Electric Heaters and Propane: Questions

Discussion in 'Safety Avenue' started by RandomWiktor, 10/10/10.

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  1. RandomWiktor
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    RandomWiktor Walking the driveway

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    My husband and I purchased an older house and it uses propane as a heat source. The heat comes from wall units much like this one; there is one in each room. I am GUESSING that these are not bird safe as a quick google of gas heat sources suggests it is dangerous for birds. Frankly it worries me anyways as I don't love the idea of funneling a bunch of flammable gas into my house; too easy to make a mistake. But, can someone confirm the safety status of propane for me?

    My second question is this: are there any bird safe plug-in electric space heaters? I think I read that some have coatings that are not safe for birds, and others are safe - but I don't know how to tell the difference. However, we saw some plug-in baseboard units at Lowes that looked like just regular old heating coils. Potentially safe? I'm asking because we are uncertain if we can get electric heat this year due to some unexpected financial constraints that have arisen due to problems with this house. If we can keep the birds warm and safe this year with a $100 heater instead of a $4000 overhaul of the house's heating system, that would be ideal. Obviously if the ONLY way to safely heat the bird room is to install electric heat, we will cry over the corpses of our wallets and get it done, but if we have an alternative for this rough first year it'd be great.
    Last edited: 10/10/10
  2. Billie Faye
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    Billie Faye Biking along the boulevard Avenue Spotlight Award

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    This is similar to what I have used for years:
    Electric Oil Heater - Heaters - Compare Prices, Reviews and Buy at NexTag - Price - Review
    Read about them and make sure they don't have Teflon on them...
    What I will tell you is DON'T plug more than 1 into your wall receptacle if you only have 15 amp sockets in your walls....Because these electric lines are usually "chained" together for that room and MAYBE another room...you will be pulling too much electic because of other stuff on and the wall plug will heat up!
    We have always used 20 amp wires/plugs when using these heaters and they are connected to the breakers...
    How you can tell if you have 15 amp vs 20 amps is the receptacle will have a -l l (20 amp) looking plug in VS a l l (15 amp)...it's what you plug your cord into that looks like this...

    You can put a 15 amp receptacle on a 20 amp wire BUT you can't put a 20 amp receptacle on a 15 amp wire.....

    Would you be able to re wire the birds room to use these if you have too? Cost less than putting in electric heat for now?:hug8:
  3. Marnies' mom
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    Marnies' mom Meeting neighbors

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    yes i too have used the "radiator type" electric heaters, especially around my birds cage. they are quiet and radiate a nice even warmth. they usually come with 600/900/1500 watt settings. i use it on the lowest of course to save a couple $$.
    we have a double-wide and the living space is wide open from family room to dining room to kitchen and TV room is all one big area so its hard to keep one place warm.
    i also have to mind what heater is plugged in and where. we only have 100amp service here so we can only use one heater or AC unit per "side".
  4. Anne & Gang
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    Anne & Gang Ripping up the road Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    I used to work for a fireplace company (17 years before they laid me off) propane is safe around birds..however, a lot of people mishandle propane..ifyou want an electric heater, make sure you get one with no pfte(teflon) ok..you quickly googled...I don't think the heat source in your old home is unsafe for birds...honest..but because it is propane I would get it thoroughly checked out and serviced before even turning it on...once you do this, you will find that propane is one of the cheaper alternatives..that being said..do not use it until it is serviced by a licensced technician...and demand to see that license..just don't take their word for it..may cost a few hundred dollars but so worth it when you see how much money it saves in the long haul...oil is also a safe heat alternative..or how about a gas fireplace..or a propane fireplace??
  5. birdlady
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    birdlady Every day is a happy day with my birdies! Administrator Celebirdy of the Month Avenue Spotlight Award

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    Not sure....but if you use space heaters be prepared for a large bill....we were running five of them for most of last winter and our bills were through the roof!
  6. Thugluvgrl187
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    Thugluvgrl187 Super Moderator Super Moderator Celebirdy of the Month Avenue Spotlight Award

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    I also use an electric oil filled heater :)
  7. JLcribber
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    JLcribber Cruising the avenue Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    If a gas heater is "WELL VENTILATED" it is usually safe but I don't like any kind of heater that has an open flame I can see no matter how well it's ventilated.
  8. RandomWiktor
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    RandomWiktor Walking the driveway

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    Yeah, that is my other concern: it would be open flame in the bird room, and I honestly for the cages to all fit in there, the doves' cage is closer to the propane heater than I'd like. I could see all kinds of horror, like feathers flying in there and catching on fire, or worse still: a bird spooking and getting out at cleaning time (mistakes happen) and thinking the heater is a safe place to land and.... yeah. Too much for me, even if I'm being potentially over-protective.

    Anyways, I wanted to thank everyone SO much for their input and advice. We found an afforadable space heater with great safety features, PTFE-free, energy saving model, etc. It also has a wonderful thermostat; the bird room has been a steady 72 since we put it in, even on nights when much of the rest of the house drops into the low 60's or high 50's.
  9. birdsafe
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    birdsafe Walking the driveway

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    From my 25 years as a professional firefighter I saw plenty of people die and get sick from unventilated heating devices, such as propane heaters and unvented gas fireplaces. ANd I can only imagine those times the poeple got sick that birds would have easily died. A non-ventilated heater should NOT be considered at all with birds.

    Your truly safest alternative is an infrared heater such as panels - we use EdenPure heater to supplement and they are truly the safest you can buy -- birds could land on them and not get hurt. And if you have a backup generator, they will heat a room of good enough size to keep your birds warm
  10. RandomWiktor
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    RandomWiktor Walking the driveway

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    Thanks for the input, Joe - I'll look into that.

    BTW, I love your store and order from you all the time ;)
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