Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Ceramic Heaters and Refilling Small Propane Bottles

I have for a number of years used small ceramic heaters to get me
through the cold months.  A number of years ago my RV furnace went on the fritz and I had to stop using it.  To replace the furnace I had to pay $500 plus.  I went out and purchase a small portable ceramic heater.  The brand I purchase was a Coleman.  I liked it because I could get it cheap.  I think at the time that they about $100.  I found it on sale and snapped it up  The heater has a battery operated fan (I never use)  and is designed to runs on small one pound propane bottles.  The problem with these small bottles is that they only last  
for part of one night.  Five or six hours at most.  These thing are expensive and pound for pound the propane in them is four times as expensive as refilling a larger tank.  I looked for another solution.  I purchased a hose that allowed me to connect a standard BBQ bottle to the heater.  The hose cost less than $20 but saved me at least that much on the first bottle.  Depending on length of use I can get up to three weeks out of a 20 pound BBQ tank.  That's using it from 8 or 9 in the evening until I wake up in the morning.

    Yes I use it while I sleep.  Ceramic heaters do not produce deadly gases.  They do however consume oxygen.  A drafty motor home is a perfect place to use one.  If you are in a more air tight place they require 6 square inches of ventilation .  This is like lowering a car door window a half an inch.  

  Finally I use a valve that allow me to refill the small bottles for use with smaller ceramic heaters.  These valves screw into the large propane tanks.  You connect everything and turn the tank over and open the valve.  In about 30 seconds it refills the small bottles.

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