Tips I've picked up from this cold snap...1800's barn house

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theTroutlaw

Member
Feb 5, 2017
17
Northern NJ
Hey all,

Long time lurker, had to post my experiences so far. This has been quick a bitter cold month in New Jersey, we've had 3 pipe bursts and too pipe/toilet/faucet freezes. My wife and I bought our first home a year and half ago, we came from a natural gas 1000 sqft condo, so pipe freezes are a new concept. The house I live in now has had 5-6 different owners and it truly is stunning how LAZY they have been to fix simple issues that I have discovered.

Anyway, here we go... I live in a 1800's barn with completely open 30ft ceilings that was converted to a house in the 60's. First winter as a homeowner was 2016, unusually warm, hardly below freezing. Never had a single issue, heated the house mostly with the oil furnace... come February, I finally had enough of $400/500 month heating bills between oil and heat pumps. Installed a Efel Arden Harmony myself with an insulated stainless pipe up 30ft chimney. Problem solved right? Well for 2017 February on it was...UNTIL this cold snap.

This hole freezing house/freezing pipe thing has made life insane, every weekend being ruined by more and more issues, finally enough is enough and I'm here to shed some light for you guys on what has worked for me so far.

1) Therm-guard - The reason my pipes froze the first time was because of the location of the thermostat versus the wood stove. House was 72 degrees but opposite corner of house behind wall in kitchen was cold enough for baseboard to pop...twice. Got a therm-guard which is a simple invention that tricks your thermostat into circulating the baseboards regardless of thermostat temp a set interval/time (5 mins every 2 hours for me). This has been a lifesaver, $70 saves you from getting that $500 plumbing bill the first time. I had it happen 3 times.
The inventor posts on this site, here's his site if you care to check it out.
http://www.bearmountaindesign.com/

2) But your old house is drafty and never feels warm when the temps get below 20 degree's. Defintion of my house. So I spend 6 hours this weekend walking about with finding drafts between floor boards, sheet rock, vents, light switches, you know it. I'm only 50% done sealing up my house but I've already noticed a HUGE difference. ESPECIALLY YOUR DOORS, my doors are horrible air leakers. Here's what I've used
- Rubber door sweeps nailed/drilled to all sides and bottom of door where I can feel air leaking, believe it or not, wife has not mentioned it looking ratchet so CHECK.
https://www.houzz.com/product/87445...de-door-sweep-transitional-barn-door-hardware

- Stuffing Foam/Insulation/FELT STRIPS (these are awesome) in all air gaps
- Silicon Caulk Clear/White
- Sealing up exterior doors that do not need to be used in the winter, I have 2 back doors, don't need to use both in winter. I added foam in all gaps.

3) So everything is fine now that I have thermo-guard? Unfortunately not exactly, I know my 1978 HS Tarm OT50 is on it's last legs. It's been used strictly as an oil burner for the past 5 years, I was tempted to start burning wood but the water jacket is leaking, it's 40 years old and I am not totally over the moon about overfiring these big mother. My oil burner went into hard lockout (extere at 4AM in the morning today after stove went out and froze up all pipes. The only caveat to therm-guard does not help if there is no power to boiler, to be expected but something to note. The tarm is so temperamental, that I've decided for $5K, having my piece of mine for a new boiler/indirect hot water heater is worth it. So make sure your boiler is at least serviced, functioning and in good shape if you rely on one at all.

4) Frozen water pipes that are not baseboard... well this is what I spent today on. Luckily half of my house is Pex but for some reason when they installed it, they ran the lines in the unheated/uninsulated crawl space completely BARE. I watched this video, thought it was completely overkill, then said SCREW it. I'm bombproofing every single pipe exposed to the elements that I can. Every other pipe that I can access, I'm insulating because why the hell not. More piece of mind.

5) Lastly, as I rely more and more on the wood stove, I've decided to upgrade after this winter ends when I can a deal. The Efel Arden Harmony is beautiful, it does put out a lot of heat as well but with 2000 sqft of living space plus 30 ft ceilings, it just doesn't have the BTU's or burn times (4ish hours +) that I'm looking for. That said, if anyone has any suggestions, I'm looking for the most noticeable difference in heat output. Looking at Jotul F600 & Woodstock Progress Hybrid. Will add pictures of my home to help describe what I'm trying to heat.

Much of what I've learned so far has been from you guys and trolling the interwebs. Although hes not on here, I owe much of the pipe fixes to my journeyman plumbing brother and my wife for not leaving me when we lose our minds from bursting pipes and ruined weekends.

Sorry for the long winded venting but this has been my entire life the past month! THANKS GUYS!
 

jscs.moore

Feeling the Heat
Sep 9, 2015
291
Eastern PA
Hey all,

Long time lurker, had to post my experiences so far. This has been quick a bitter cold month in New Jersey, we've had 3 pipe bursts and too pipe/toilet/faucet freezes. My wife and I bought our first home a year and half ago, we came from a natural gas 1000 sqft condo, so pipe freezes are a new concept. The house I live in now has had 5-6 different owners and it truly is stunning how LAZY they have been to fix simple issues that I have discovered.

