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Heating by Using the Oven


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#1 Shel_B

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 06:37 AM

This morning the house is very cold and I'm working in a little nook in the kitchen area that I use for an office. I didn't want to turn the heat on for the entire house as the furnace fan is noisy and I like it quiet in the early morning. So, in order to warm up the small area in which I'm working, I turned on the oven, and the area is getting nice and warm.

Is there any downside to doing this? Is using the oven more economical than using the house furnace and fan? Thanks!

.... Shel


#2 rotuts

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 07:01 AM

Dont forget its on. No kidding.

Electric? Gas? well insulated house? oil heat, electric heat, gas heat for the house?

My sister lives in TX (???) and has an electric house. She got this after if was review in the NYTimes:

http://www.nytimes.c...n heater&st=cse

its a new Dyson heater, electirc. its very efficient and has a steep initial investment. But its only 400 watts and may be cheaper to use inn an all electic house for where you are.

#3 Country

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 07:29 AM

Is there any downside to doing this? Is using the oven more economical than using the house furnace and fan? Thanks!


If the oven is gas-fired it's probably more economical than running the furnace, but if it's an electric oven it would be more economical to get a small electric heater and place it close to where you're working. Also, if it's electric, it might not be good for the oven heating element(s) to be on constantly.

#4 Country

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 07:42 AM

its a new Dyson heater, electirc. its very efficient and has a steep initial investment. But its only 400 watts and may be cheaper to use inn an all electic house for where you are.


It's 1500 watts. See here. "And while heating, it consumes 1500 watts of power..."

#5 feedmec00kies

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 07:46 AM

I was always under the impression that, if we're talking about a gas stove (OP never indicated, AFAIK), there is a danger of elevated carbon monoxide levels.

If you're not interested in spending $400, look into reviews for an oil-filled electric radiator. They're safer than the coil-style heaters and seem to work much better, too.
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#6 Blether

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 07:50 AM

I can see an argument that the oven element, on without a break because the oven never "reaches temperature", might be damaged over a long period.

But how can it be uneconomical compared with an electric heater ? The oven might be rated X% efficient, but in this case the waste is lost (to the room) as heat in the same way that the work power is. There might be comparatively slow heating at first because the stove itself absorbs the first 5 - 10 minutes' worth, but even that will come back to the room after the oven is switched off.

Uneconomical vs an electric heater ? I don't think so. Uneconomical vs mains gas ? Probably. Uneconomical vs canister or cylinder gas ? That depends.

I'd say, if it's an occasional thing, go for it. If you're going to work in there a lot it seems a strange everyday way of heating the place.

Edited by Blether, 06 January 2012 - 07:53 AM.

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#7 rotuts

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 07:58 AM

thanks for that correction.

#8 weinoo

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 07:58 AM

I don't know about anyone else, but on the first page of my oven's manual, the Important Safety Instructions, it specifically states:

Use this appliance only for its intended use.



Are you cooking on top of your furnace as well?

How about putting on a sweater and a hat?
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#9 budrichard

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 08:53 AM

If one compares Natural Gas to oil and electric, Natural Gas is usually cheaper in cost in the US.
If comparing a heat from a gas oven to heat provided from a gas furnace one must compare apples to apples for how many BTU's and how much space do you want to heat. Newer gas furnaces operate in the upper 90 percentile in terms of efficiency and your oven does not approach that nor was it designed to do that. But in terms of gas efficiency there is no difference between gas burned in an oven or furnace, you get the same amount of BTU's per unit of gas burned.
If heating a small space with your oven compared to heating your whole house, it may indeed be less expensive to turn on the oven but you would need to do all the calculations to know.
BTW, the products of normal combustion of natural gas and oxygen are CO2, water and heat, CO results from incomplete combustion which is why Natural Gas is such a convenient method for an oven and stove top, but an oxygen deficient atmosphere whether CO or CO2 will kill you!
Better to use the oven for cooking and your furnace for heating as designed.
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#10 Mjx

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 08:55 AM

Get a space heater: The small cube-shaped ceramic units seem to give the best bang for the buck. One of these should do the trick for you in your office space; I'm speaking from a decade+ worth of experience as an artist's model who often worked through the winter in large, draughty, unheated studios.

