This weekend, I saw a green renovation show that used a large amount of gravel in the basement to hold heat gathered from a solar-collecting area in the roof. My dad, a builder, says this method doesn't work well. Help me understand if someone has devised a "better mousetrap" or if this is just something that has never worked and is being done for greenwashing on TV... [more inside]
Why did my microwave oven stop heating after I tried to use it to heat water in a clear pyrex measuring cup? And how can I get it to work again? I've had the not-heating problem before, and it has gone away. I can't remember whether I did something to make it work again. This time, I tried unplugging the oven and plugging it in again -- no dice. Everything works except for the heating up part.
Why does my electric furnace use twice as much energy as my neighbor's? I live in a townhome development and we have the same floor plan. [more inside]
When I was out of town, my landlord came in and turned the heating on in the house I'm renting from him. This is in the UK. [more inside]
My heating bill is about twice as much as my downstairs neighbors'. What's going on, and what can I do to mitigate the cost? [more inside]
Homeowner HVAC Filter: Where to find a "vent redirector"? [more inside]
Our central AC/Heating system leaked some kind of, uh, oil (!?) last night. I have no idea what it is, the super is baffled. More inside. [more inside]
What can I use to dampen vibrations from a water pipe? [more inside]
Why does my dryer have to be vented to work? [more inside]
How can I identify a bad sewage smell in my living room? [more inside]
Gas Central Heating. Is it cheaper/ more economical to run the central heating on for a) a long time at a lower heat temperature or b) a shorter time at a higher heat temperature? I can't seem to get this out of Googling as all the words are so common. Note: I know it's good to have a thermostat. We will look into that - our current thermostat just turns the heating off whatever we set it to. So I just need an answer to the a) or b) bit above at the moment. Thank you! Help keep me and MrLyzzyBee both warm and solvent this winter!
For Massachusetts residents: Do you have experience with using the Mass Energy consumer alliance for heating oil? [more inside]
Is it cheaper to run a full house heat pump during colder months, or use Vornado heaters to heat subsections of the house that we are in at the moment. [more inside]
Looking for rectangular paintable ductwork that looks as good (and works as well) as boxing it in with drywall.
We just boxed in with drywall a round 5" heating duct, running from floor to ceiling in the corner of the living room. Because of some odd features of the room, this took up more space than it should. What I'd really like is to replace the duct (and drywall) with a paintable rectangular duct running up the corner of the room, that would look just as good as drywall. This would have to be rugged enough to withstand small children playing in the room (e.g. not dent like typical metal duct). Does this exist? [more inside]
I'm looking for thoughts on whether I should lock-in a heating oil rate of 3.79 for the season. [more inside]
How do I keep warm this winter in an unheated apartment? [more inside]
How big a wood stove should I get? [more inside]
I want to seal off the staircase to the third floor of my home to save on heating bills this winter. The rooms are used for storage only now. Is bubble wrap a good insulator? I would like to let light thru but keep the heat in. My home is an old Victorian with a winding staircase.
When is a heat pump worth it? [warning: a bit long] [more inside]
We are thinking about switching from oil heat to a geothermal system to heat and cool our 1200 sf cape in western massachusetts. If you have a geothermal system are you happy with it? Have you had any problems? How much did the conversion cost? What are the monthly costs associated with it? Do you know of a reputable installer in our area?
I'm considering moving to a nice house twenty miles away from the big city I'm currently in, but the new home uses a water well--I don't know exactly what type at the moment, but let us assume I won't need a bucket--and propane for heating. What should I expect from these in regards to water quality, water pressure, cost of propane versus gas provided by public utilities, and anything else those experienced with these systems can think of.
