Heater/Cooler help

I live in a converted garage so it gets really cold during the winter here in Canada. I bought a heater/cooler a while ago from Amazon for $220 CAD. It’s a great heater/cooler however it sucks up WAY too many watts (1800w). My power keeps going out after maybe 15-30 minutes of usage, I’m sure it doesn’t help that my room is connected to to the same fuse as the kitchen.

Anyway, just wondering if anyone here has any recommendations before I decide to buy the following heater.


okay, I think you should rather see if you can get something done about that electricity problem, even just pulling a line just for that heater/cooler from a different area of the house or something like that (not you ofc, an electrician, if it’s possible to do that in a proper way). Or getting a bigger fuse for the kitchen, if that’s a thing (possible and acceptable from a safety point of view) (i’m totally ignorant when it comes to stuff like that)

you could also just possibly connect your fridge on an extension cord from the next room/hallway or whatever and see if perhaps then the kitchen fuse can now support your heater/cooler

yeah, then i think an extension cord could help

(and you could also ask the landowner to take care of this issue cuz they’ll more than likely face the same issue every time)


I’m just renting this house with a couple friends for college. Probably can’t do that.


One thing I would say regarding heaters is that you should probably be looking at the cheapest possible option. A heater is a very simple thing that just “wastes” electricity to create heat, that’s all it does and all any of them does. It is nigh impossible to do that better or worse.

Here’s a very entertaining guy talking at length about various consumer electronics and almost anything else that catches his interest, his video on space heaters:

Though maybe you’ve done a lot of research yourself on heaters and know what you want then never mind. Technology connections is still a very interesting channel, so give it a look some day.

Secondly the only way you can stop your space heater from blowing your fuse is to get a stronger fuse or a weaker heater. I don’t know if the one you’re looking at there is weaker or not but if it isn’t it wont fix your problem.

I’d echo Moo’s suggestion of instead tackle the power supply issue. I get that installing a new fuse box or a new main line connection is beyond you, but could simply a long extension cord be possible? Since we have no idea about the building’s layout or the electrical circuits in it it’s hard to give any concrete advice on the topic.


Get an old school petroleum heater. No electricity needed and warms really good. You do need canisters of petroleum to fuel it.


i’m told the best way to get get warm when freezing is shared body heat image


I was going to link the same video. Good find.

I’m going to go against the other advice here in that you should be EXTREMELY CAREFUL using an extension cord with a space heater. Most cords aren’t rated for that kind of current, and I’ve seen several news reports over the years that this or that house fire was started by a space heater plugged into an extension cord. So if you absolutely must, be very very certain that your extension cord is rated high enough.


Don’t do electric heat sources. Trust me! We’ve been through dozens, of all sorts and sizes and brands, all terrible and dangerous! I live in a cold area, and we don’t have the money to pay for the electrical bill come winter with a heater plugged in, so we looked for another solution. The greatest discovery we found was a kerosene heater. Cheaper than electrical, heats up the house like a volcano! In a garage? Hell, I beat it’d be even hotter. lol plus, you avoid the outage issue! :slight_smile:


Something like this! :slight_smile:


how do kerosene/petrol heaters do with like air pollutants, or whatchamacallit
firegamer isn’t gonna suffocate in a tiny garage i assume if these things are being sold for indoor use?


Technology connections have a video on that as well and he agrees with you, though he is mostly talking about proper furnaces with gas infrastructure.

As for the exhaust issues the Japanese still heavily rely on these things to heat their poorly insulated homes in winter and from what I can gather from 1st hand sources the general advice is to keep a window cracked. This does sound like it would greatly impact the efficiency aspect of it as that should vastly increase the amount of heat that escapes the room in order to safely operate the heater.

It’s also worth checking with your local fire marshal whether or not it’s safe and legal to operate a kerosene heater in your area or specific locale as it might not be.


Well I have a few ideas but beats me if they’ll work.

How big is this garage anyway? Is the place even insulated? People normally don’t live in garages because of a draft. Plug those holes but don’t suffocate yourself because garages also don’t have ventilation.

So are you trying to stay warm? Or are you trying to heat the place?

If you want to stay warm. Buy an electric heating blanket and keep it on you forever. If you want to be mobile, you can buy a heating jacket that you can plug in. Your room will be cold but you will be warm.

If you want to heat your direction without all that pesky cloth, I used to use a heater that looks like a fan. The room was cold but I was comfortably warm from the radiated head of the thing. It’s probably the same as the space heater. It never turned off on me but the thing was a fire hazard.

It looked like this but bigger. I don’t know why this thing is so expensive but at least you can see something similar to what I used.


