Home & Garden

WFH and need option to heat a single room vs HVAC

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 2nd, 2020 3:45 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 30, 2010
1472 posts
902 upvotes

WFH and need option to heat a single room vs HVAC

The room I am working from is the coldest room in the house, but it's also the brightest. I have Ecobee with 3 sensors, a mid efficiency single stage furnace. As it's getting colder, I was looking at my options:

1- Bridge the furnace control board jumpers to run the fan on low 24/7 and when Ecobee calls for heat.
The board accommodates this by default, and currently calls for heat on medium and for AC on high. This has the advantage to circulate the air continuously and equalize ambient temperature in all the rooms. It will cost in electricity bills though, and I have already seen a significant rise on my usage and bill since April.

2 - Set a temporary set point when it's cold.
This is my do nothing approach, and deal with the issue as needed. Not my preferred option, and it's a waste to heat the whole house, to get one room to temperature. We do this in the summer for AC, but that's another story.

3- Use a space heater.
I already have an infrared space heater, that was used very infrequently, it's 2500w of heat on high and 1500w on low. It has a thermostat, so I can just plug it in and leave it alone, but still don't trust to leave it when not around the desk area.

Now, what do our board HVAC experts think is the best option, or is there another option that I may not know off?

Thanks for any help.
17 replies
Deal Fanatic
Dec 24, 2005
5561 posts
1193 upvotes
i would get a space heater
in our prior home we had one room which was extra cold - and adding a mill oil space heater made a world of difference (and also was very feasible to use)
https://www.homedepot.ca/product/mill-o ... 1001103031
and i had it set up with the built in timer so the room was warm before i got to it -- and off otherwise
Deal Addict
Jun 16, 2009
2302 posts
800 upvotes
Woodbridge
I am also fan of these oil radiators as they run relatively safer and do not blow dry air which causes dry eyes,nose and headaches. Costco used to carry something similar ( not as fancy ) but for around 80$.
milolai wrote: i would get a space heater
in our prior home we had one room which was extra cold - and adding a mill oil space heater made a world of difference (and also was very feasible to use)
https://www.homedepot.ca/product/mill-o ... 1001103031
and i had it set up with the built in timer so the room was warm before i got to it -- and off otherwise
HVAC Professional. Committed to customer, not brand.
Humidifier 2020 Group Buy
Deal Addict
Jun 16, 2009
2302 posts
800 upvotes
Woodbridge
my0gr81 wrote: The room I am working from is the coldest room in the house, but it's also the brightest. I have Ecobee with 3 sensors, a mid efficiency single stage furnace. As it's getting colder, I was looking at my options:

1- Bridge the furnace control board jumpers to run the fan on low 24/7 and when Ecobee calls for heat.
The board accommodates this by default, and currently calls for heat on medium and for AC on high. This has the advantage to circulate the air continuously and equalize ambient temperature in all the rooms. It will cost in electricity bills though, and I have already seen a significant rise on my usage and bill since April.
Running the fan 24X7 is a great way for air circulation however in winter you will see a rise in gas bill. If the fan runs continuously it cools down the home and heat comes on more often. If bigger bill is not an issue, its a effective way

2 - Set a temporary set point when it's cold.
This is my do nothing approach, and deal with the issue as needed. Not my preferred option, and it's a waste to heat the whole house, to get one room to temperature. We do this in the summer for AC, but that's another story.
You can also use register booster fan ( https://www.homedepot.ca/product/cyclon ... 1000486274)
3- Use a space heater.
I already have an infrared space heater, that was used very infrequently, it's 2500w of heat on high and 1500w on low. It has a thermostat, so I can just plug it in and leave it alone, but still don't trust to leave it when not around the desk area.
Try using oil radiators as mentioned by @milolai instead of infrared. Infrared has more heat intensity but oil radiators are more comfortable and relatively safe

Now, what do our board HVAC experts think is the best option, or is there another option that I may not know off?

Thanks for any help.
HVAC Professional. Committed to customer, not brand.
Humidifier 2020 Group Buy
Deal Fanatic
Mar 17, 2004
5124 posts
511 upvotes
I second the oil heater. I use one in my kids room because he won't use a blanket. It's the safest of all space heaters.
Jr. Member
Oct 19, 2020
124 posts
83 upvotes
Booster fans are junk.
Running the fan continuously will not cool the house down as long as all the ducts are inside the house - it has no cooling mechanism. Your electric bill will go up though and the room will still be a bit cold.

Those electric heaters - they're pricey to run and can overload circuits. On high, one pulls 12 amps and depending on what else is on the circuit you can get lights dimming, or if the load exceeds 15 amps breaker trips.

