What is the best way to supplement my home heating? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 05, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Question What is the best way to supplement my home heating?

The way oil prices are going I might need an extra way to heat my house besides oil heat.
I have a oil burner in my cellar and I don't have a fireplace at all. I'm thinking maybe electric heater which isn't cheap to run but might be alot cheaper than oil soon. I also thought about coal or pellets but I only have the one chimney for burner.

My house is a 1-1/2 story cape cod. When my friends and I replaced the siding 15 years ago I blew insulation into the walls and put 1-1/2" foam panels all the way around with Tyvek tape on the seams and R25 in the attic. All new Andersen dp windows and Peachtree doors. Besides the floors I think my house is as insulated as it can get.

I just replaced my oil tank in January and everything else with it from the fill pipes to the filter and line. Also had my burner serviced. I used over 600 gals this past winter which I'm told is not bad (we had a cold winter) but I'm accustomed to paying $1 to $1.35 a gallon if it cost $2 or more. That is a huge hurting. Especially when you pay ahead like I do to hopefully get the lower price of the winter.

Something besides a wood stove. I have a bad back so that's not going to work. I'm considering a Heatpump but don't know much about them and what's the initial cost and pros and cons?

Thanks

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 05, 10:00 PM
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Re: What is the best way to supplement my home heating?

Ram, I know you mentioned about not a woodstove and not a pellet stove, but if you located a pellet freestanding stove in a central location near the stairs, with a side wall flue, that would be pretty effcient and easy to install, just out the wall and up the side of the house.. Pellets store better then wood and burn cleaner. Heat pumps also work pretty well, but use electricity, which, as you know can be expensive. as well. (remember it usually takes oil to make electricty for the utility company) I would think a heat pump would be more expensive to install then a pellet stove, which you can probably install yourself. The heatpump install might be a little tougher, you would have to intersect your existing ductwork, which limits you instalation locations. You alreadry invested into upgrading your oil burning system, with the pellet stove you will now have a choice with two...hope this helps...good luck...Mike

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 05, 12:50 AM
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Re: What is the best way to supplement my home heating?

Ok Heatpump is all gonna depend on if you have Ductwork in the house now or not , If you have Hot water type heat os it worth the $10k oe more they are gonna charge you to run a duct system ?

Also depending on the average winter temps in your area with a Heatpump you may be running on your backup system more then the heatpump thus NOT saving you any money at all.

Their are alot of Pro's and Cons to heat pumps such as how well your whole house is insulated , Heat loss and gain within the home triple pane windows , things like that .

Personally i wouldnt install a heatpump in a dog house but your local electric co. will love you for it
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 05, 01:47 AM
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Re: What is the best way to supplement my home heating?

I couldn't recomend a heat pump in a cold climate. They are designed to extract heat from the outside air and there isn't any heat in air below 32 degrees F. At 32 degrees, a heat pump goes to an all electric back-up.

What's the price of propane in your area? You would have to replace the burner to use it so that will enter into the equasion.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 05, 09:18 AM
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Re: What is the best way to supplement my home heating?

Toby time to update on heatpumps the old outside air exchange heat pumps dont belong in cold climate for sure, but ground source heat pumps work great. There are 2 completely different heat pump systems.
I heat my home here in Minn. and my 3 car garage with a heatpump that runs off my well water. If you dont have well water, coils like big slinkys can be ditched into your yard for a recirculating system to the heatpump. The modern pumps also have boiler systems for hot water heat applications.
If you have a small yard in town then a heat pump wont work.
These ground source heatpumps can cut down heat bills alot and pay for their higher cost in about 5 years with savings.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 05, 01:35 PM
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Re: What is the best way to supplement my home heating?

My vote is for a pellet stove. Parents put one in their house and only burned one tank of oil as to the usual three.

Big money up front but will save alot in long run.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 05, 03:02 PM
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Re: What is the best way to supplement my home heating?

Have you considered a gas fireplace? They can be vented through a wall and I think they even make a ventless model. You'll have to check out the price of LP or LPG whichever you decide to use. They add class to your living space instead of taking up space in your basement. Best of all you don't have to fill it or empty ashes. The initial cost isn't that bad either.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 05, 04:57 PM
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Re: What is the best way to supplement my home heating?

