter weather is very dry, you may feel more comfortable if you run a humidifier. It will also limit static electricity buildup in carpets, etc. Hanging clothes to dry indoors will add humidity to the air. So will simmering a pot of water on the stove.”




Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback versions.


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