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So, how are you heating your home this winter?

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Forum topic by pashley posted 2187 days ago 1203 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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pashley

1022 posts in 2351 days


2187 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: heat fuel oil wood

It’ll soon be fall here in the northern US, and of course, Canada. I’m understanding that fuel oil and gas, will be up this year, and quite a bit. I’m on gas, so I’m better off than the fuel oil guys, but still.

My best friend has put in a wood stove last year, and man, his house is like 85 all winter – with the windows open! It’s really too much! He says he can’t control the heat, but really?

I wish you could get a mini-wood stove, about the size of a bag of groceries, that worked on little wood pellets that auto-feed. Water would be circulated thru the stove, and then thru a radiator inside my gas furnace, right near the blower motor. Just turn on your furnance fan, and you should be able to extract that heat. I’m no HVAC guy, but I think that’s reasonable….

Are you doing something to augment your heating this year? I’d like to hear about it!

-- Have a blessed day! http://newmissionworkshop.com


30 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5102 posts in 2346 days


#1 posted 2187 days ago

I used to heat my home with wood (about 20 years or so ago). We had a homebuilt hot water system to circulate water through the fire box to take the heat from the wood stove in the shop/garage through underground insulated pipes into the house. Worked great and we could burn just about any fuel; the house required about a million BTUs per day so we went through a lot of wood etc. I now live in a house about 1/4 the size and don’t do any where near the work to keep it heated (mind you it is a newer home, better insulated etc).

I think living in the city is very different for burning wood, imagine if everyone burnt wood to heat their homes….the smoke would be worse than a forest fire and it would happen all winter long. Not great for folks with asthma or other respiratory conditions. Geo-thermal seems to be an interesting alternative…not great for the high latitudes (and continental climates like in Manitoba here) but perhaps a way to lessen the dependance on NG. I like the idea of electric heat, especially if it could be derived from wind…but again in the city it would be difficult to have a wind turbine with sufficient capacity to power an electric furnace…I think.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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pashley

1022 posts in 2351 days


#2 posted 2187 days ago

Yeah, geo-thermal interests me as well. I understand the basics of it, using the heat of the earth. I wish we could drill down, say, 1000 feet, and be able to heat water to boiling at that point; then you could use a steam generator. I think you’d have to drill down a heck of a lot farther than that to accomplish that amount of heat though.

-- Have a blessed day! http://newmissionworkshop.com

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NY_Rocking_Chairs

500 posts in 2231 days


#3 posted 2187 days ago

We installed an outdoor wood boiler and run the hot water through underground insulated lines into the house, through a 200K BTU heat exchanger and then use the hot-water baseboard heat. We burn about a cord of firewood a week and I load the boiler about once a day. It is nice since the wood scraps can go right into the furnace. The boiler also heats the garage and snow-melts the driveway. We put in a new driveway at the same time and ran the pex lines through it. Kind of like outdoor radiant floor heat. It won’t melt the 8” of snow off of it, but after snow-blowing you turn it on for a couple of hours and it gets rid of the leftover little bit and any ice that accumulated. Also when the boiler is burning the hot water runs through another exchanger which keeps the hot water heater hot so we burn less gas heating our water. Also just installed an 80K BTU hot water heat exchanger in the basement so I can keep the shop warm and keep the first floor floors a little warmer in the winter.

There is also a NG backup boiler in the basement in case we have to go away and no one is around to load the outdoor furnace.

The previous system used an indoor wood-burning boiler but we only got 3-4 hour burn times so unless you got up in the middle of the night, you would go to bed with the house at 72 and wake up with it at 60.

We also looked into the geo-thermal since we have 10 acres and laying the pipe would not have been an issue, but it would have ended up costing twice as much and we would have had to install a forced air setup in the house.

One season of heating costs about $1500 for the wood and about $200 for the NG which we run in October as needed and in May as needed. We light the fire in the boiler on November 1st and burn until we are out of wood or the temps are above 50 at night.

