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Heating options in chilly cities


Josh2007

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I am living in Chengdu, which is getting colder by the day, and although I am renting a nice apartment, there are no radiators, although I do have one electric heater. What is the best option for heating?Ionce met a Chinese man in another city who had a big gas heater, shaped like a tree, that required Calor Gas bottles, but gave plenty of heat out. Does anyone know if gas is cheaper than electricty in China? I am getting cold after cold after cold and spending a fortune on medication, while my Chinese friends can't understand why I getting so many colds. What is wrong with me? And what good options are there? Apart from ineffectual blow heaters, which probably use a fortune in electricity, what cost-effective options are there?Ihave seen some radiators on alibaba, but they are 3000 yuan!!

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Yeah, the lack of central heating can suck.

There are also oil-filled electric heaters (looks like a radiator on wheels). These range in cost from under 200 to over 500 RMB, depending on brand, size, features, etc. Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

http://auction1.taobao.com/auction/0/item_detail-0db2-675b349a485ee425cfe7b8fd8c62c112.jhtml

Yes, these things do use a lot of electricity - the one in that auction is rated at 1500W! I was planning to get one last weekend but didn't, and I'm regretting it now (I ended up getting a cold). I did get one of those heating packs (the type that heat up by plugging into the wall) and that helps to keep my feet from getting cold in bed.

Other suggestions for surviving the winter include dressing warmly and having hot-pot regularly at home. Oh, and also finding a girlfriend/bed partner; perhaps in this case, larger is better. :mrgreen:

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Thermal underwear.

It's the key to solving all your cold temperature worries, and far cheaper than a radiator. I'm not talking about the thin cotton long-johns, but the super-thick and fluffy ones. Wearing them, you can be outside in subzero temperatures and still feel toasty and warm. My first two years in China I was a sceptic, but became a convert after the first try.

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Those gas tree things are meant for outdoor patio heating and the like, surely, not for indoor use. I can see they'd work but there's only so much oxygen in a house.

I'd stick with electric - I don't trust gas, particularly if you're likely to be leaving it on while you are asleep. And you will, even if you don't mean to. You might be able to talk your landlord into installing one of the air-con units that both heats and cools. They can be pretty handy, but if the outside air is damp you end up with a warm damp room, which means mould.

Invest in lots of thermal underwear if you haven't already. Electric blanket. Oil-filled electric radiator (on a timer if possible). Blow heater. And a budget for electricity.

My first two years in China I was a sceptic, but became a convert after the first try.

Similar story. Thermal underwear is not just for your grandparents and soldiers in the Antarctica Army, it's the best thing ever. In fact, I think I might go and buy some more now.

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Thermal underwear.

Yes, definitely invest in some "qiu ku"! I nearly forgot. I have some pure wool ones, they aren't thick but they are comfortable (as long as you aren't allergic to wool!) and work really well. Not the cheapest at 100 RMB/pair, but after 2 winters of use they don't show any signs of wear. Much better than the cotton thermals back home!

Also, you should pick up some Chinese cold medicine called "Ganmao Qingre Keli". It comes in individual packets that you dissolve in a cup of hot water. If you've never had traditional Chinese medicine before the taste may take some getting used to, but it usually comes with sugar added which helps. I've gotten so used to it that I now treat it as "afternoon tea". In fact, I just went out and bought a couple more boxes.

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Ganmao Qingre Keli: this comes in 2 packets, a blue and an orange. One is for a "hot" cold and one is for a "cold" cold, but I don't know enough about Chinese medicine to understand the difference. Are you saying they really work better than Western medicine:?

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Ganmao Qingre Keli: this comes in 2 packets, a blue and an orange. One is for a "hot" cold and one is for a "cold" cold, but I don't know enough about Chinese medicine to understand the difference. Are you saying they really work better than Western medicine:?

Hmm.. the stuff I use comes only in green packets that also have a picture of what looks like a weed with pink flowers. The name in Chinese is 感冒请热颗粒 and the brand I use is 北京同仁堂. Be aware that there are other brands that have "copied" this look.

There is another TCM called "banlangen" which also comes in packets and from what I gather is a "lighter" medicine. These TCM's really do seem to work. I'm not saying that they work better than western medicines, but I personally am not a big fan of western cold medicines such as antihistamines, etc. and I try to avoid them when I can.

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Ganmao Qingre Keli: this comes in 2 packets, a blue and an orange. One is for a "hot" cold and one is for a "cold" cold, but I don't know enough about Chinese medicine to understand the difference. Are you saying they really work better than Western medicine:?

The "hot" cold medicine is for common cold symptoms (runny nose, sneezing, aversion to wind, etc) during warm weather, the "cold" cold one is for the same thing during cold weather (or if you've been sitting in front of the AC :wink:)

They work best if you take them at the first sign of getting a cold.

Henry

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Well, I've survive at night by hiding in my blanket and turning on my hair dryer during odd hours to create a hot air balloon effect. During the day wearing long johns (or am i the only one that uses that term..hmmm) aka thermals ...oh and i constantly drink hot water~or at least hold onto a thermos that contains hot water to defrost my hands...and if i really can't handle it sometimes i go somewhere that has heat and veg out there...

{edit} I nearly forgot, a very cost effective way is to just hop around alot. I'm serious. When I'm at a bus stop I do calf exercises on the curb, or treat the curb as a balance beam and hop around on it...at home or before class I run up several flights of stairs so then when I actually get there i'm warm and tosty. Sometimes when I'm at home for a long period of time I just start doing 360 jumps and try to work on my landing and do kicks in my room (step kick step kick, wushu style trying to get my legs the same height off the ground)~ basically just to get the blood flowing. Maybe guys aren't quite as graceful, so i recommend push ups or something manly...As long as it gets you moving and your blood flowing it'll work! Plus it prevents you from getting bulked up too much in the winter....so bring on the 涮羊肉!

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I'm currently getting through liters of Milo a day - they have a new version which comes in sachets with added 麦片 for extra goodness. Bag of milk into a mug, microwave, mix in the Milo and mmmmmmmmmm. Must be good for you too, has pictures of healthy people on the box.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another tip - have a good look round your apartment for unexpected . . . holes.

My last apartment the air-conditioning hoses ran through ducts in the wall which were way too big - basically halfway through winter I found that if I stood on a chair and looked through I could see considerable quantities of daylight. Blocked that up pretty quickly. Tracking down a draft just now I found the intercom to open the door is fixed over a hole in the wall that opens onto a wiring duct which was pumping cold air into the room.

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Another tip - have a good look round your apartment for unexpected . . . holes.

This is definitely true, the building standards here are lax when it comes to proper insulation/sealing. I also noticed a big "leak" with the hole surrounding the A/C hose, so as a temporary solution I wrapped a plastic shopping bag around the hose. It seems to have worked better than I expected so I haven't bothered to find a better solution.

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