I forgot to mention I did all this the previous year and my inlaws were kind enough to buy us a TECO 12,000btu reverse cycle a/c with heater.
The bastard of a thing has had the techs out around a dozen times and works on occasion. Another foreigner I met afterward had the same thing with the same problem. He gave up. I have had to give up now as we are out of warranty.
I don’t think the Taiwanese turn the heater function on so there are few complaints.
Watch out for them. My mum has had a Japanese brand for 20 years and it still works perfectly for heating and cooling.
Gas heaters you can drink? Never heard of 'em, but good single malt tastes good, keeps you warm and certainly gives off fumes.
I haven’t seen any of the heaters you describe, but last winter I got myself 11,000 btu of kerosene-fired goodness from Japan for around NT$5,000 at a local mom&pop electrical appliance store. Works a treat, and at just NT$500 for 25 litres of kerosene (from your nearest CPC petrol station) you’ll be toasty warm for many hours. My house is pretty draughty, so I have no problems with fumes, but if your place is a modern sealed unit, you’ll need to leave a window open a crack.
You been snooping around my house? That’s the exact same model I’ve got. Radiant heat out front, vents on the top for additional convection heat.
Don’t know what it’s called in Chinese, but I saw it on display and just pointed.
… can’t say I have, I just googled for an image … thanks, will keep my eyes open for one of these, I guess you bought it somewhere in Bitan or Xindian? (again, no detective work involved, just judging from your location info … )
Perhaps the reason they were being thrown out was because they smelled bad?
You can get electric ceramic-element radiant heaters at Tesco and various appliance stores. The health-food place in YongHe has a really expensive NT$5000 model, the appliance places are selling a couple of 800W models for about NT$2000, and Tesco has a 400-watt model for NT$429.
We have experimented with all sorts of electric heaters over the past 8 years of our stay in Taiwan, ceramic heaters, blow heaters, radiators, what have you, in all kinds of wattages, brands, models, they are all shit if you need to heat more than just a small room, plus the electrical system in most houses here can’t take the load of two or more heaters run on the same circuit, so we’ve had some sockets melting away etc., also a good stink …
We have ACs now that can heat, at least allegedly so (not tried yet), but I’m a bit worried about matching the summer-electricity-bill-levels also in the winter … maybe one or two kerosene burners would be more cost-efficient. Sandman, mikeg, how bad is the smell?? And mikeg, how do you heat your house when you put the heater outside??
My heater doesn’t smell at all, but I’ve only used it for a single winter so far – I also cannot abide the stink of kerosene and was a little worried when I bought it. According to the instruction manual, they WILL smell if the wick has a lot of carbon build-up, in which case you need to either trim the wick or, if it’s too short for that, get a new wick. They cost around US$20 and can be got off the Internet. The store I bought my heater at said they could also provide new wicks.
As the guy bargaining for mikeg when he got the two NT$150 a piece kero heaters, I think it’s time that I throw in my 2 cents.
OK, if you ask me, a kerosene heater is the best you can get short of a scandinavian wood-burning closed stove.
A gas heater might be just as good, as the LPG used here is fairly clean, however, most of the portable models require that you put the gas bottle inside. Regarding questions about gas pressure etc… don’t ask me, but you are really good when it comes to design technical solutions, so compability problems should be solved in a smap.
Also, why do the Taiwanese throw out the kero heaters they buy from Japan?
Simply, because they don’t know how to use them.
Sandman mentioned that you would have to change the wick due to excessive carbon buildup. well - only if you don’t maintain them properly, because a kero heater is only good if you maintain it. You will have to dry-burn it once in a while. On most models, do this when it has burned 2-3 tanks of kerosene.
Take it outdoors on a not windy day, and remove the chimney. It should be the thing with the glass on the outside. The examine the wick. It will feel hard and brittle when you touch it due to carbon and tar buildup in it. This buildup stops the capillaries from pulling up kerosene from the tank. You can squeeze it a bit to crush the buildup, but not too much or you’ll ruin the wick.
Put the chimney back in place, and turn the wick up in its highest position. ignite the wick with a match or a lighter. On your heater, Sandman, and on the pink one you got, Mikeg, remove the fuel tank, so the heater burns on the fuel in the burner itself only. If you can’t detack the tank, then make sure that it’s nearly drained, before you start.
You then let the heater burn untill it extinguises itself… Right before that happens, the heater will stink like hell, as the deposits of carbon and tar are burned off. just keep the wick in the high position and let it burn completely out.