Anyway, here we go... I live in a 1800's barn with completely open 30ft ceilings that was converted to a house in the 60's. First winter as a homeowner was 2016, unusually warm, hardly below freezing. Never had a single issue, heated the house mostly with the oil furnace... come February, I finally had enough of $400/500 month heating bills between oil and heat pumps. Installed a Efel Arden Harmony myself with an insulated stainless pipe up 30ft chimney. Problem solved right? Well for 2017 February on it was...UNTIL this cold snap.

This hole freezing house/freezing pipe thing has made life insane, every weekend being ruined by more and more issues, finally enough is enough and I'm here to shed some light for you guys on what has worked for me so far.

1) Therm-guard - The reason my pipes froze the first time was because of the location of the thermostat versus the wood stove. House was 72 degrees but opposite corner of house behind wall in kitchen was cold enough for baseboard to pop...twice. Got a therm-guard which is a simple invention that tricks your thermostat into circulating the baseboards regardless of thermostat temp a set interval/time (5 mins every 2 hours for me). This has been a lifesaver, $70 saves you from getting that $500 plumbing bill the first time. I had it happen 3 times.
The inventor posts on this site, here's his site if you care to check it out.
http://www.bearmountaindesign.com/

2) But your old house is drafty and never feels warm when the temps get below 20 degree's. Defintion of my house. So I spend 6 hours this weekend walking about with finding drafts between floor boards, sheet rock, vents, light switches, you know it. I'm only 50% done sealing up my house but I've already noticed a HUGE difference. ESPECIALLY YOUR DOORS, my doors are horrible air leakers. Here's what I've used
- Rubber door sweeps nailed/drilled to all sides and bottom of door where I can feel air leaking, believe it or not, wife has not mentioned it looking ratchet so CHECK.
https://www.houzz.com/product/87445...de-door-sweep-transitional-barn-door-hardware

- Stuffing Foam/Insulation/FELT STRIPS (these are awesome) in all air gaps
- Silicon Caulk Clear/White
- Sealing up exterior doors that do not need to be used in the winter, I have 2 back doors, don't need to use both in winter. I added foam in all gaps.

3) So everything is fine now that I have thermo-guard? Unfortunately not exactly, I know my 1978 HS Tarm OT50 is on it's last legs. It's been used strictly as an oil burner for the past 5 years, I was tempted to start burning wood but the water jacket is leaking, it's 40 years old and I am not totally over the moon about overfiring these big mother. My oil burner went into hard lockout (extere at 4AM in the morning today after stove went out and froze up all pipes. The only caveat to therm-guard does not help if there is no power to boiler, to be expected but something to note. The tarm is so temperamental, that I've decided for $5K, having my piece of mine for a new boiler/indirect hot water heater is worth it. So make sure your boiler is at least serviced, functioning and in good shape if you rely on one at all.

4) Frozen water pipes that are not baseboard... well this is what I spent today on. Luckily half of my house is Pex but for some reason when they installed it, they ran the lines in the unheated/uninsulated crawl space completely BARE. I watched this video, thought it was completely overkill, then said SCREW it. I'm bombproofing every single pipe exposed to the elements that I can. Every other pipe that I can access, I'm insulating because why the hell not. More piece of mind.

5) Lastly, as I rely more and more on the wood stove, I've decided to upgrade after this winter ends when I can a deal. The Efel Arden Harmony is beautiful, it does put out a lot of heat as well but with 2000 sqft of living space plus 30 ft ceilings, it just doesn't have the BTU's or burn times (4ish hours +) that I'm looking for. That said, if anyone has any suggestions, I'm looking for the most noticeable difference in heat output. Looking at Jotul F600 & Woodstock Progress Hybrid. Will add pictures of my home to help describe what I'm trying to heat.

Much of what I've learned so far has been from you guys and trolling the interwebs. Although hes not on here, I owe much of the pipe fixes to my journeyman plumbing brother and my wife for not leaving me when we lose our minds from bursting pipes and ruined weekends.

Sorry for the long winded venting but this has been my entire life the past month! THANKS GUYS!
Wow...30ft ceilings! You'll probably need a blast furnace to heat that much space. I would get the biggest free standing stove they make...good luck. Thanks for the insulation tips, a very good reminder for all of us to double check our own living spaces.
 

Joyboy

Burning Hunk
Jan 22, 2017
188
Wyoming
All good points for people to consider. I froze a gas boiler in my home when I first went to wood heat. We weren’t using the boiler and I didn’t plug off the fresh air vents going to the small utility room. Didn’t even think about it at the time.

Probably is fairly common. Nice job powering through and taking the time to post for others.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,283
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
d691fe08ca4d67d88d66e0645057a13b--type-posters-world-war-one.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,498
South Puget Sound, WA
Good tips. An 1/8" gap around an outside door is equal to having a 30 sq inch open hole in the wall.