Using your oven as heater sounds likely to damage your oven/you/your budget, over the long haul.

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#11 Edward J

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 08:58 AM

I've got a problem with this concept.....

Gas is a fossil fuel and it does produce waste as it burns. Running a kithen fan usually removes this waste, but in order to heat a kitchen it would be counter intuitive to run the fan.

Thoughts?

#12 Country

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 09:31 AM

But how can it be uneconomical compared with an electric heater ? The oven might be rated X% efficient, but in this case the waste is lost (to the room) as heat in the same way that the work power is. There might be comparatively slow heating at first because the stove itself absorbs the first 5 - 10 minutes' worth, but even that will come back to the room after the oven is switched off.

Uneconomical vs an electric heater ? I don't think so.


An electric oven typically consumes 4000 watts, while a small electric heater such as this one uses 1500 watts. Heat from the oven will likely rise to the ceiling and be heating far more than what's required for working - and consuming much more electricity than the small heater which can be placed close to where the heat is needed. And there's the problem of burning out the oven element if this is done very much.

And there's Mjx's practical experience to consider. :smile:

#13 Shel_B

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 09:38 AM

I was always under the impression that, if we're talking about a gas stove (OP never indicated, AFAIK), there is a danger of elevated carbon monoxide levels.

If you're not interested in spending $400, look into reviews for an oil-filled electric radiator. They're safer than the coil-style heaters and seem to work much better, too.


It's a new, well-vented, gas oven. Would there be any greater danger of CO than when cooking, and if so, why?

I have one of the oil-filled radiators, but it's in the attic now and there's no easy way to get it down.

.... Shel


#14 andiesenji

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 09:43 AM

I have a couple of smallish heaters, including one like this for heating small areas. It is inexpensive and has worked nicely for me.

If I want to heat my rather vast kitchen, I have a barn heater designed to heat large open areas.

Using the oven to heat a room is not wise. The oven is designed to operate with the door closed and you can put the thermostat controls totally out of whack, which will require a visit from a technician to recalibrate it and will probably cost you more than purchasing an inexpensive heater.

This one has a tip-over shutoff function and while the fan may seem a bit noisy when you first use it, it quickly fades into the background and I now don't notice it at all. (and I have very sharp hearing.)

There are also radiant heaters, ceramic, with no fans which will heat just a small area but I get too warm with them at close range and feel warm only on the side facing the heater.
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#15 Shel_B

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 09:46 AM

Using your oven as heater sounds likely to damage your oven/you/your budget, over the long haul.


Well, I was really only thinking of an occasional short time use.

No, I'm not looking for long-term soljutions, and my question, while relevant, was as much out of curiosity as anything else.

.... Shel


#16 Blether

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 09:46 AM

... An electric oven typically consumes 4000 watts, while a small electric heater such as this one uses 1500 watts...


... and so in terms of heating power, the electric oven is a far better proposition. If you only need a puny 1500watts to heat the space, you'd soon turn the oven down to that level, and it would do the initial warm-up much more quickly. And if you really want to crank the heat up, you can turn on the hob too.

Spot heating (huddling over / sitting by the heat source) is something to consider, but in winter as soon as you start running the heating in a space, in general every electrical appliance in the space is suddenly 100% efficient, because all the 'waste' is now useful. In particular, the fridge / freezer become 'no fuel cost' appliances (if you sleep in the kitchen too, which is something you might want to consider, eh, Shel ?).

Country, are you really imagining what I think you're imagining ? You're a bad man !

Edited by Blether, 06 January 2012 - 09:53 AM.

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#17 Mjx

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 10:12 AM


Using your oven as heater sounds likely to damage your oven/you/your budget, over the long haul.


Well, I was really only thinking of an occasional short time use.

No, I'm not looking for long-term soljutions, and my question, while relevant, was as much out of curiosity as anything else.


Fair enough, but if I were you, I really would drag out that heater you mentioned, even if it is just for a little while, and it's something of a project. Or, get another that is easier to move/stash: the good ones are small, efficient, direct the heat effectively, and will make you feel very, very happy (perhaps not as happy as a life model in a skylit studio where all the people sketching are muffled to the eyebrows, but still).