I don’t know about your electric so I’ll try no electric. If you’re into convection and open flames, you can do that tea light pot thing that was popular several years back.

I found a video that did it mostly correct. Just need 1 pot that fits in another pot, nonflammable base, a quarter to cover the inner pot’s hole, and small flames.

It was annoying to find because many videos were being ridiculous. Putting 1 tea light under a pot with an open top expecting it to heat magically. Made me laugh. I should just sit a candle in the center of my room. At least the guy in this video used that laser tempgun.

No electricity, needs cheap candles, wax may catch fire and start a fire. So be careful. Be safe. Think things through. Then have the awareness to know if someone else will do none of the above when they come in your room.



A heated blanket sounds like a good idea, however, I would like to keep the room at least warm. so i can comfortably sleep and do whatever I’m doing on my PC. Shaking all the time and not being able to feel my toes and fingers really sucks. Freezing fingers in particular sucks when I’m trying to type something. The temp hasn’t gone below -5 yet but it’s still pretty bad. We often get temps as low as -25 here. I don’t even want to see first hand how bad this room is in that temp.

Speaking of the room, it’s not very big. It could fit 1 compact car. The walls are insulated, however, there’s a huge window that almost covers an entire wall. There is a furnace in this house, and there’s a vent going into my room but practically nothing is coming in.

I like that idea with the candle heater but there isn’t very much space for something like that and well there’s a lot of flammable stuff in here so not gonna risk that.


Thanks for all the great points/advice on this everyone, there was honestly a lot more replies then I was expecting. A lot of stuff I didn’t even consider. I’m probably going to go with an electric one I’d rather not deal with open flames or kerosene/ petrol. But definitely going to go much cheaper and of course get a refund for the one I have at the moment. I’m gonna look at some more of them before I decide which one I’m going for. watt usage is going to be the key selling point now. The one I bought looked great had some pretty cool features and it also had a cooler which would be great in the summer. As I mentioned in my previous message, there’s a vent in my room but practically nothing comes in. So to have both cold and heat on one machine that wasn’t as expensive as a Dyson seemed great. Honestly it is a really nice cooler/heater, its just unfortunate that the heater sucks up so much electricity.

I had considered using an extension cable but it would have to be a pretty long one to get it to an outlet not connected to the kitchen fuse. Not to mention I’m sure the other guys and even myself would get rather annoyed with a cord running through the kitchen. I already find my Ethernet cable annoying enough running across the floor. @BlivetWidget brought up a great point about the extension cords. That’s another risk I’m not wanting to take.


It is a good point because people just use whatever dollar store cords they have lying around. You know better now and can go to a hardware store and get an extension cord guaranteed to be safe to use. It’s not extension cords as a whole that is a problem or a risk, it’s people not knowing what they’re doing.


As for the questions given to me about the heaters…

It is only an issue if you do not check fuel. If it runs out and is still on, it’ll start releasing fumes. You should never leave a heat source unmonitored though, be it electrical, gas or wood powered. This is simply dangerous no matter what.

We leave ours on, but we monitor the gauge to make sure its not empty. We don’t leave windows open while we use it, but that’s largely because we’re responsible about it and have people around to monitor it. I suppose if you want to use it while you sleep or something, you’re gonna wanna check the gauge and fuel it properly. These things do not consume that much kerosene and can last dozens of around six hours on one full tank even on full settings (we generally keep it low cause even low heats up very well, and it spreads out the fuel too).

Just please, if you go electrical, do not plug them into extension cords. Please…


I’ve read that high-watt items like heaters generally should not be used with a long extension cord. If you want to try that anyway, be sure the extension cord is a wire gauge #12 (16 amp). They’ll be more expensive.


I recently had to deal with and learn American Wire Gauge (AWG). I hate it.


Alternatively you could look at the label/info of the extension cord you are about to buy, and look for something like “16 Amps” or “1,920 Watts capacity”. :zap:


yeah I was more referring to when it goes to 1/0 2/0 then eventually into kcmil. It’s ridiculous.


But the bodies I keep in my garage feel so cold


First of all I’d look into that furnace/vent business. I’ll make some assumptions here to fill the missing info, so correct them if needed.
There are two likely reasons why the hot air is not flowing in:
1. the duct is sealed off
2. by design

Checking for the first one is easy. Unless you have a dead Santa in the duct, it’s sealed on either one end or the other.

