Building a new house

John W Posted By John W, Nov 3, 2012 at 11:02 AM

  1. John W

    John W
    New Member 2.

    Nov 3, 2012
    Thanks in advance for your patience. Building a new home in Connecticut, estimated heat loss is 51k BTU. Considering using a wood boiler for heat and hot water during the cold months. Considering a Woodgun E 100 with oil back up. Concerned about heat from the unit cooking my basement during summer months when oil would be making hot water.
  2. maple1

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Sep 15, 2011
    Nova Scotia
    I wouldn't use the oil for hot water in summer. I'd either burn small wood fires once in a while, or just put in a simple electric hot water tank. Or if you wanted to take a step further, put in a heat pump water heater - then you'd have some 'free' dehumidification & A/C. Also make sure you honestly assess how much you would rely on something other than wood for winter heat backup. If you are around all winter & the backup wouldn't be used much at all, an electric boiler might be an alternative to oil.

    I'd suspect if you did the small wood fire thing, there would be some heat lost to the basement. I can't quantify it. I have a friend who does that here with a Wood Gun all summer & claims not much more heat in the basement, but have seen others on here saying it gives off more heat than they'd like. If I were to do mine all over from scratch, I'd have a combination of wood boiler, electric boiler, electric hot water tank, add-on heat pump water heater, and maybe a mini-split heat pump for shoulder season & backup heat and A/C which might negate the need for an electric boiler.
  3. 711mhw

    Feeling the Heat 2.

    Dec 7, 2010
    Western ME
    You don't want that in your bsmt. during the summer! Believe me. You'll love in the winter! I'd go with a well insulated elec. hwh, that is unless you have gas or propane already for other appliances. (summertime)
    Taylor Sutherland likes this.
  4. Floydian

    Feeling the Heat 2.

    Dec 12, 2008
    Southwestern VA

    Is this house in the design or construction phase?

    IMO, you should knock that heat load down significantly for new construction.

    My advice is to hire an energy consultant and builder who understand:

    Super insulating, continuous air barriers, HRV systems, proper south facing orientation with high solar heat gain windows+proper overhangs, rainscreens, mini split systems, etc.....
    Basically build the best, most durable, low energy envelope you can now, as you really only have one chance to do this right.

    I encourage you to spend some time here:

    Good luck,
  5. BoilerMan

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Apr 16, 2012
    Northern Maine
    Thats some of the best advice that can be stated. Coming from someone who built a super-insulated house himself. There is a lot of shoddy new construction and people who do not understand building science, as long as the drywall looks good and there are at least a dozen rooflines the houses sell......... Inefficient as all getout, the warm spots show up when we have a light frost on the roof in the morning.

  6. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf
    Minister of Fire 2.

    Jun 13, 2008
    Eastern CT
    I have my 1200 gallon unpressureized storage in the basement and usally keep my hot water going with one fire a week. Its fairly well insulated but the basement is no longer the nice cool refuge it used to be. Not hot but not cool anymore.

    51k btu sounds awfuly high.
  7. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck
    Minister of Fire 2.

    Dec 14, 2009
    North central Alberta, Canada
    Agree that 51K sounds high. Unless you are talking 10K sq ft. I am well north of you & my design is 40K at - 40. Or about 2 - 5 % of the winter.

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