The heating, ventilation, and cooling in my office is far from optimal. I did make some improvements, including installing and sealing a better filter, double checking the wiring on my thermostat, and adjusting the flow of air to the most needed areas. Nevertheless, the environment is not the best.

Out of curiosity, I did a little research on space heaters. They are cheap, but very expensive to run, not to mention a little dangerous. I found an interesting kind of space heater that I’d never heard of before: oil-filled. These are supposedly more efficient, and I’m assuming safer because of the way they operate (they never really get “super” hot). However, there was a 2005 recall of Lakewood brand oil filled space heaters for ruptured welds. Other reviews mention the same problem: oil leaking from the radiators.

My goals:

  • Safe, cheap heat
  • Quick and focused

The oil-filled heaters from Honeywell and Delonghi look pretty good and get decent reviews. I would like to get a small one, but the radiator style seem much more common.

I’d also like to get a hygrometer, maybe the Honeywell TM005X Wireless Thermo-Hygrometer ?

Yesterday my neighbor was getting his heater replaced and I heard some banging around on the ventilation system so I investigated. I found that one of my vents was not connected, so I sealed it up with some duct tape. This and the new filters I bought a few weeks ago (2” instead of 1”) make the HVAC system much more effective. Previously there was a giant gap at the inlet of the heater, which I’m sure sucked in a lot of cold air from the basement. Hopefully this will make a difference when my electric bill arrives!

The new “furnace filters” are also a higher quality than what I was using before so there will be less dust around the office, and I only have to change them once every three months. The next filter change will take place in July 2007.

On the same subject, I just emailed this to my dad:

I recently bought some new filters for the furnace (electric). The old one was 1" wide, and the opening was 2", so I bought 2". It fits nice and snug, but there were some gaps on the side so I duct taped them up (first time I used duct tape for the intended purpose!). While I was at it, I noticed one of the intake pipes was disconnected from the vent, so I put it back together and duct taped that together as well. Those two minor patches have made a big difference already.

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