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  1. Craig in DE

    Craig in DE New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Dover DE
    Ok, well I've been a long time lurker. My wife and I are in the process of buying a new to us house. The house is about 1300ft2 with oil forced air, no nat gas. New roof and new insulation and has what I call a half car garage which will barely fit her prius, the plan is to build a new 24x24or30 garage off to the side for me. I want in floor heat, I was in a garage fire when I was young caused by a gas tank on a tractor restore falling off and spewing gas in the vicinity of a torpedo heater and I don't want to repeat that. I would really like to heat both the house and garage(i've never had a heated shop) with one source if possible. I'm originally from Canton NY(near Zap) grew up with wood heat, however my wife is a city girl, and well....... I'd rather her not have to tend a fire.

    I would like to build a extension off the back of the garage 8x10ish with an outside entrance for either a pellet or coal stoker boiler that could heat both the house and garage. Will a w/a exchanger in the forced air furnace be the same as regualar forced air or is it more of a constant heat, and should the boiler go out can the regular forced air come on automatically? Should I go stand alone system for both or one unit? I chose pellets or coal due to the fact that time and space(for properly seasoned wood) would be a issue. Any help, hints or suggestions would be appreciated.

    Craig

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  2. Floydian

    Floydian Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    437
    Loc:
    Southwestern VA
    Hello Craig and welcome!

    Designing any heating system, new or retrofit, should ideally start with a good heat loss calculation.

    Do you know how much fuel oil it takes to heat this house, annually? How warm is comfortable to your family? Is there a wood stove/fireplace in the house?

    Would your shop be heated all the time? and to what temp? How far from the house?

    Sorry for all the questions but knowing some of these answers could get you more suggestions. Or opinions, anyway. I'll give mine when I have more time.

    Noah
  3. Clarkbug

    Clarkbug Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,051
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Craig,

    Welcome to Hearth!

    You certainly can add a pellet/coal boiler to your existing setup, and have it feed a HW coil in the ductwork after your forced air furnace. I cant comment on how the heat will be, just that it should be warm :)

    There are several ways to hook up the system so that the oil would fire if you ran out of pelllets/coal to keep the fire burning. One is just to have a separate thermostat in the house set to a lower temperature, another could be a strap on aquastat on the piping to let you know when its not getting heated any more.

    You could also run a loop of radiant out to the new slab for your new garage, and heat both the house and garage off of the pellet boiler. Or a Modine style heater, if thats your preferred option. You would need to come up with a separate backup solution if you didnt fire the boiler for the garage, however.
  4. Craig in DE

    Craig in DE New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Dover DE
    Thank you for the reply's. I have not done a heat loss calc yet, but will before I spend any of my pennies, and I dont know the oil history yet but I will try and find out. We literaly got the house under contract today.

    I would like to keep the shop heated to like 55 for when I'm not in it just to keep things thawed. It would be probally 20ftish from the one side of the house.

    There is no stove in the house now, and only one flue for the oil burner..There is no outside access to the basement so everything would be trucked through the living area. My thoughts for putting an extension on the back of the garage would keep all the mess outside/not where the wifey is. and it would give me my escape to go play

    Our current townhouse thermostat is set at 64, and occasionally gets bumped to 66. It has a horrible HVAC setup/design. We would like to keep our new house around 68-70.

    So to have the oil come on automatically I would just need to run each system on its own thermostat? deffinetly do-able.

    Thank you for the responses

    Craig
  5. Clarkbug

    Clarkbug Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,051
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Once you get yourself settled with your new place, post back with more info. The folks here can help you digest it all and suggest some good solutions.
  6. Craig in DE

    Craig in DE New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Dover DE
    Do you folks think that my plan of putting the boiler in a extension off the back of the garage and install the boiler there and run glycol or somesort of antifreeze protection, would be a good idea/function well? or do the heat loss calc first, and go from there. I am located in Dover DE.
  7. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,379
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    The heat you will get from a W/A heat exchange in a forced air plenum will, by and large, feel exactly the same as if you're burning good ole natural gas, propane or oil in a forced air furnace. The only difference I can notice is that the air is not nearly as dry once I make the switch to wood for the season. This, however, is not something you notice in a day or two. More like a week or two.

    The "auto on" for your oil furnace would be pretty simple as mentioned above. I have two thermostats. One for the boiler which I keep set at 70 during the day, 68 at night. My natural gas furnace thermostat stays on a "hold" program set at 66 degrees. If my wood burner ever has an issue my natural gas would kick in at 66. The downside to the way I have mine hooked up is that if my boiler system were to stop working for some reason the furnace fan would run constantly until I found it. But since I don't heat with wood when I'm not around this is not an issue for me.
  8. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,379
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    Glycol/antifreeze is a highly undesirable path forward if you can avoid it. It's messy, expensive and reduces the heat transfer capability of your system. Having a "pump on" functionality like many boilers have built in should provide you with more than enough freeze protection.
  9. Craig in DE

    Craig in DE New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Dover DE
    I posted that before I saw your response. I will do just that, once I get in the house and settled in. Home insp tomorrow, whole lotta stuff to digest, thanks for the help so far
  10. Floydian

    Floydian Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    Messages:
    437
    Loc:
    Southwestern VA
    Craig,

    A few more Q's:

    What is the per ton price of pellets in your area? And Coal?

    What do you pay per Kwh?

    Do you think you will want AC in the "new" house?

    Noah

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