Once the heater is cold, then remove the chimney, and clean the wick with a soft brush. Feel on the wick, if it feels soft and looks grey, it’s as good as new, if there are still hard brittle spots, pinch them carefully, but a bit more kerosene in the burner, let the wick stand for 20 minutes or until completely soaked and repeat.
I did that with a second hand heater I got from the US. The wick was horrible, and the heater belched out smoke whenever I used it. After 3 dry burns, it worked like a charm.
Also… Sandman, before you cut your wick, check the material. If it’s a fiber glass wick, then avoid trimming it if possible. Only cotton wicks can be trimmed. Most wicks are of fiber glass nowadays btw.
And Mikeg, here’s some advice for you: The starter on your heater is shot? First of all see if the little heating coil is broken. If it is, then you can get a new one over the internet, or you can buy it on one of your trips to the US. Remember to write down the make, model number and serial number of your kero heaters before going to Home Depot and asking. Also get a few spare wicks for me when you are at it. If the coil looks OK, then look at the connections. Kero heaters are simple and it’s easy to find the errors.
Adding in on ceramic heaters as a solution. :loco: - at least up on the hill, that is. A good ceramic heater 2,000 BTU at most, as per hour it costs the same to run as a kero heater. The oil-filled ones are a bit better, but they cost a fortune to run.
I look forward to see the gas heater. Try ebay, I got 2 kero heaters there.
They have a service for finding out what wicks you need.
Also, they accept international orders.
I like the gas heater, and would consider it once my big omni 105 wears out, or I can’t get a replacement wick. However, my dream is to get a real fireplace. And looking around, I found a Taiwanese company making them. Unfortunately their factory is in China, but I guess that they have some kind of samples here. They have a huge range of fireplaces, most of them butt ugly, but there are some nicer ones:
Getting dry wood here seems to be a hassle, and a lot of it never dries out properly due to the humid climate. Therefore, you will get kreosote in your chimney and flue sooner or later. Do not despair. There are things you can get which can help - won’t be all that cheap though:
We have an open fire-place in our house, but a thing like this one above (like a Franklin oven, all cast iron with doors you can close) is much better to actually heat a house rather than just have a nice atmosphere. Our living room/open kitchen area is quite big and an open fireplace won’t properly heat it, but this thing might! My parents have a Franklin in our holiday house back home, best heating ever! The ultimate is still a skandinavian closed stone stove/fireplace, I gave one to my sister when she built her new house, it’s even better, stores the heat for hours even after the fire has gone out!
As for logs, we have a number flying around somewhere of a guy who delivers fire logs, if I find it I’ll post it if anyone is interested. I’v so far cut & split logs myself, the recent typhoons have left us with a few fir trees toppled that are now neatly stacked in the yard … a lot of work though, only recommended for people with a bit of stamina and who like “menial” outdoors activities … gives me a change from my boring office job!
I be damned? Selling them over ebay Taiwan… wonder if the prices are that much higher than for Elegant Union, who is Taiwanese but make them in China.
The fatstone closed fireplaces are the best - the heat can last for a day after you let the fire die…
My neighbor here has an open fireplace and… welll… oh… they did not use heat resistant morter when putting up the marble around the fire chamber itself, so it all fell off. Today, we went down to the local building materials reseller, and got some heat-resistant cement and some tiles - no direct fire on the tiles, so we should be OK.
the problem with the open fireplaces is that they suck all the warm air up in the chimney, and an open fireplace can suck up to 600m2 per hour… You will be cold unless you sit next to it.
Firewood - my neighbor spent his whole day cutting one metric ton of wood, he got. he was more lucky that last year, where he got softwood full of nails - it took him a week to get all athe nails out. Hardwood only this year - and no nails in it.
Last year he ran out of wood, so I organized a blue truck and we went around the neighborhood looking for logs. We found a few, cut them up and filled the blue truck to the brim - only problem was that it was wet - we burned it anyway…
Does anyone find that the oil filled heaters make a significant difference?
Last winter it got down to 6 degrees in the apartment here on Yangming Shan! We have a lot of windows, which is good to let sun in during the day, but they’re very drafty so they readily allow cool air to come back in
We just wore a lot of clothes last winter – even winter hats and gloves at times!
I suppose that we’ll try to seal the windows somewhat… Speaking of that, it seems that people in Taiwan are really worried about not having enough fresh air… But even in modern homes in the States that are nearly airtight, there still seems to be plenty of oxygen… or is there? Hmmm, after doing some reading it appears that attempts to insulate/weatherize can cause the inside air to be unhealthy: