Brr… Winter is sort of right here. The in a single day temperature plunged into the 30s a couple of instances just lately. This appears a bit early to me. Normally, it doesn’t get this chilly in Portland till December. The climate is unusual this 12 months. It’s been so much drier than standard. The crisp sunny days are stunning, however this additionally means it’s colder. I’m not precisely positive the way it works, but it surely isn’t as chilly when we’ve some cloud cowl or rain. It’s truly actually nice to have all these sunny days in October and November. I don’t assume we’ve had a dry autumn like this in a very long time. Anyway, it’s chilly now and it’s time to transform our espresso desk right into a kotatsu desk. Sure, I do that to avoid wasting cash on the heating invoice, however it’s actually cozy too.
Ahhh…. I really like our kotatsu desk. It’s so heat and toasty. We’ve got been utilizing our kotatsu desk since 2003 and it’s nonetheless superior! There’s nothing higher than warming up on the flick of a swap once you are available in from the chilly. The kotatsu desk is our favourite winter equipment, by far. It’s straightforward to DIY and it’ll pay for itself in the long term. I extremely suggest investing just a little time and constructing one for your self.
*Disclaimer: You shouldn’t depart any heating gadget unattended. We haven’t had any drawback, however everybody must be secure and pay shut consideration to your heaters. You must flip it off once you’re accomplished. I take no accountability for and won’t be accountable for something you construct. We could obtain a referral price if you buy one thing from Amazon by way of the hyperlinks on this submit.
*This submit was initially written in 2010. I replace it each few years with the newest data. It’s a lot simpler to purchase a kotatsu desk now that Amazon has grown a lot.
Staying heat AND get monetary savings
It’s about this time of 12 months that every one the private finance magazines and blogs come out with articles on how to save cash on heating. The same old recommendation to is to show the thermostat method down and bundle up. That is good for the pockets, but it surely doesn’t work for us as a result of Mrs. RB40, my spouse, hates being chilly. Fortunately, I’ve a secret weapon. Our kotatsu desk is the important thing to staying toasty and protecting our heating invoice low.
We lived in a apartment and we don’t have fuel. The heating and cooling system ran on electrical energy which is costlier than fuel. Our month-to-month electrical invoice averaged round $60 within the hotter months and round $100 within the winter. We typically saved the temperature round 68 levels with 2 house heaters and depend on our kotatsu desk to heat up. Right here is our vitality utilization from 2016 to 2018. *We moved right into a home in 2019 and don’t have 2 years of report but.
If you happen to’re in search of an area heater, you possibly can’t go improper with the DeLonghi oiled filled radiant heater. It labored nice for us.
What’s a Kotatsu Desk?
What’s a kotatsu desk precisely? A kotatsu desk is principally a lined espresso desk with a heating ingredient beneath. It’s onerous to explain the comfortable consolation in the event you haven’t skilled it. Napping underneath the kotatsu desk is heavenly. Belief me, it’s among the best emotions within the winter.
I’m undecided the place I first realized in regards to the kotatsu desk. I should have seen it in a Japanese manga or anime after I was a child. The kotatsu desk is quite common there and each family has one. Many Japanese properties aren’t insulated nicely and the kotatsu desk is a cheap strategy to keep heat. Why warmth the entire home? It’s less expensive to warmth your personal private house.
You may purchase a kotatsu desk on eBay or Amazon for $150-400, however that has some drawbacks. They used to have a excessive delivery value as a result of most kotatsu tables are shipped in from Japan. A couple of years in the past, you may solely discover them on eBay. Now, you may get it on Amazon with free delivery! That’s superior. It’s much more reasonably priced now. Nevertheless, there’s nonetheless one other drawback.
One situation is that the kotatsu tables are typically fairly small. The same old tabletop dimension is 31×31 inches (80 cm) and most are solely 14 inches excessive. That is too brief in the event you’re tall. We bought our first kotatsu desk at a Japanese retailer in CA for about $130. After a couple of years, I made a decision to construct a much bigger and taller desk as a result of we wished extra space. Our DIY kotatsu desk is much more comfy now with extra legroom. It’s about 18” excessive. The 4 additional inches makes an enormous distinction.
