There is no reason to be cold inside! We all know how important it is to keep our vans toasty.
There is nothing worse than frozen pipes and water heaters not to mention cold gloppy shampoo that makes dogs just cringe. Over the many years of being a mobile groomer I have gone through multiple electric fan operated ceramic heaters each winter.
Since my hot water heater is run by propane I prefer not to use my furnace to reduce my propane usage. Due to the fact that the generator is in use all day I have found the most cost efficient way to stay warm would be to use an electric heater. However, the ceramic heaters as well as electric fan operated heaters have a heating element and fan which pull the dog hair into the heating element. This significantly reduces the lifespan of these units, not to mention the foul smell of burning dog hair.
THROUGH YEARS OF TRIAL AND ERROR I HAVE NOW FOUND ELECTRIC OIL FILLED RADIATORS TO BE THE “BOMB”!
The low profile model sits very nicely underneath my grooming table. This radiator is thermostatically controlled. There are no moving parts to get clogged up with dog hair. Once the oil in the radiator warms, it produces the most even radiant heat very similar to baseboard hot water heat in your home. If you are using a stand dryer or a dryer of similar amps you may want to turn the radiator off. The oil will continue to stay warm even in the off position for quite a while. After I finish drying the dogs I turn it right back on. I always found that even when using ceramic heaters my feet always seemed to be cold during the day. With the oil filled radiator I am never cold.
I also use the same heater when I plug the truck in at night. One radiator in the grooming area is all I ever need. I open my towel hatch (Wag n’Tails model van) which allows warm air to reach the back of the van. The average winter temperature here in NJ can range from the single digits to the teens.
There are two models that I have seen, the regular radiator and the low profile radiator. I prefer the low profile radiator which I find more suitable for the mobile environment due to the fact that it is less likely to shift between stops. I purchased mine at Home Depot for about $59. I have seen them at Bed, Bath & Beyond for slightly more.
The ice and snow can be a challenge during the winter season. Staying warm and keeping your truck warm can be as simple as the right heater.