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Adding insulation to PackTite

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  1. Astra

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Mon Oct 13 2014 23:24:29
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    At 120 degrees internal temperature, the outside of my PackTite feels as hot as my oven does at 400. There's a whole lot of energy being wasted through thin canvas, and that means higher electric bills and longer, less reliable treatment cycles. The build quality for the price is deeply disappointing, to put it mildly...but that's another discussion.

    Has anyone tried insulating their PackTite or other hotbox? Seems like it would work faster, at any rate. I happen to have a bunch of foil emergency blankets lying around that I'm thinking of trying; they don't provide a lot of actual insulation, but they do reflect heat, which should help. Regular blankets also seem worth a try, although potential fire hazards are a worry. On the serious DIY end, you could build an enclosure with foam insulation board and aluminum HVAC tape, but at that point you're halfway to just building your own (http://softsolder.com/2010/11/20/bed-bugs-hot-box-disinsector/)--which isn't necessarily a bad idea, but a bit much if you've already got a PackTite. Any thoughts on how to secure blankets without too much fuss?

    Obviously you'll want to make sure you leave the outflow vent clear. However, I'd also been wondering if trying to stop up the enormous gap around the space heater would be helpful, or just a fire hazard. I'm assured that it's too hot for bugs to try to escape through that gap, but there's sure as heck a lot of valuable heat leaving through it. Obviously I don't want to risk burning my house down, though. Any thoughts?

  2. BigDummy

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Oct 14 2014 7:55:09
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    It would be a bad idea to start experimenting with the PackTite without understanding heat loss, air flow and pressures.

    Killer of bed bugs for Homeless Empowerment Program
  3. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Oct 14 2014 10:30:21
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    I agree with Big Dummy. I think it's best to follow instructions given with the device. I would recommend using Packtite in a warmer room vs. a cold one, and using it on a surface which is warmer (like a rug) as opposed to a concrete floor, for example. This can help speed things up considerably in my experience.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  4. Astra

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Oct 14 2014 20:51:52
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    BigDummy - 12 hours ago  » 
    It would be a bad idea to start experimenting with the PackTite without understanding heat loss, air flow and pressures.

    That's what I'm trying to learn about, really. I'd love to hear any specific warnings or cautions. "It might be dangerous, so don't even bother considering it" isn't very informative. I'd like to find out what to watch out for so I can experiment safely.

  5. BigDummy

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Oct 14 2014 21:10:02
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    Okay, read up on heat sources, heat loss, air flow, cavitation, vacuums, positive and negative pressures, convection, amp draw, t-stats and a few dozen other factors that don't come to mind right now.
    If you don't have experience with any of the above please don't experiment. What may seem a design flaw to you took quite a bit of trial and error to perfect.

  6. theyareoutthere

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Oct 14 2014 21:22:11
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    I use it in a warmer room and on wall-to-wall carpet. I think that gets the best results. I used to have it in an entryway and that took longer to heat.

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  7. Canuck

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    Posted 4 years ago
    Tue Oct 14 2014 21:57:29
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    PackTite manual states: "Always operate PackTite® in ambient temperature conditions of at least
    70º F. Colder ambient temperatures may prevent the device and its contents from reaching temperatures necessary for eliminating all life stages of bed bugs." (website link). So a cold tile floor, or a draft from a leaky door would be detrimental; we can not run our units in our garage in the cooler months or even if our house is on the cool side.

    Curious as to what David James thought's are on recycling the hot air exhaust to the intake; imagine there could be a problem with overheating or heating too quickly.

    Sheree Swindle / certified K9-assisted bed bug inspector

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