Saturday, January 8, 2011

Propane - Mr. Heater Update

I went back out to Montello Tuesday morning for an impromptu stay. The temperatures were considerably colder with highs in the teens and lows below zero. The Mr. Heater finally warmed the container to a comfortable temp after 24 hours on high (9,000 btu)....much too long. Thus, a larger heater will be needed on subsequent trips, if propane is the sole heating method, to quickly elevate the temperature to a proper comfort level. With this additional experience, future trip protocol will include firing up the wood burning stove upon arrival and using its greater BTU capability to bring the container temps up to a satisfactory level. From there, I'll switch over to propane to maintain.

One of the by-products of the propane combustion process is water. This is great in the dry desert because it acts to humidify the air in your living space. Unfortunately, my living space is so air tight that the moisture builds up heavily on the sliding glass door and yields a layer of ice in the morning. I'm still sold on the convenience of propane and am researching/thinking about a vented heater setup. I'm leaning towards the simplistic idea of using BBQ heating elements and fabricating a retrofit venting system for the wood burning stove. We'll see how this experiment turns out in due time!

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