Leaving aside the possible safety issues, my experience in our last kitchen (which had no heat) was that the heat from the oven didn't circulate very efficiently into the room when the door was open, and it was a small room. Once or twice, I left the oven door open after shutting it off, because it was just so bloody cold, and I could feel the warmth when I stood immediately in front of it, but a little ways away it really wasn't doing much good.

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#18 Katie Meadow

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 10:59 AM

Try that heater that's in the attic. If it doesn't do the job to your satisfaction, there are lots of economically priced small space heaters--gas filled or otherwise--on the market, some mentioned above. They are quite effective, especially in a modest sized room.

In addition, you might try cooking in the oven in the morning. Put together a stew of slow cooker type comfort foods the night before, and put it in the oven first thing in the morning. Using the oven (oven door closed, obviously) will still help warm the room up and not be wasteful. Or whip up some cornbread or popovers. I even find that making chicken stock in a giant pot on top of the stove heats up the kitchen, considering the pot is radiating heat for several hours non-stop.

My first year of college in Wisconsin it was so frigid in my dorm room that I went to a Salvation Army store and bought an ancient popcorn popper and deconstructed it so I could sit at my desk with the exposed glowing coil beneath me. They don't make 'em like they used to, though. And I'm sure the safety aspect of my clever solution never figured in to the equation. In those days we used typewriters and threw away a lot of crumpled sheets of paper. I wouldn't be surprised if the waste paper basket was right next to the popper bottom. No science major, here.

#19 Edward J

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 01:48 PM

It's a new, well-vented, gas oven. Would there be any greater danger of CO than when cooking, and if so, why?



Where does it vent out to?

#20 boilsover

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 01:51 PM

Having recently moved in to a 1907 Craftsman with an unheated kitchen and pantry (that's what the Monarch wood/coal cookstove was for!), I can tell you that I have resorted to the oven-ajar method. As someone else here has pointed out, your 240V oven is going to put out more heat without killing itself or your wiring than will one of these dinky 1500W (essentially a hair-drier) under-desk boxes. That being said, I typically only use this method to take the chill out until my cooking itself warms the room. And it is a temporary measure until I find the right wood/vcoal unit to go back in. So far no ugly surprises on the electricity bill or in the range itself.

As to cost, when I researched the alleged energy savings of converting to induction ($27 per year for the average American family at average rates), I discovered the statistic that the average American family's electric range consumes only $240 in juice per year, and that this small percentage of the annual consumption is why there is no Energy Star rating for ranges and cooktops. I conclude from these things that (a) you're not going to go broke heating your kitchen with your oven; and (b) it's going to take decades to save enough money to have induction pay for itself.

Edited by boilsover, 06 January 2012 - 01:52 PM.


#21 dcarch

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 02:04 PM

First, all electric heaters are 100% efficient, does not matter the design and how you use that electricity. One watt = 3.41214 BTUs.

You can only get more BTU from watts by using a heatpump (reverse air conditioner)cycle. That's it.

You can get better use of those limited BTUs by turning them into infrared radiation and direct the infrared at you. You will be using the heat on you and not on other things in the room and not heating up the air.

Here is a nice use of electricity:

Get a 1000 watt matal halide light fixture, you will have 1000 watts of heat, a room as bright as the sun is shining, and you can grow lots of herbs and tomatoes inside. Same BTUs. Same heat, same $.

dcarch

#22 Blether

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 08:32 PM

Nice, but BTU's convert into joules (both are units of energy), not watts (a unit of power), don't they ?

Edited by Blether, 06 January 2012 - 08:32 PM.

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#23 Shalmanese

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 08:57 PM

Nice, but BTU's convert into joules (both are units of energy), not watts (a unit of power), don't they ?


Stoves are labelled as being rated in BTU but are actually rated in BTU/hr.
PS: I am a guy.

#24 budrichard

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 05:08 AM


It's a new, well-vented, gas oven. Would there be any greater danger of CO than when cooking, and if so, why?



Where does it vent out to?


Again, there is no danger of CO in a properly functioning gas appliance, there is however CO2 produced that could reduce the oxygen levels in the room. CO and CO2 are fundamentally different as CO bonds with the blood and reduces the ability of the blood to carry oxygen.

