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Decorative Propane Heating unit with battery or standing pilot ignition

[email protected] | Posted in Mechanicals on

I’m in zone 6, I’m in the planning/design phase of retirement house for my sister.  I’m designing for SIP Construction with air to air, mini splits for heat/cooling.  

But we do have power outages, which have lasted for over 24-hours, and occasional days (weeks) where we don’t get above 0-F.  

I’m trying to figure out a backup heat source which won’t look ugly in her living room.   The one in my house is an older standing pilot, direct vent propane unit.  It is downstairs next to the mechanical room, set to 45-F.  Just in case the power goes off for an extended period when I’m out of town.  

So, I need something which can set in her living room, looking decorative with it’s thermostat set to around 45-F so that the place doesn’t freeeze up if the power is off, and that she can set up to 60-F on cold winter nights where the MiniSplit may not work well enough to keep the house warm. 

Any recommendations?  

Thanks, Jigs

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  1. Expert Member
    BILL WICHERS | | #1

    I think the only real options here are variations on vented fireplaces. You can use a small computer UPS to keep the ignition system running, since those don't draw much power. If you want any kind of heating device that has a fan or blower, you'll not run long on a small UPS.

    A generator might be a better option for backup power here. You could setup one of the small generator transfer panels to run a few important circuits (your furnace, a few lights, sump pump, maybe a TV or computer), then permanently wire that to an "inlet" on the outside of the house somewhere easy to access. You can now use a relatively inexpensive portable generator easily, but connecting the "full output" outlet on the generator to that power "inlet" with a generator cord. Connect things, start the generator, then flip the transfer switches for the few circuits you wired to be backed up and you're good to go. This is much better than running a bunch of extension cords around, and it lets you run other things besides just heat.

    If you need a system that can operated unattended, you need an automatic transfer switch (ATS) and a permanently installed generator, which will be much more expensive. As far as I know, most of the simple non-electric start heating devices are very basic, like wood stoves, and won't operate unattended.


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