I don't know a thing about oil burners, but if there is any waste heat going out the chimney, I'd look for a device to reclaim that lost heat.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 05, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What is the best way to supplement my home heating?

Hey guys some good info here. Thought I should add this. Besides the burner heating water for baseboard heat it also heats my hot water for the house. I do have well water. I don't have a town house.

This house use to be a coal burner way before I owned it. So there is existing galv duct work although I ran some TV cable through some of it and removed one of the vent doors and covered with dry wall but I guess that is a quick fix.

I just found out about a reserve tank with a coil in it to keep more hot water hot so the burner doesn't have to run as much. Any of you heard of it and where I can get more info on it? My guess is this would use alot more electric though.

Zuma, Yeh, I know about oil to make most elec and I'm sure we will all see the increase in our bill soon. I'm going to check into pellets alot more.

Click, Can you give me an idea of the cost of the ground source heatpump?

Doug, Do you have any idea what your parents paid for the pellet setup?

12run, I thought about gas but last I heard of them they were more of a looks thing. Meaning they don't give off enough heat compared to other setups. Is that still right or are they alot better now?

David, I'll do that.

Keep the ideas coming. Thanks

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 05, 09:58 PM
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Re: What is the best way to supplement my home heating?

Ground water heat pump will run around $5000 give or take depending on size of the unit. It also does your air conditioning too as well as can provide a reserve source for hot water as well. Call someone that handles FHP Florida Heat Pumps , and talk to them about prices there. The montly cost to run these is MUCH lower than any gas or elec. system. Thats where the savings is to recoup the up front higher cost.

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old Apr 8th, 05, 01:48 AM
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Re: What is the best way to supplement my home heating?

Click,

You're right. I'm familiar with the water to air heat pumps, or water source or geo-thurmal units. I was just trying to keep his costs down a little. By the way, you would be amazed at how much less expensive it is to heat a house in Tennessee than it is in Michigan, where I moved from.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old Apr 8th, 05, 04:38 AM
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Re: What is the best way to supplement my home heating?

{quote}12run, I thought about gas but last I heard of them they were more of a looks thing. Meaning they don't give off enough heat compared to other setups. Is that still right or are they alot better now? {quote}


RamJam,
We have a direct vent gas fireplace in our bedroom. It's a slick unit. Vent runs straight out the wall, intake from there too. Outside hat is about a foot square. It has electronic ignition, could be used with a thermostat.

This thing makes a lot of heat. It's in a room that's 16 by 25 with a 16' cieling, and it will raise the temp from 68 to 80 in a couple hours.

A few houses ago, we had a cape with a woodstove at the bottom of the stairs. A good load would heat the house, including the upstairs br's, all night, and have enuf embers left in the morning to refire. This was a soapstone stove, burning logs, and without a catylitic converter. It had a simple thermostat to control the input air and slow the burn.

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old Apr 8th, 05, 08:15 PM
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Smile Re: What is the best way to supplement my home heating?

As silly as this sounds, here in the corn-growing Midwest, when the price of corn is at a certain $/bushel or lower, you can afford to burn clean shelled corn in a Pellet Stove cheaper then wood in a Wood Stove or wood pellets in the Pellet Stove!

I think there is a site somewhere that gives the break even point for fuel costs of the different fuels if you want to look on the web.

I have been into it before in the past.. Might try "corn stove" or "alternative heating fuel stoves"???

And even a used motor oil stove may work for you but I figure it would stink some.. OK in a garage but not a house......

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 05, 05:00 AM
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Re: What is the best way to supplement my home heating?

Around $3600 installed. Cool thing is you can touch it and not get burnt, Vents right out the wall with a "hat" to keep birds out of the flu.The pipe was the kicker,triple wall stainless is outragiously priced.

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 05, 08:06 AM
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Re: What is the best way to supplement my home heating?

How close are you to any coal mines or dealers? Several people I know put in pellet stoves and got rid of them because of the price of the wood pellets. Since the mines are close around here we use lump coal in the house and stoker coal in the garage. Being a disabled coal miner I get it free but it sells for around $40/ton. Just make sure you get a good stove, not Vermont Castings for sure, like a Harmon with the blower. I guess I am partial to coal as I worked 25+ years in the mining end of it.
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