Of course the big question, not yet answered, was never “Do I want a space heater with a thermostat?” Duh. Of course I do.
I also want a silent VTOL and the power of invisibility, but I can’t have them. The question of whether I can have a full-time heater, even only used at night, is still open. Because the space heater uses a pilot light, and the pilot light uses propane, and propane uses…
I first lit the pilot on September 23ish, and really meant to let it run that propane bottle dry just to see how long it took. Couldn’t quite bring myself to do that due to plumbing issues – I didn’t want to turn my back on a furnace with a rubber hose. But I can say that today I swapped out propane bottles on the space heater for the first time and it really only heated the bedroom for a couple hours each on a few mornings. It’s not appalling propane consumption but it’s looking about as significant as I feared.
The original design spec was to use it only on truly cold nights, and not as a crutch to get away from the woodstove. Of course being human I have every intention of pushing that second thing as far as possible: The Lair has improved to the point where the only thing I still really dislike about winter, other than unavoidable traction issues, is that first shivery hour in the morning before the fire in the woodstove lets me take my coat off. That’s obviously most acute on mornings after single-digit nights but it’s not exclusive to them. Also, frankly, lighting the pilot in a cold firebox is a real time-consuming pain in the ass.
But anyway, we’re still experimenting to learn how quickly how much usage uses up a propane bottle. Unfortunately right now it’s looking like “pretty damned quick.”