"As someone else here has pointed out, your 240V oven is going to put out more heat without killing itself or your wiring than will one of these dinky 1500W (essentially a hair-drier) under-desk boxes. "

The oven in question is gas.

"First, all electric heaters are 100% efficient, does not matter the design and how you use that electricity."

True, but the source for that electricity whether coal, gas or nuclear is at best 33% efficient so you have to compare apples to apples i.e Natural Gas being used at 33% efficiency to produce electricity versus the efficiency of your Natural Gas oven.

"Nice, but BTU's convert into joules (both are units of energy), not watts (a unit of power), don't they ? "

BTU's and Joules are units of energy and a watt is the rate at which energy is generated or consumed. One Watt equals a Joule/sec. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watt

"Stoves are labelled as being rated in BTU but are actually rated in BTU/hr."

You are correct.

In any event using a gas oven to accomplish a task it was not designed for isn't smart. Install a new high efficiency furnace that is not noisy and be done with it. Electrci space heaters are costly and may be unsafe.-Dick

#25 naguere

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 05:59 AM

The Dyson Fan Heater.

The very latest that tecnology can bring to you.

It is so beautiful, you know you want one

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#26 David A. Goldfarb

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 06:08 AM

I think the main problem with using an oven for heat is that running the oven with the door open can throw off the thermostat, as andiesenji mentions above, if you're keeping the door open, that is.

On the other hand, a cold day is always a good excuse to cook, and that warms up the kitchen too. You could be braising meat, making Boston baked beans, roasting a pork shoulder or a turkey, or any number of things that involve running the oven at a low temperature for a long time, but that don't require a lot of prep.

#27 dcarch

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 06:19 AM

I agree with all budrichard said.

Adding the following:

1. You should not use your oven to heat the space except in an emergency.

2. A family (USA) was burned to death a day ago using a space heater.

3. There is no such thing as "ventless" space heaters.

4. There are expensive electric room heaters advertised as "100%" efficient and space-age infrared technology. They are in fact telling you the truth. The thing is, that's exactly how your $2.00 light bulb works.

-----------------------
To save big-time money:

1. Insulate, insulate, and insulate.

2. Get some thermal gel pack, they come free when you order frozen steak, or buy them from a drug store or surgical supply store. Make some kind of vest that you can wear with the gel packs. You can heat up the gel pack in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes.

The vest will keep you toasty warm for an hour or two without the room heat on.

dcarch

#28 dcarch

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 06:31 AM

The Dyson Fan Heater.

The very latest that tecnology can bring to you.

It is so beautiful, you know you want one

Clickety


Biggest advertising gimmick I have ever seen.

There is no new technology with that very expensive heater, heats no better than a cheap light bulb. Operates worst than any cheap heater.

$400 to $480 !!!??? Monumental rip-off!!

Beautiful? perhaps.

dcarch

Edited by dcarch, 07 January 2012 - 06:55 AM.


#29 Beth Wilson

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 06:58 AM

Get a space heater. I know a few people who have had to do things like this with their ovens and it quickly burns out the element if it is electric.

An oven that is heated up and doesn't have a fantastic casserole in it or lasagna in it is just a sad thing :sad:

If you are just heating the room get the right appliance for that job, if you want to warm the kitchen and make an early dinner, through a big pot of something in there to cook while it heats.

I even cooked a turkey in January (unstuffed)to heat up the kitchen and bonus! had some friends over to help me eat it :smile:

#30 Country

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 07:01 AM

... the source for that electricity whether coal, gas or nuclear is at best 33% efficient so you have to compare apples to apples i.e Natural Gas being used at 33% efficiency to produce electricity versus the efficiency of your Natural Gas oven.


Average efficiency (in 2009) of natural gas generation was about 42%. The average includes the older combustion turbines which are about 33% as well as the newer combined cycle plants, some of which can run over 50%. Because of their faster response time (and lower efficiency) combustion turbines are generally only used for peak power, while combined cycle are being used mostly for base load.

For reference see: Average Operating Heat Rate for Selected Energy Sources (Efficiency = 3412/heat rate)