This small kotatsu table at Amazon seems to be precisely just like the one we first bought. It’s not too costly at $225. The dimensions is 30” x 30”. I’d go for this one in the event you don’t wish to construct your personal. It’s a bit brief although at 14” excessive. (This merchandise was $168 in 2018.)
Here’s a nicer looking kotatsu table at Amazon for about $395. The peak continues to be 14 inches, although. The tabletop is 36” x 20”. Sadly, that’s a bit too slim for us. We’d like extra space.
Construct your personal kotatsu desk
What you want
- A Espresso desk – You might want to discover a espresso desk with two prime surfaces. The LACK Espresso desk from IKEA is ideal for this. It’s $50 from IKEA. The dimension is nearly good – 46″x30″x18″. There’s a smaller model that’s 35″x21″ as nicely. Alternatively, you may get 2 coffee tables from Amazon. Then, you’ll have two tops to make use of.
- A heating ingredient – You should buy a “kotatsu heater” on Amazon or eBay. They used to cost $30 delivery in 2011, however now there are a lot of free delivery choices. I attempted different heating alternate options, however they don’t work that nicely for this function. For instance, a small house heater appears harmful. The kotatsu heater ingredient is designed particularly for this use and it’s cheaper now. I wouldn’t low cost out on this. Right here is one on Amazon for $105. (The worth elevated fairly a bit just lately.)
- $0 previous king dimension blanket/comforter – We’ve got loads of spare blankets so this didn’t value us something. I just like the king-size, however a queen would work too.
- A 120 V to 100 V voltage transformer rated at 500W – You may get this transformer from Amazon for about $35. (*You want at the very least 500W.) North American shops put out 120 V however Japanese home equipment run on 100 V. The heating ingredient will run a bit scorching in the event you don’t use a step-down transformer. We don’t have a transformer and we solely use the heater on the bottom setting. If you happen to crank up the setting, it might overheat. The transformer is good insurance coverage when you have curious youngsters round.
- Optionally available: Pillows to take a seat on. You may as well choose up some large pillows from IKEA whilst you’re there. It’s much more comfy than simply sitting on the carpet. One other good various is to get some flooring chairs from Amazon. Test it out. This seems to be fairly comfy. Nevertheless, this floor chair is not cheap at $50.
- $10 power switch – Our heating ingredient doesn’t have a swap so I bought an influence swap for it. It’s so much simpler to activate and off than bodily pulling the plug each time.
- Nook braces – You may get these small corner braces from any ironmongery store. You most likely ought to watch for the heating ingredient to reach so that you’ll know what dimension to get.
Placing it collectively
Placing collectively the kotatsu desk is very easy. You most likely don’t even want directions, however right here they’re anyway.
- Put the LACK espresso desk collectively per IKEA’s directions. Go away the decrease shelf out for now.
- Mount the heater. I screwed our heating ingredient proper into the underside of the espresso desk. You possibly can connect it with 4 corner braces as nicely. Or you possibly can construct a body as pictured under. The mounting holes are on the aspect of the unit as you possibly can see from the picture.
- Throw the massive blanket on prime of the LACK espresso desk.
- Put the underside shelf (or one other tabletop) on prime of the blanket.
- Voila, you’ve bought a kotatsu desk!
If you happen to can sit on the ground comfortably, you’ll love the kotatsu desk. It’s tremendous comfy and we don’t must set our HVAC very excessive. We normally set the temperature at 70 levels and that’s sufficient with the kotatsu desk as a complement. Our son actually likes hanging out on the desk as nicely. Oh, a aspect profit is that it forces the household to hang around in the identical space. We’ll play loads of board video games this winter.
Glad DIYing! How do you retain your heating invoice down?
Extra on how you can keep heat! – 10 Unconventional Methods to Save Cash on the Heating Invoice.
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