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why are our heating systems so ineffecient?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by elkimmeg, Mar 7, 2006.

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  1. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    According to Energy Star ( green Homes) all homes in which heating systems are located in unconditioned spaces are
    grossly ineffecient. It is recomended that the heating appliance be located within the living space and all its piping or ducting as well
    The worst location of the applaince and ducting is noted, is the attic area above int insulation envelope Their recomended location is in a closet and creating chases within the living space for ducting They claim due to heat loss in un conditioned cooler location 30% to 40% effeciencies are lost never reaching the conditioned living spaces. the leaks and losses inside the living space would create
    up to 40% more effeciency. One less energy would be needed to produce the heat vollume to compensate for heat losses of losses due to transmission in the ducts. So to be really effecient creative framing needs to be considered. Perhaps ceiling sofits.
    mechanical closets within the living spaces. I guess I will have to utilize my web server space and scan in this documentations and illustrations so one can see first hand examples. another issue addressed is sealing duct work not tapes but mastic b plus insulation

    We by wood stoves to augment our heating demands but there are ways to improve what we have Simple design improvements including returns in bedrooms having high low returns and feeds. insulating areas pipes aand duct work. Buttoning up drafts.
    Lot of things can be done to lessen our fuel usqage.

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  2. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    I always felt this way about my oil fired forced hot water system and tank less hot water.

    My well water comes out of the ground at temps in the high 40's and goes straight to the boiler to be heated for hot water, I know there is a better way to accomplish this ESPECIALLY in the summer months.

    During winter it may be better off going straight from the ground to the boiler and that has been even more glaring this season, with the wood stove making all my heat, the basement is COLD, cold like a meat locker.

    I guess it could be circulated somewhere within the heated space but then you're giving up living/storage space.
  3. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    No doubt this is a lot of why woodstoves and other forms of 'space heaters' are so popular. In my area, an electric at 100% vs a furnace at 80%, the electric costs about twice as much per BTU at the appliance. But there are basiscally no transmission losses in electric, whereas I'm probably losing another 20% to poorly conceived ductwork. I also like the fact that my returns are all at the top of the room, pulling the nice warm air through th cold basement, rather than pullingthe cooler air from the floors. In 'sensible' heat, I bet that;s good for another 10% anyway. Finally, theres the lack of zoning in FA systems - have to fire up the whole house to make any one room warm. No way that's efficient.

    We're going to build a hearth in our living room (opposite end of the house from the WWL), and I had been convinced of laying out ~3000 on a corn/pellet ZC insert. But the more I look at the return, I'm thinking a high-efficiency gas insert might be just as good for takingthe chill off, and 1000 or 1500 less.

    Steve
  4. KarlP

    KarlP Feeling the Heat

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    Maybe once the power enters the electrical outlet in your room. However you are distributing some of the heat over the (potentially hundreds of miles of) transmission lines including those in your walls. You have much lower transmission losses _to_ your house with gas, oil, coal, or wood.
  5. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Hmmm.... Radiant Walls.... you might be on to something :gulp:

    -- Mike
  6. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    you want to speak of inefficient. we have a number of houses in my area that someone decided to put the radiant heat piping in the ceiling. this was done about maybe 1950 to 1960.

    heat rises. these people even with insulation have nice warm attics.

    and a fat heat bill
  7. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I think having your furnace or boiler and chimney in the living space, and preferably below the area you're most interested in heating, is a lot more efficient than some of the alternatives. I don't know what I lose through radiation from my boiler and chimney, which are located in my barn, but it's significant. Having had a wood-fired boiler in the basement with the chimney going right up through the middle of the house, I can tell the difference. Having said that, I sleep a lot easier at night knowing that in the worst-case scenario, I lose an uninhabited outbuilding. I also avoid bringing dust, smoke, bugs and other unpleasant wood-burning byproducts into my living space.

    In the final analysis however, if given the choice, I'd go back to the boiler-in-the-basement arrangement.
  8. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    No doubt - very little transmission loss for those alternatives. I was looking at transmission loss between when I pay for it and when I get heat. So wood is good, but the furnace is bad. electric is somewhere in between.

    Steve
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