Heating Options for Cabin? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-22-2012, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Heating Options for Cabin?

I am considering options for heating our 20'x 25' cabin. We have electric but no water. The cabin has esentially 3 rooms: The front room is a great room containing the kitchen and living area with vaulted ceiling with 2 small private bedrooms in the other half with a small loft space above the bedrooms. The cabin is insulated but the windows and doors are not "effiecent". The current heat source is a very large woodstove sitting on a brick hearth in the greatroom. The woodstove is cool but the main problem is that the woodstove is way too large and takes up too much floorspace. In terms of physical size this thing is large enough to heat a full-sized home let alone a small cabin so the loss of floor space becomes an issue even during the summertime when no heat source is needed. The other issue is that, while everyone knows it's standard camp protocol to heat with a woodstove, they become a chore with firewood detail and you have to constantly fiddle with the stove and open/close windows to regulate the temprature in the cabin. If the current stove was a smaller unit taking up little floor space I would live with the hassle but since it needs to be downsized, I might as well consider other options. In a sense it would be nice to simply roll into camp on a Friday night after work and flip a knob for instant, hassle free heat that can be regulated with a thermostat.

That said, my options would be to get a smaller woodstove, some type of electric heating unit, baseboard electric, or a LP wall heater. I'm leaning toward some type of wall heating unit but I'm not familiar with these at all. I understand there are blue flame, orange flame, vented and non-vented types. I have the woodstove chimney there if it could be used as a vent?
We would only run the heat while "up at camp" off and on for hunting season and winter visits. Above all I want something that will be safe for the cabin and my young children. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-22-2012, 01:35 PM
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Re: Heating Options for Cabin?

I have baseboard electric in my cabin along with a fire place with heat a lator. The base board heat in my opinion is great. Each room has its own thermostat. When the fireplace is burning the baseboard will not turn on unless the fire goes out. And my electric bill is not as expensive as I would've thought. I am very pleased with the baseboard heat.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-22-2012, 01:51 PM
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Re: Heating Options for Cabin?

we use a vent free LP gas wall unit in our camp. Blue flame, the orange ones heat the objects in the room, IIRC. The only problem with it is that it gives off a substantial amount of water vapor. We run a dehumidifier in conjunction with the heater to try to keep down the dampness/condensation on the windows.
I don't know if vented units have this problem, it is nice however, not having to haul wood in from outside every few hours.

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-22-2012, 01:55 PM
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Re: Heating Options for Cabin?

Electric heating can really run up your bill if your using that as your only heat source therefore I would stay away from that option. There are many LP gas wall mounted heaters that are non vented on the market today that heat very effeciently with blowers on them that could be a nice option for you. Look into Comfort Glow. Although the price of propane is your only downfall there. It all depends on how much you will be using your camp during the heating season. I am switching over to wood from propane this year because it is much much cheaper and because we are their all through the winter. I think a smaller woodstove would be your best option for the price and you already have the exsiting piping, and you should be able to sell your other BIG one to help with cash towards the new one.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-22-2012, 02:01 PM
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Re: Heating Options for Cabin?

For heating that is relatively inexpensive to install, trouble free and only used sporadically, baseboard electric is hard to beat. Since it's only on when I'm there and doesn't heat at all, if the woodstove is going, electric costs are minimal.

My main source of cabin heat is a wood stove, but baseboard electric is also used while I'm there in cold weather. Same heat has worked since '83, zero maintenance costs. The baseboard elec. heat I installed when I built a house in 1976, was still working without any replacement parts, when I sold that house in 2002.

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-22-2012, 02:20 PM
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Re: Heating Options for Cabin?

You could do a pellet stove in the main area and do electic in the bedrooms. Nothing better than being able to have seperate control of heat in your sleeping quarters. Pesonally like you mentioned the atmosphere of wood is prefered but do agree it is a pain from time to time. Everyone has given good suggestions already
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-22-2012, 02:45 PM
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Re: Heating Options for Cabin?

We had oil heat and wood stove for many years...They stink



The best move we ever did was chang out to LP wall units. What a difference! Our camp is 1200 sq ft and we have 2 units. one in living room and the other in our kitchen. If we put both on it will blow you out of there. We run 1 95% of the time. They are really effiecient compared to electric and oil. Added benefit was we were able to change our stove to LP also. Almopst forgot we also changed our hot water heater to an on demand lp system.. I suggest making sure you add filter to any well pumps as these type hot water heaters are prone to clog...they work great when the water is properly filtered though.
I highly reccomend wall unit for ease of you and energy saving.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-22-2012, 03:09 PM
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Re: Heating Options for Cabin?

I would go with the electric baseboard heating with smaller woodstove for backup.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-22-2012, 06:13 PM
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Re: Heating Options for Cabin?

Your at the "cabin" Why use a thermostat! I would use propane as a backup, cause electric can go out! and if you dont have seasoned wood, watcha gonna do1

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-22-2012, 06:30 PM
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Re: Heating Options for Cabin?

I would always have a back up heat source in case of power outage.

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