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Need alternative heat recommendation

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by lacorvino, Dec 9, 2010.

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  1. lacorvino

    lacorvino New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    Coopersburg, PA
    I have a cinder block home, block up to the roof, my attic floor and basement ceiling is insulated, outside walls are not insulated. My current heat source is gas heat. The heat constantly run, on and off, on and off.....I keep my thermostat at 62-66 during winter.

    I am looking for an alternative heat source that I would like to place in my basement which will heat the entire home (cape cod style - 1200 sq ft of living space). I would to try and not have an ugly stainless flue on the outside of my home, thinking about direct vent or power vent.

    So I am asking the experts, what do you recommend, coal, pellets, wood? Of course I am looking for the most economical source.

    Thank you

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  2. juddspaintballs

    juddspaintballs Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Messages:
    149
    Spend some money on insulation first. That will give you the biggest return on investment. Usually cinder block homes can be insulated inside the blocks using a blown in material to fill the void spaces in the blocks. It's not that hard to go back and do if it wasn't done when the house was built, but I would imagine the walls were insulated this manner since your house is in PA. Is your house sided? You can insulate under the siding if so.
  3. lacorvino

    lacorvino New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    Coopersburg, PA
    Hi
    The cinderblock walls are not insulated and the outside is not sided, just stucco. I was hoping for a cheaper solution than insulating. I believe i have access to some of the block holes in the attic. Any idea on how this is done, can I purchase the insulation at Home Depot or Lowes, I believe I did see some kind of a machine there.
  4. juddspaintballs

    juddspaintballs Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Messages:
    149
    For the money you spend, insulation will be the biggest return on investment. I believe that blower machine Lowes rents out will work for blowing insulation into your blocks, but check to make sure the insulation they sell is rated for going inside of block. Even if you didn't have access to the top of the block, you could drill 2-3" holes in the block near the top of the wall with a core drill and fill them up that way. Then again, get some quotes from a contractor too. They could do it far faster and easier and it might end up being cheaper to do that way.

    http://www.thermalfoams.com/construction/insulation/block_fill.asp
  5. Hunderliggur

    Hunderliggur Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Messages:
    602
    Loc:
    Lothian, MD
    Insulate! (This is why I was not siccessful selling solar pool heaters in the 70's - I told the truth that a simple pool cover would reduce their bill by 75% in California, making the payback for solar a long time. Guess I should have sold pool covers instead). You may need to hire a pro - I would imagine foam in place would be more effective and use smaller holes, easier to patch.
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