Solar hot water and central heating for dummies? I'm in the UK, our (gas, combi) boiler has been rubbish since we moved in, and given that we're now looking at a new boiler we're thinking of complementing it with some sort of solar panel based solution. What should we look out for? What do we need? Can we reuse our existing radiators? What questions should we ask installation companies? [more inside]
Geothermal heating: what happens if you live on a mountain? [more inside]
High-efficiency gas furnace installed where previously there was mid-efficiency. So it vents straight out the wall while the old furnace used the chimney. The vent is right next to the sandbox. How bad is this? [more inside]
Is fiberglass heating/cooling duct board safe? [more inside]
Which approach really burns more heating oil - keeping the house at a constant medium temperature (say, 64 degrees) or keeping it very low most of the time (58-60) but bringing it up to a higher temperature (say, 66 degrees) once or twice a day? [more inside]
Is my central heating system killing me slowly? [more inside]
Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that home heating-oil prices treble over the next five years. Would it be possible to retrofit a domestic hot-water baseboard system for an alternative fuel? [more inside]
How does the Apple Store keep all its heat from rushing out its open doors? [more inside]
Physics Geeks Please Help: Is it better to turn our radiant floor heating system on and off or to let it run? My partner and I have been debating this, for days and days now. Please help us stop the hate. [more inside]
NoobHomeOwnerFilter: Where do I start troubleshooting water temperature issues? [more inside]
I have a full-sized iguana enclosure that needs to be heated more effectively. I've been researching my options and I think that using an infrared heat panel is the best way to go, but I'm not sure what size to get for my enclosure. Reptile enthusiasts needed! [more inside]
Why is my natural gas bill insane this month? [more inside]
My forced hot air system has no return ducts. Instead, cool air falls directly into the basement, where there's a filtered intake on the side of the furnace. Are my life, health, and or selling prospects at severe risk? [more inside]
What is the best way to heat a 600 square foot concrete slab? [more inside]
Does my home really need a new boiler? How do I choose one? Where should I buy it? How much should I pay? [more inside]
Does bamboo burn in fireplaces and wood stoves? I'm wondering if I can use it to heat a house, since it's far more renewable than trees.
Househeatingfilter: Saladpants is a city boy from major east coast city, who recently moved to smaller west coast city, Portland, OR. He and Mrs. Saladpants are looking at a house which, while only 15 minutes from downtown, is essentially out in the country. This means that the house has no gas line running to it and no sewer either. In this particular house, the Saladpantses have two potential heating options: Propane or Electric. They have no experience with either, and are uncertain as to which is better. They seek opinions, wisdom and experiences of fellow mefites. [more inside]
What form of energy is used to heat a Wal-Mart, Home Depot or Costo store, and how much does it cost per month in the winter? [more inside]
Do I need to have separate thermostats for my central air conditioning & my radiator heat? [more inside]
Please help me figure out what is going on with my hot water heater. I want to have a less foggy understanding of what may be wrong before I start asking either my landlord or the oil company questions. [more inside]
Why is my ConEd bill so high? [more inside]
I've tried Google-ing and I've done what I can manage with the archives, but I'm not finding the answer to my how-warm-is-the-landlord-obligated-to-keep-my-apartment question... [more inside]
Not-My-Walls-To-Cut-Through-Filter: Anyone have experience running Cat5 through HVAC ducts? [more inside]
Will it cost less to run a gas furnace to heat the entire house or to use a space heater to heat one room? [more inside]
Is there any where I can buy a furnace in the DC area and pick it up today? It needs to be all electric, and not a heat pump. [more inside]
I have a double sliding glass door in my bedroom that leads on to an enclosed porch. These doors are slightly bowed outward away from each other, which leaves a gap about the thickness of my finger in the middle. In Beijing, in December, with prepaid utilities and heating that's barely adequate to begin with, that's not a good thing for my wallet, conscience, or bodily comfort. So how can I McGuyver this gap shut? [more inside]
My husband and I are in the market for a new oil furnace. Help us make sure we get the right one. [more inside]
My landlords turned on the heat in my building, and now my room smells funny. They say that it's nothing, but I'm kinda worried. [more inside]
BrrrrrFilter: It's gotten cold here in Chicago and my heater appears to be broken. Google didn't help me much probably because my knowledge of HVAC is weak. Help me find out quickly if I'm being ripped off? [more inside]