Bathroom Heaters – Are They Simply an Indulgence?
I’ve recently mentioned in a couple threads that I’ll finally be breaking ground this coming fall for a new home in Maine, which will be relatively small (1,214 sq ft over a basement,) very well insulated and as airtight as possible. I’m not taking it as far as a Passivhaus for a number of reasons, but that’s another thread.
Right now, I’m ironing out the details of the HVAC system. This little home will be primarily heated with an efficient wood pellet stove and require somewhere around 9,100 Btuh in the dead of winter to keep the place at 72F. The pellet stove, located in the living room, will have a 4″ heat duct connected to the bedroom above it, providing whatever heat may be needed upstairs at night. There will also be a single-split cool/heat pump for seasonal A/C as well as functioning as a back up heat source. Finally, I’ll be relying on passive solar heat entering all of the south-facing windows in the winter to warm up soapstone tiles on both floors, much like a simple heat sink.
The two areas of the house where I’ll occasionally want some spot heating are the main bathroom (where a shower will be used instead of a tub) and a basement workshop. The bath will be 42 sq ft and the workshop area will be around 150 sq ft. Putting a small heater in either space likely qualifies as an unnecessary indulgence in an energy efficient home, but I’d still like to weigh my options. In both instances, I’d have the heat source on a timer and be judicious about when it’s used. In the bathroom, I’m envisioning the heater near the floor (either a wall or toe-kick heater most likely, although electric radiant in the floor may be a possibility depending on how quickly it heats up a floor.) In the workshop, I’m open to suggestions. It’s really about coming up with solutions in either case that heat up a space quickly and efficiently.
By the way, in the main bath there will be a Panasonic FV-13VKML3 WhisperGreen-Lite exhaust fan in the ceiling, so possibly the option for space heating could tie into this somehow, even if it’s just at the controls.
What heat source would you recommend for each space? I’d appreciate any thoughts or suggestions.
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