Wall Furnaces
Q: I'm concerned about my 1-year old getting burned by one of our gas wall furnaces. Does anyone have any good suggestions for "baby proofing" these things?

The good news is that the covers for these pop right off, so you can put together a barrier to go in front of the heater and attach it behind the cover. Also, have you checked to see how hot the bottom actually gets? I think the top part is what gets hot, but I'm not firing mine up just yet to find out!

If you are REALLY concerned, and want to add air-conditioning too, you can look up mini-split heat pumps on the web - we're thinking of getting one of these, since the swamp cooler really isn't very good, and I hate the look of those metallic-octopus-on-the-roof ac systems. Here's a link:


The nice thing about these is that there are no ducts, and they often run on more efficient 240 volt power. The downside is that they are not cheap.

Mark Pollock -- Oct 16, 2003

A: Another option is to replace your wall furnaces with hydronic radiators. They operate at a much lower temp and run off your hot water heater (you would need to run lines....). The Davis Energy Efficiency Project has suggested this some. You could talk to Marshall Hunt over there. The Mini split looks good, but they don't mention the SEER, so I am a little skeptical, but PATH is a reputable group. It's just that most people who have tried heating with electricity, even an HP, have usually been disappointed.

Steve Brennan, Davis Energy Group -- Oct 17, 2003

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