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DV Gas Stoves vs. conventional baseboard heat!!!

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by Stevie Fierce, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. Stevie Fierce

    Stevie Fierce New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    New Hampshire
    I own a 1790 cape in the lakes region of New Hampshire. The house is very long as it has extensions built on either end, attic space is "finished" but not heated. Questionable insulation and many original windows.

    The house is excessively inefficient with an older but still functioning oil fired furnace with only one thermostat centrally located. As a side note, the home has a central chimney with 3 original working fireplaces in the dining, living and spare bedroom. These are functional but we obviously realize these are more decorative and aren't effectively heating our house.

    So originally our plan was to update our older oil fired furnace to a LP fired boiler and install new baseboard throughout the entire first floor of the house. We planned on dividing it into 3 zones. One for the main original part of the house and one for each extension. One of these extensions includes our 250 sq ft master.

    So weighing out some options we ended up at our local stove dealer and started looking at some small gas stoves. We have decided that it would be great for both heat and aesthetics to have a small DV gas stove in our bedroom. We like the Jotul Lillehammer GF 200 which is rated for spaces up to 800 sq ft which we feel is plenty for our master.

    I guess my question is; Do we "need" to then install baseboard in a room that has an effective gas stove? Or maybe a better question...... Is this gas stove going to cost us "more money" in the long term by running it daily in our master over just keeping the 3rd zone on in that room from our new boiler (main heating system).

    If this stove is effective, we'd probably do another larger DV gas stove in our other extension as well, which is our kitchen and sunroom. These rooms are an open area occupying a little under 500 sq ft. We have a previously used chimney from an older cookstove directly in between these two rooms so we could get a larger gas stove to cover that space centrally.

    So in closing..... Do we install 2 DV gas stoves at either end of the house with 1 baseboard zone in the center part of the house using a LP fired boiler. Or....... Skip the gas stoves completely, run baseboard throughout the entire house on 3 zones and simply fire up the old fireplaces for ambiance?

    Thanks a whole heck of a lot!!!!

    Steve

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  2. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Dec 2, 2008
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    5,389
    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    I suppose you should gather some pricing first. How much will reinsulating the entire house cost? That's probably the cheapest way to go. The more heat you can keep IN your home, the less it'll cost you to heat. How much will the new LP boiler cost, if you run the baseboard thru the entire house? How much will it cost to run the baseboard only in the central part? Add that to the cost of two Lillehamers & compare to the whole-house install... Is that a wash? Maybe you should look at a larger gas insert in one of the fireplaces to see how that heats your home. Granted it may be tougher to get heat to either end, but an insert may make a BIG difference. Your call...
  3. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    As an additional thought, that 800 Sq Ft figure is highly arbitrary...With minimal insulation, you may be lucky to heat half of that figure...
  4. Stevie Fierce

    Stevie Fierce New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    New Hampshire

    I agree, which is why I figure an 800 sq ft rating should be right for my 250 sq ft of actual space in an older home. Your previous thought on re-insulating the house is a good one although in my research, it's actually the windows where most of the heat is lost. I'm not changing some of the windows as they are historic so that is something I just need to deal with.

    I'm just wondering if baseboard heat is more efficient than a gas stove in a room? The boiler is probably going to be drawing more btu's to fire than a small stove although the small stove might be working harder to heat the area than a big boiler would...... Hmmmmmmmm. Thanks for the reply!!!
  5. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    Dec 7, 2011
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    Loc:
    WNY
    Ok...a few things.

    The windows are not where your heat is lost unless they need restoration. Go speak to the good folks over at oldhouseweb.com in the forums for a wealth of info on that.

    As someone that heated exclusively with DV units-baseboard will probably be more efficient. We had no place for a boiler or furnace so we went with the stoves. After the cost of the stoves, flues, install, etc it would have been much better to install standard central heat-but it would have been a huge challenge. You can get extremely efficient boilers now (95+% whereas most DV units are in the 80-85% range if I recall correctly).

    We have a Lopi Berkshire in our bedroom at the Old House. The ambiance is a nice thought, but it usually isn't on all that long so it's more of a thought than reality. It was turned all the way down on the thermostat during the day and back up to about 70 at night, and unless it was extremely cold, would run for maybe an hour before kicking off. It was nice to have though.
  6. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    NWI office - 2 Heritages; Chicago home - Woodstock
    I have a Woodstock DV in my basement. Wife loves it even though we have an H.E. natural gas furnace which is more efficient. Thing is, we spend our time in the basement, and the room down here gets up to 85 near the stove and 70+ on the opposite side of the room. I love DV gas stoves, so I'm biased. Put one in your master regardless. You will love it.
  7. pyrotom

    pyrotom New Member

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    Loc:
    Coastal Carolinas
    Generally speaking, setting the thermostat back on the old central oil furnace and using the DV stoves to heat only the zones you need heated will help your heating costs, period.

    Zone heat is usually better because you only heat what you need, and you avoid the losses associated with ducting. In your case, a modern DV stove will be considerably more efficient than old natural-draft oil furnace as well.
  8. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    That's what we do. Heat the area we spend all our time in, and let the heat naturally flow upstairs. Furnace kicks on rarely and we are very warm. Granted, we're not dealing with fuel oil expense, but same principle.
  9. Stevie Fierce

    Stevie Fierce New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    New Hampshire
    I really appreciate all the input. We had an Oil/Gas company installer here the other day and he told me the baseboard would be way more efficient than the DV stoves. Have another appointment with a heating guy this week. See what he has to say.
  10. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
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    Your situation may be different if you are running propane. I know nothing about propane cost other than what I buy for my grill.

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