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Overall house plan

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by FanMan, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Messages:
    313
    Loc:
    CT stix & upstate NY
    I'm trying to work out my overall home heating plan.

    I currently have a kerosene (because the tank is outside and above ground) burning forced hot air furnace which is on its last legs... I've been babying and fixing it for far too long. The ductwork (which runs under the house in the crawl space) is pretty rough too. The current range/oven and two hot water heaters are electric. My plan is to go to LP, first heat, then replace the range an HWH with gas appliances as they wear out. I already have a tankless LP HWH in my cabin and I love it. LP and kerosene are about the same cost/BTU in my area at the moment but LP seems to be more stable.

    The house will be about 2000 square feet once I add a small addition, and the current furnace is 80,000 BTU in / 69,000BTU out, which is adequate even on 0°F weather... and which doesn't seem to jive with the recommended "area times 50-80" rule of thumb for my home's construction, and I know I'm losing a lot of heat to the crawl space through the leaky ducts.

    Anyway, my thought is to install a largish (30-40KBTU) freestanding direct vent gas fireplace in my living room/kitchen area, and wall mounted gas heaters in the bedrooms (direct vent or vent free, haven't decided yet, but I don't want to open that can of works in this thread!).

    Another thought is to forget the bedroom heaters, poke a hole in the ceiling above the stove and install insulated ducting through the attic from there into the bedrooms, with duct fans controlled by thermostats in the bedrooms to steal warm air from above the stove, return air through lovered vents in the bedroom doors. This may work well for the bedroom immediately adjacent to the living room wall where the fireplace will be (perhaps I'll just vent through that wall), maybe not so well farther down the hall.

    Comments?

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  2. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    695
    Loc:
    SW WI
    Why not seal up the ductwork, seal the crawl space, and go with a propane furnace?

    What kind of efficiency are you finding for a gas fireplace, I have no idea.

    Otherwise sounds great, especially if you have electric hot water already. Block off the chimney to save even more heat.
  3. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Messages:
    313
    Loc:
    CT stix & upstate NY
    If you saw the ductwork you'd know why I don't want to mess with it. :) I also don't like the noise (the furnace is is in the middle of the hallway) and dust (like all forced air systems).

    The freestanding fireplaces aka gas stoves are anywhere from 65-85% efficient.
  4. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    695
    Loc:
    SW WI
    OK, no ductwork.

    This is a little more work than your other options, but would be one of the most comfortable and efficient ways of heating. http://www.radiantec.com/systems-sources/open-system.php
    Some people might hate me for bringing that up because of the possibility of Legionella bacteria, but you can consider it if you want.

    65-85% isn't too bad with current propane costs. Around here it's a LOT less than oil right now. But that could be painful when propane goes back up.

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