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Old 10-15-2018, 10:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Heating in Japan

Hello everyone. I live in Southern Japan and it's starting to get colder here. At my home in America, we had central heating and air conditioning which kept the house at relatively the same temp. However, it is very different in Japan. Homes are not insulated and we have wall units. I am looking for advice on heating.

Currently, my two boys are in wire cages in my bedroom, which has the wall unit. However, it's VERY expensive to run a wall unit heater in Japan, and I want to avoid this as much as I can. Their cages have thermometers which I can view 24/7 via my pet cam and my smartphone.

I've purchased a CHE with a thermostat, but have yet to try it out. It is a 100 watt bulb with a cover, specifically made for pet use (I'd post a photo of the box but it's all in Japanese). I need to buy a 2nd CHE obviously for the other cage, but I wanted to see if this one was good enough before I do that.

Do you think I would be able to use just the CHE without using my wall unit? Realistically, how much do they raise the temp in a room? Another alternative would be to keep the wall unit at a lower temp, say 20 degrees Celsius (68F), and use the CHE along with it. If I have to use my wall unit, I'm ok with it. I just wanna do what's best for my boys. My bedroom could easily get to 10C (50F) in the winter. Will the CHE be enough? Obviously I will test them on a day when I am there all day and can monitor the temp but I'm just trying to get a realistic idea. Thanks everyone!
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Old 10-15-2018, 10:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've decided to post a photo of the heater anyway (the thermostat was sold separately), just so you guys can see it. Also, I'd like to add that I have Hi-Lo thermometers, so they tell me the highest and lowest temps in a 24 hour period. I like to keep their cages at 25C (77F). They both have snuggle sacks as well. Cairo (disposable heat packs) are also an option but obviously I wouldn't use these as primary heating, just something extra to snuggle up to if they wanted. These are readily available for cheap in Japan.
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Old 10-16-2018, 08:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey I just replied to your pm but thought I'd reply here too

I can't open your attachment but recognise the one you got. Is it for use with a ceramic heat emitter bulb? I can't remember the reason why I didn't buy it and opted for a different one.

I'm guessing we have similar winters even though Kyushu has more of a tropical climate. During winter I use the air con heater when it is too cold (for my own comfort too., I use this when I'm at home,the CHE for the most part keeps Yuki's cage warm when it's not on, but like I said in my pm I cover all sides of the cage leaving most of the top uncovered, where the CHE is connected to avoid a fire hazard. Covering the cage helps retain the heat. You could also use coroplast or some other thermal board to help retain heat. I use an overhanging lamp so it shines inside from the uncovered top so he is still keeping a 12hr light schedule.

There was only one day back in January his CHE didn't keep the correct temperature so this winter I will programme the air con heater to come on late afternoon when the outside temp drops so it will help keep the heat, this might be an idea for you too. I did this in summer, programming ithe air con to come on several hours after I left the house and used ice packs in the meantime to keep the temp lower in the summer. On extremely hot days we did keep the air con on all day even if we weren't home. Our bills are included in the rent luckily!

I use the hand warmer packs for Yuki's travel bag when going to the vets. I wouldn't use inside the cage though.

Hope this helps!
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What kind of enclosure do you have? That is the most important factor in deciding whether or not a CHE is gonna be enough. An open wire cage is going to lose a lot of heat. Wooden vivariums hold in heat best.

The minimum recommended enclosure size is 8 sq feet (120 x 60 cm), for an enclosure that size you will need two CHEs especially in a colder room or else you won't be able to evenly heat the cage. For a larger enclosure you will obviously need more.

A CHE can only bump up the temperature a couple degrees. If you have an open cage (wire cage) that can only be achieved if the room is around 18-20C at its lowest and you're using 150W CHEs.
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you both for your replies! Yes, one is an open c&c style cage while the younger hedgie is in a cage with a plastic bottom. I'm definitely able to wrap both of the cages in blankets, keeping in mind that I'd need to make sure they still get natural light. I would love to get wooden vivariums for them. There are some people in Japan that make really gorgeous ones. I'll look into those. In the meantime it looks like it will be a combo of the CHEs and my wall unit. What temp do you all strive for in the winter? 25C?

I knew when I got them that there would be added expenses, so I'm ok with using the wall unit. In Japan, my electric bill is around $30USD per month in nice weather, $60 in the summer with the air conditioner on 24/7, and over $100 in the winter with using the heater very sparingly. No idea why it costs so much more to use the heater vs the AC; it's exactly the opposite in California. Gas for cooking and hot water is separate of course.

I used to use a fan for white noise to help me sleep, but I switched it out for a sound machine so that my spiky boys wouldn't have a draft. I would do just about anything for them honestly!
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