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I have a bi-level house in Michigan. The lower level is much cooler than the upper level, which is awesome except we're trying to move my 1-year old son to his own room down there but it's much colder than what we would like. We'll keep the upstairs at ~75F, but his room won't get higher about 67F. This is even with shutting off all of the vents downstairs. We'd really like to get it to at least 70 or even 72.

We would like to use a space heater to keep the room at a warmer temp. The room is on the small to medium in size so it seems like a space heater would be more than adequate.

Is there something out there that:

  • Has a set-it-and-forget-it thermostat with a temperature reading - i.e., we set it to say 72 and it runs and turns on when it needs to

  • Is as child and pet safe as it can be - I realize it's not going to be cool to the touch but at least have a killswitch if it gets knocked over and whatever is safe in general

  • If it was wall-mountable it would be even better

Or, in general what type of heater am I even looking for? I don't necessarily want to heat a specific point, but raise the temp of the whole room. There seem to be a variety of types and it's unclear which would be best.

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If you shutoff all the vents downstairs, it's going to be colder on the first level. Have you tried shutting the vents upstairs? –  BMitch Aug 13 '12 at 16:17
    
Specifying the actual size of the room, rather than saying "small to medium in size" might be useful. The size of the room can be an important factor, when determining how large of a heater you'll need. –  Tester101 Aug 13 '12 at 16:22
    
We close off the vents downstairs in the summer to keep the AC upstairs; in the winter we close off the vents upstairs and open them downstairs to try and heat the downstairs better. I'd have to measure the room when I get home and I didn't want to estimate without an idea. Off the top of my head I'd say it's maybe 16' x 16' or so? –  Peter Tirrell Aug 13 '12 at 18:50

2 Answers 2

We have a similar issue in my daughter's room. It is always colder than the rest of the house, because it is the last vent on the run, has 3 outside walls, and has a bay window.

We ended up getting an Infrared Space heater like the one below. It will not tip over, the heating element is all inside, and it has a thermostat. Having said all that, the thermostat is not very accurate. 72 degrees may actually be 74, but once you get the setting you want, it works really well and is fairly energy efficient.

Infrared Space Heater

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I'd go with a permanently installed baseboard heater with independent temperature controls (i.e. not connected to the main thermostat.) These are attached to the walls so that it can't be tipped over.

You can get safety covers for them which will keep little fingers out, and also make it more attractive.

You will need to get an electrician in to do the wiring, so you might wish to install a wall mounted thermostat at the same time.

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