If the room only needs to be warmed for a couple of hours per day - yes try a oil filled heater on a lower setting like 600 or 900w.
If you use the room more, best to figure out why it's cold and investigate solving the problem.
Not always cheap to fix but best long term option if you have the money.

Missing insulation, insufficient supply, poor insulation (rooms above garages come to mind), etc can cause this problem.
Member
May 12, 2003
330 posts
205 upvotes
GTA
What you need to do is get a 2nd furnace installed in the basement and run a vent directly to this foresaid room.

Note that if the basement is finished, you will have to rip out some of your drywall to get this done
Deal Fanatic
Dec 5, 2009
5602 posts
3360 upvotes
ssj4_ootaku1 wrote: What you need to do is get a 2nd furnace installed in the basement and run a vent directly to this foresaid room.

Note that if the basement is finished, you will have to rip out some of your drywall to get this done
Lol


Seriously op just get any small space heater and you are set
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 30, 2010
1472 posts
902 upvotes
newlyborn wrote: 3- Use a space heater.
I already have an infrared space heater, that was used very infrequently, it's 2500w of heat on high and 1500w on low. It has a thermostat, so I can just plug it in and leave it alone, but still don't trust to leave it when not around the desk area.
Try using oil radiators as mentioned by @milolai instead of infrared. Infrared has more heat intensity but oil radiators are more comfortable and relatively safe
insertname2020 wrote: .

If the room only needs to be warmed for a couple of hours per day - yes try a oil filled heater on a lower setting like 600 or 900w.
If you use the room more, best to figure out why it's cold and investigate solving the problem.
Not always cheap to fix but best long term option if you have the money.

Missing insulation, insufficient supply, poor insulation (rooms above garages come to mind), etc can cause this problem.
Thank you, I will look at those oil filled space heaters. What are your thoughts on those flat panel heaters? They are low power and rely on convection currents behind the panel for air movement.
https://www.homedepot.ca/product/amaze- ... ?rrec=true

BTW, the room is above the garage, and faces west. Insulation in the attic was topped up this spring and found to be adequate between the garage ceiling/room floor.

Much appreciated.
Jr. Member
Oct 19, 2020
124 posts
83 upvotes
Those rooms are always difficult to heat and builders do a lousy job.
It can take removing the sealing in garage and spray foaming to fix the problem.

Electric heat is electric heat efficiency wise.

The oil filled heater is the safest.
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
2936 posts
1935 upvotes
Toronto
Oil filled radiator heater. Best thing for this. Silent, safe, effective. I have a couple of them in our 3 story 110 year old home. No point trying to fix the HVAC - would cost thousands to redo the ductwork they did a long time ago when they converted from radiators.

A couple of these small rad heaters from time to time in the winter and a portable AC unit on the 3rd floor in the summer. Might go with a split unit one day for up there, as the portable AC is loud AF, but it's hard to justify spending thousands when for a few bucks a year we can run these cheap solutions and be just as comfortable.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 28, 2007
8084 posts
4470 upvotes
Alberta
We use a baseboard heater in the room above the garage. It’s also the farthest away from the furnace. Baseboard heater makes no noise compared to a space heater with a fan.
[OP]
Deal Addict
May 30, 2010
1472 posts
902 upvotes
Was at Costco over the week end, to refill on a couple of things, and came across this unit:
https://www.costco.ca/delonghi-slimstyl ... 88552.html

At $119. warehouse pricing, and Costco's return policy, this was a no brainer to try. I placed it on the outside wall, just under the windows and set it up to trigger at 21degrees, on low setting. I will monitor it for a while, but it already seems to supplement the HVAC, and maintain a "more" consistent ambient temperature in that room.
Member
User avatar
Sep 16, 2015
240 posts
444 upvotes
Calgary, AB
my0gr81 wrote: Was at Costco over the week end, to refill on a couple of things, and came across this unit:
https://www.costco.ca/delonghi-slimstyl ... 88552.html

At $119. warehouse pricing, and Costco's return policy, this was a no brainer to try. I placed it on the outside wall, just under the windows and set it up to trigger at 21degrees, on low setting. I will monitor it for a while, but it already seems to supplement the HVAC, and maintain a "more" consistent ambient temperature in that room.
I have an older model of this heater and it's fantastic for this purpose. Once you dial in the correct temperature, it does a great job of maintaining warmth.
Deal Addict
Dec 25, 2007
1098 posts
553 upvotes
GTA
I heat my home office with my desktop computer

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