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oil usage - my stat's

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Joful, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
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    Philadelphia
    Got another oil delivery today, so I pulled up my tracking spreadsheet to enter the new data. I started this spreadsheet in the fall of 2011, and because I was making some drastic changes to the system (adding six zones of programmable thermostats, adding one one stove, improving windows, adding a second stove), I'm not sure that the trend function ever really caught up to the data... but nonetheless, here it is.

    oil_usage.GIF

    The prior owners were using 1500 gal. of oil, plus 500 gallons of propane, every year. We had the oil usage down to 1150 gal. for our first year in the house (adjusts to 1367 gal. for a "normal" year), running only one stove for just a few months. With the second stove online, we seem to be trending to (or below) 700 gallons per year. We use almost zero propane, only really using it to warm the garage for occasional winter projects.

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  2. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    619
    Loc:
    Central MA
    Reading this makes me happy I have gas! Even with a 110 year old home with poor insulation we were paying $250/mo before the woodstove! Now we are down to about $60-80/mo.

    And this is with a 30 year old boiler and steam! I only have a 1500sq.ft. home and it was probably tight compared to your old farmhouse.

    We just had the walls insulated and did some pretty extensive air sealing. I have a feeling the Englander 30 is going to be about double the stove I need.

    Anyway, congrats on saving what looks like a couple grand a year!
  3. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Mar 7, 2012
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    Philadelphia
    Steam boiler... cool! My system is a fairly modern (1990's) oil-fired boiler with six zones plus typical indirect DHW. The portion of the house heated with oil and wood is a hodgepodge:

    4000 sq.ft. - ca.1773 un-insulated stone with 26 original single-hung windows and 3 exterior doors (wood)
    800 sq.ft. - ca.1894 framed addition, insulated with blown-in polystyrene insulation, 10 windows and 1 exterior door (glass)
    1000 sq.ft. - 1994 framed addition, insulated with fiberglass batts, 13 windows and 4 exterior doors (glass)

    In spite of the cringing looks I see on everyone's face at the mention of the un-insulated stone construction, I don't think this is a very big factor in my heat loss. I think the biggest factor on that side of the house is the 26 old windows from 1773, all wearing 1980's vintage triple-track storms, and the three original wooden doors with no weatherstripping. I'm now in the process of rebuilding and/or tightening up all of those windows and doors, and also replacing those troublesome triple-tracks with legitimate exterior-hung wood storm windows.

    An even bigger loss for us, seems to be the 1894 addition walls, which are very drafty. I found a lot of gaps at the bottom of the sheathing (stucco), which I filled this summer, so we'll see if that makes any difference. That addition is our current kitchen, and it gets quite cold inside the kitchen cabinets, to where we feel freezing air blowing out of them on cold winter nights. Again, time will tell whether I've made any improvement, there, but I think that blown-in polystyrene offers near zero draft resistance.
  4. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Salisbury, MD
    I cringe on thinking about cleaning 4000+ sq ft, let alone heating it.

    That is crazy that your house alone could fit several of mine IN it.
  5. BurnIt13

    BurnIt13 Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Central MA
    4000+800+1000 = 5,800!!!
  6. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Holliston, MA USA
    I know we have discussed this before Joful, I applaud your decision to replace the triple tracks with wood storms but I wouldnt hold you breath that will work a miracle in reducing heat loss.

    Think about it..
    A well sealed single pane window is about R1 ?
    A well sealed single pane with a good well sealed storm is close to R2. Maybe more if its a lowE storm.
    A decent double pane might be R2 or R2.5
    Fancy triple pane, lowE yadda yadda might be R3 or R4.

    So lets say for argument sake your old leaky triple track and single pane is about R1.5 You will probably get to R2 with the new storms. Use a heat loss calculator to figure what an extra R0.5 times the square footage of window is going to get you... doubt it will be much. Might be more comfortable if you were getting significant drafts, but I dont know if it will make much impact on the bills...

    I'd still do the storms. In fact replacing my old triple track with new storms is on my todo list as well, but more for looks and convenience than any expectation ill ever make back the investment in heating bills.
  7. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    You're right-on, Jeremy. My triple tracks actually do as good a job at reducing radiation as the wooden storms will, and might even be marginally better for draft reduction, since you must leave a 1/16" - 1/8" gap all the way across the bottom edge of a traditional wooden storm. My reason for replacing the triple tracks has more to do with the damage they've done to my sills (by creating a well in which water is inevitably trapped) and cosmetics, than energy efficiency. However, in the course of replacing the storms, I'm also rebuilding each window, such that I'm actually doing things to reduce draft on the sash themselves. I'm not adding weatherstripping to the sash (just not right for super-narrow 18th century sash), but I am refitting the stops, improving the alignment of the meeting rails, and adding functional sash locks.

    Actually, that's only the part of the house heated by wood.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013

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