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Temporary heating ideas

68GMC Member Posts: 36
I'm looking for temporary heating solutions. I think I'll be trying to replace my boiler in the next couple weeks. I have natural gas in the house. This is partly in case the boiler fails, so I have a backup, and also for when I'm trying to do the work so the house is above freezing. Should I scrounge up a natural gas furnace for hot air, and cobble that together to run? Should I rent a NG heater from a rental company for a month? Woodstove? Or do I just shut the water off and find a motel?


  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    edited November 2013
    well ,

    we use a fuel oil burner that hs wheels and is left outside the building so the combustion gasses are out side it heatss the outdoor air that travels across the heat exchanger and then the heat is channeled through a couple large hoses some what like you see at aeroports to de ice the wings etc ..

    our temps here are rather severe at this time of year and they can change rapidly , so instead of having a heat loss of 68K we are attempting to get like 25 megs in on the place lol..

    i seriously considered buying a turbo 250 helicopter engine and lashing it to the back of a truck and a 1000 gallon tank and camlock the fuel onto the engine fire it up into like a 50 parshall at one end of the building and tell them ok you got heat be back in a few with some more fuel ..

    we also have boilers that are on wheels with big camlock headers run up fire the boilers up lash them to the Huge Headder camlock some heaters to it bada bing You got Heat!! :)

    buh for harvey home owner ,

    some time i drag over an electric hot water heater that i have special elements in and a brnze body circ and temp gauges lash it up to their hydronic system and let it roll. provided its radiant and some other minor technicalities , maybe some 240 V electric heaters a sheet rocker might use to get the place hotter so the mud will dry faster .

    ..they move air across the elements so while its heat it dissipates quickly unlike the btu's i keep steadily pumping into the slab / s ...

    if your place is already warm then that tool is only going to put out X amount of btu's

    so if your heat loss is low it puts out plenty heat and if its high it might not keep up against the cold .

    its pretty easy to make one you have to find the right elements for it , mine is like 20 gallon water heater ,

    then the next size thing would be a small oil fired water heater like a bock with some hoses run out to the existing radiant and fired at X BTU or a small boiler ..

    these are basically tools and live on backs of small trailers to move about from time to time . my water heater and circ with temp gauges is fairly light in comparison and can be picked up and put in the back of the truck ...

    K W conversion is like ( How to convert kW to BTU/hr

    1 kW = 3412.142 BTU/hr eg 30709.274774. = 9 KW

    so it depends how big KW wise the elements are that will work in a given containment vessel , remember it is now a heating appliance and dial the pressure relief in accordingly , because i use a bronze body circ i run the pressure in the 20's ...

    and do all my mixing without a by pass after it is pulled across the tank and elements ..

    if you had a boiler go south you could shut or gate off the supply and return bust the unions slide it out lash my tool to the supply side purge and the return purge hose it to my supply side and return side purge with a couple 10 ' washing machine hoses and plug it in and let it roll go get a new boiler stuff the pipes back where they came from on the old boiler attach the unions lash up the electrical flush and clean the boiler lose the pieces off the unions you used to clean it shove it back in place lock down the unions ...reconnect the fuel lines fire it back up do a combustion test open the gates watch it go thu a cycle disconnect my tool then show is on the road.


    i usually drain it and clean it and then run anti freeze thru everything gate it and haul it off for use some other day.

    lot of guys have boilers ready to go they hose them in or tie them in as loaner boilers some have unit heaters some forced air units some electric .

    if a house is under construction the heat loss numbers of it completed and primed and painted is not something to steer by because until it is finished the boiler chosen for the place could fall over trying to keep up against the cold.anything that does not move like a big forced air furnace needs flexible hose or duct work or something to direct the heat at where you need it , and the exhaust gasses need to be directed out of the building forced air and convection fall off fast .

    thats all i can think of off the top of my pointed head...

    hope it helped.


  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    How much heat, and where?

    We use 4 kW and 9 kW 240V electric space heaters for temporary heat like this.  You need a 50A dryer outlet for the big ones.
  • bill nye_3
    bill nye_3 Member Posts: 307
    I have

    I have something like this...........


    Mine is standing pilot with no blower, I can use it with no electricity. It will keep the house from freezing. We used it to heat my cousins house while he was under construction.
  • Bob Gagnon plumbing and heating
    I Use

    Oil filled electric radiators, you can lend them to customers without worrying.

    THanks, Bob Gagnon
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Heaterman_2
    Heaterman_2 Member Posts: 1
    Electric dryer

    Hi, I have seen an electric dryer used for temporary heat, depending on sq ft of the home and location you may get by with 2 or 3 cheapie Walmart plug in 1500 Watt heaters.

    I live in Nor Ca and use a 35k BTU wall heater for 1000 sq ft and sometimes use a 1500 Watt electric quartz unit I bought for $40 for spot heating.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • 68GMC
    68GMC Member Posts: 36
    Small house

    It's a small house, 1300 sq. ft. I realize I don't need to keep it at 72 degrees, just enough to work in and keep the pipes from freezing.

    Thanks weezbo, but it's a steam system, otherwise I'd look into what you're suggesting.

    I'll look and see if I can rent some type of oil filled rads, or a small kerosene heater. And I guess this weekend I'll wire up a 240V outlet in the basement, and look around for a 240V heater.

    It looks like it's warming up again next week, so it won't be as bad to maintain heat.

    Thanks all!!
  • Stekay
    Stekay Member Posts: 36
    Hot Air Furnace

    You can use this Suburban Furnace from an RV. It uses propane and 12VDC. the exhaust intake is the chrome piece. 30K Btu for mine
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,085
    how big is the house?

    . . . and how many floors. 

    I agree generally with the oil filled radiators.  sounds like this is a one off for you.  those of us who service throughout the winter often keep a stable of a dozen of these things. 3 or 4 even a half dozen deployed strategically in a house can go a long way and you don't need special plugs although if you've got a steam system and your wiring is from that same era you might have trouble finding circuits ready made to run that many.

    But if you sort circuits a little the other advantage to this approach is it is well dispersed through the house vs. one big unit.

    I wait for the spring sales and lay in 4 to 6 of these units every year (they do seem to evaporate).

    The only problem with these as backup for emergencies is that could often mean a time when you don't have power.  Installing a couple 30,000 to 50,000 btu ventless gas wall heaters would give you something that can run when there is no power (of course a atmospheric gas steam boiler with a powerpile is one of the few 'look ma no electricity' heating systems so depending on what your new boiler is you might have that covered.

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