Our weather, we get about 5’ of snow a year and typical overnight temps are in the teens. The house is 150 years old so insulation stinks. We just installed new triple-pane windows a couple of winters ago and that really helped alot, but there is still room for improvement.

-- Rich, WNY, www.nyrockingchairs.com

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john

2293 posts in 3015 days


#4 posted 2187 days ago

I heat my house every year with a wood stove . There,s nothing like waking up in the morning to minus 1 or 2 in the house.

-- John in Belgrave (Website) http://www.extremebirdhouse.com , http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=112698715866

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pashley

1022 posts in 2351 days


#5 posted 2187 days ago

What, no burst pipes?!

-- Have a blessed day! http://newmissionworkshop.com

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john

2293 posts in 3015 days


#6 posted 2187 days ago

My pipes freeze up every year but luckily they never burst . I usually have to take a little torch them to get the water flowing again .

-- John in Belgrave (Website) http://www.extremebirdhouse.com , http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=112698715866

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5102 posts in 2346 days


#7 posted 2187 days ago

Geo-thermal is just a heat exchanger (like your fridge) using the Earth as the heat source…you don’t need it to be boiling water just warmer than the outside temp. I think in places like Iceland they use natural/volcanic steam to heat offices/apartment buildings…I guess you could do the same in Hawaii…if you needed to heat in Hawaii :-)

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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mart

190 posts in 2258 days


#8 posted 2187 days ago

We use natural gas with wood for a secondary source during the winter. It helps to keep the costs of heating the house down. I have radiant in floor heat in the shop. I can see us burning more wood than past years due to increases in natural gas prices. We got a call from a buddy a couple days ago asking me to clear part of his land so he can remove some gravel. Ended up with 4-5 full cord of birch that will be ready for next winter (2009).

View CedarFreakCarl's profile

CedarFreakCarl

594 posts in 2687 days


#9 posted 2187 days ago

I’ve got a dual fuel setup that uses a 13 seer heat pump down to 40 deg. then the propane kicks in using a 95% eff. furnace. I sure wish we had natural gas here. I supplement all this with a wood stove which pretty much handles it as long as it’s over freezing outside. Heck, if I didn’t have two cold natured women living here, the furnace would never be used. Oh well.

-- Carl Rast, Pelion, SC

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bbqking

328 posts in 2357 days


#10 posted 2187 days ago

I usually turn off the central air units sometime in October and just run one furnace (natural gas) through a programmable thermostat.

-- bbqKing, Lawrenceville

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FlWoodRat

732 posts in 2543 days


#11 posted 2187 days ago

UPSIDE: We turn the Air Conditioning OFF in mid January and February, open the windows and hope for a cool day. I think we have used the heaters in the house 3 times in 27 years.

DOWNSIDE: We have the A/C on 10.5 months a year and this time of the year, I can not work in my shop past noon. It’s in my uninsulated, non-air conditioned garage.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

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mart

190 posts in 2258 days


#12 posted 2187 days ago

FlWoodRat,

Our air is conditioned naturally 12 months of the year. I don’t think we have had a day over 80 degrees this summer, and darn few over 70.

Mart

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FlWoodRat

732 posts in 2543 days


#13 posted 2186 days ago

I am some what envious Mart… of your summer temperatures, but not your winters. Have a great day. By the way, thanks for giving the lower 48 a chance to check out your ex mayor Sarah Palin.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

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mart

190 posts in 2258 days


#14 posted 2184 days ago

She has caused quite a stir. I can remember buying raffle tickets from her three years ago when she was helping the high school hockey team at one of the local gun shows. My wife used to see her at the store on a pretty regular basis. We probably won’t be rubbing elbows nearly as often now. She will be a great vice president.

As for our winters, well they are great. Lots of snow, beautiful mountains and lots of projects lined up.

Mart

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pashley

1022 posts in 2351 days


#15 posted 2183 days ago

I think she is awesome; now I know how the Libs feel, in terms of the rock star appea of Obamal, but now it’s on the conservative side.

-- Have a blessed day! http://newmissionworkshop.com

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