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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Poor Man's Generator

Empire SR Radiant Heater

Vent-free gas-fired radiant heaters.  "Poor Man's Generator."  That's what Dale Wager of Flame-Pro, Inc. in Averill Park calls them.  At a fraction of the cost of a full-house generator, one of these installed in your basement or enclosed crawl space can "hold the fort" in the event of a black-out or boiler failure, preventing pipes (and you) from freezing.  They run on LP or natural gas with no A/C power connection.

We recently installed a full-house Kohler generator, but our boiler is, shall we say, finicky... or too high-tech for its own good.  In any event, I was looking for boiler insurance.  Dale maintains our propane fireplace and he mentioned them to me.  Just what the doctor ordered!  Now installed, it keeps our basement at a proper heat level, and can be cranked up in the event of a boiler failure -- or generator + boiler failure.  Call me paranoid, but we had a frozen pipe "incident" two years ago when the temperature went down to -26 degrees.  Not fun.  Not pretty.  The damage: $1,000!  Plus, trying to find an experienced HVAC technician to respond out our way. I've decided that a full-house generator, and now an unvented gas-fired heater, is part the cost of living in paradise on the Rensselaer Plateau.

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