Checking for the second…
For the air to come into your room, air needs to be leaving it as well.
I’m assuming that your room (garage) has a door leading straight into the house. Typically those doors are airtight (same as exterior doors).
The cold air can’t escape through that door. The only way in/out is the vent. If the vent is near the ceiling, almost no exchange should be expected (hot air stays up). If the vent is near the floor, only a little bit more exchange should be expected: the cold air sinks down and tries to leave through the vent but immediately mixes with the incoming hot air and you get jack heat. Normally both setups provides sufficient conditions for the minimal convection to keep the garage above frosting temperatures (which is all you need for your car).
Interior doors leave a gap at the bottom (circa 1,5 cm) to allow the air to circulate.

So first of all, check if the door has a gap. If it doesn’t, crack it open and wait several minutes for the air to start flowing from the vent. You can estimate the airflow before and after with a steady lighter/candle flame (held up to the vent).
If this enables the expected heat flow, ask your landlord to modify the door accordingly.

If none of these two apply, gremlins.

Regarding the cooling aspect of your device and portable ACs in general:
Unless you lead the heat it produces (during the compression portion of the cycle) outside, you’ll be heating up your room, instead of cooling it. There are venting plates/kits that let you adapt your window for that purpose with ease, but the window needs to be of the sliding variety.
Of course you can lead said hot air through the existing vent as well, but then you’d be heating up your buddies;)

Regarding electric:
The fuse (or rather a circuit breaker, unless this house is ancient) - which is closing that circuit - is what it is for a reason. By design every circuit in the house should be closed by a breaker that allows no more load then a particular circuit’s wiring (in-wall) can carry (or rather sustain in time, more on that later).
If you install a “stronger” breaker that’ll let a higher current through, you’ll turn the circuit’s wiring (in the walls) into a “fuse”, except this one is combustible.

Regarding connecting to other circuits in the house: before you start considering running an extension to a different circuit, check what is the max expected (simultaneous) load on it and what the breaker closing it would pass through. Why you should bother to do so:

You don’t need to know the exact layout or be an electrician to tell that this electric job is not up to standards.
Each of those should be on their separate circuits:
~ dishwasher
~ stove, oven (usually three-phase)
~ fridge + microwave + other kitchen appliances (excluding the cooker hood and lighting)

Your room (garage) is likely on the fridge + etc. circuit, 1,5-2 mm wire with a 15 or 20 Amps breaker. I’m estimating this based on the known + likely connected loads, likely tripping curves, and time to trip you’ve provided. We can easily verify those.
This would allow a 1800 Watts (120V, 15A breaker) or 2400W (120V, 20A breaker) of load on the circuit.
Now, those numbers are for an (indefinitely) sustained load. Breakers allow for strictly (and intrinsically) controlled, timed “leeway”, and this is why yours trips after a couple dozen minutes. This is intentional and defined by the breaker’s trip curves.
Each breaker class has a different trip curve, but to give you an idea of what they look like:

tripping curve example

In your case the trip occurs in the leftmost (banana shaped) part of the curve.
The vertical axis shows time to trip; the horizontal one shows the ratio between the current that flows through the circuit and the current the breaker is rated for (both in Amps, so there’s no unit).
When the load goes over the rate, the quotient goes over 1 (multiples of rated current) and you’re in the tripping mode. The time after which the trip occurs (and the circuit breaks) can be read from the vertical axis. The shape of the curve shows you that the expected time is a range for the thermal (leftmost) tripping mechanism; for magnetic (rightmost) tripping it’s instantaneous.

You should be able to easily find the characteristic and the exact curve for your breaker on the internet (product’s data sheet). Here’s an example: data sheet

Back on topic: considering the fact that you have a whole living space connected to your general kitchen circuit, you should assume you might have a bitch-ass circuitry all around the house. So do the checks (which outlets are connected to which breakers) and do the calculations (breakers’ amperage vs expected loads) before you go shopping for a new heater or extension cords.

Regarding fuel heaters:
Fumes/pollutants are non-issue UNLESS you try to run that for your use case, i.e. small space with limited/no ventilation.
When operating as intended, burning kerosene depletes air of oxygen, and produces carbon dioxide (+ negligible amounts of other gases). This doesn’t pose a serious threat by itself, as you’ll feel oxygen deprivation and smell the dioxide if the levels were to deviate substantially from the “fresh air’s” contents.
The issue is that - without enough oxygen - the fuel won’t react completely (incomplete combustion) and produce carbon monoxide instead. You cannot smell it, or see it.
If you’re fully awake you’ll likely feel nausea that’ll prompt you to react, but even long term exposure to elevated (non-discernable for human senses) levels of carbon monoxide can cause significant damage to your health (mostly cardiac).
Now, if you’re asleep, drowsing or even very tired after work, you likely won’t feel a thing and suffocate.

Be wary of internet advice, it might kill ya.