Time to visit the boiler room here and look at replacing the Tarm. Or time to get serious and insulate the old barn.
 

Rich L

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2008
846
Eastern,Ma.
g-mail.com
Hey all,

Long time lurker, had to post my experiences so far. This has been quick a bitter cold month in New Jersey, we've had 3 pipe bursts and too pipe/toilet/faucet freezes. My wife and I bought our first home a year and half ago, we came from a natural gas 1000 sqft condo, so pipe freezes are a new concept. The house I live in now has had 5-6 different owners and it truly is stunning how LAZY they have been to fix simple issues that I have discovered.

Anyway, here we go... I live in a 1800's barn with completely open 30ft ceilings that was converted to a house in the 60's. First winter as a homeowner was 2016, unusually warm, hardly below freezing. Never had a single issue, heated the house mostly with the oil furnace... come February, I finally had enough of $400/500 month heating bills between oil and heat pumps. Installed a Efel Arden Harmony myself with an insulated stainless pipe up 30ft chimney. Problem solved right? Well for 2017 February on it was...UNTIL this cold snap.

This hole freezing house/freezing pipe thing has made life insane, every weekend being ruined by more and more issues, finally enough is enough and I'm here to shed some light for you guys on what has worked for me so far.

1) Therm-guard - The reason my pipes froze the first time was because of the location of the thermostat versus the wood stove. House was 72 degrees but opposite corner of house behind wall in kitchen was cold enough for baseboard to pop...twice. Got a therm-guard which is a simple invention that tricks your thermostat into circulating the baseboards regardless of thermostat temp a set interval/time (5 mins every 2 hours for me). This has been a lifesaver, $70 saves you from getting that $500 plumbing bill the first time. I had it happen 3 times.
The inventor posts on this site, here's his site if you care to check it out.
http://www.bearmountaindesign.com/

2) But your old house is drafty and never feels warm when the temps get below 20 degree's. Defintion of my house. So I spend 6 hours this weekend walking about with finding drafts between floor boards, sheet rock, vents, light switches, you know it. I'm only 50% done sealing up my house but I've already noticed a HUGE difference. ESPECIALLY YOUR DOORS, my doors are horrible air leakers. Here's what I've used
- Rubber door sweeps nailed/drilled to all sides and bottom of door where I can feel air leaking, believe it or not, wife has not mentioned it looking ratchet so CHECK.
https://www.houzz.com/product/87445...de-door-sweep-transitional-barn-door-hardware

- Stuffing Foam/Insulation/FELT STRIPS (these are awesome) in all air gaps
- Silicon Caulk Clear/White
- Sealing up exterior doors that do not need to be used in the winter, I have 2 back doors, don't need to use both in winter. I added foam in all gaps.

3) So everything is fine now that I have thermo-guard? Unfortunately not exactly, I know my 1978 HS Tarm OT50 is on it's last legs. It's been used strictly as an oil burner for the past 5 years, I was tempted to start burning wood but the water jacket is leaking, it's 40 years old and I am not totally over the moon about overfiring these big mother. My oil burner went into hard lockout (extere at 4AM in the morning today after stove went out and froze up all pipes. The only caveat to therm-guard does not help if there is no power to boiler, to be expected but something to note. The tarm is so temperamental, that I've decided for $5K, having my piece of mine for a new boiler/indirect hot water heater is worth it. So make sure your boiler is at least serviced, functioning and in good shape if you rely on one at all.

4) Frozen water pipes that are not baseboard... well this is what I spent today on. Luckily half of my house is Pex but for some reason when they installed it, they ran the lines in the unheated/uninsulated crawl space completely BARE. I watched this video, thought it was completely overkill, then said SCREW it. I'm bombproofing every single pipe exposed to the elements that I can. Every other pipe that I can access, I'm insulating because why the hell not. More piece of mind.

5) Lastly, as I rely more and more on the wood stove, I've decided to upgrade after this winter ends when I can a deal. The Efel Arden Harmony is beautiful, it does put out a lot of heat as well but with 2000 sqft of living space plus 30 ft ceilings, it just doesn't have the BTU's or burn times (4ish hours +) that I'm looking for. That said, if anyone has any suggestions, I'm looking for the most noticeable difference in heat output. Looking at Jotul F600 & Woodstock Progress Hybrid. Will add pictures of my home to help describe what I'm trying to heat.

Much of what I've learned so far has been from you guys and trolling the interwebs. Although hes not on here, I owe much of the pipe fixes to my journeyman plumbing brother and my wife for not leaving me when we lose our minds from bursting pipes and ruined weekends.

Sorry for the long winded venting but this has been my entire life the past month! THANKS GUYS!
Wow...30ft ceilings! You'll probably need a blast furnace to heat that much space. I would get the biggest free standing stove they make...good luck. Thanks for the insulation tips, a very good reminder for all of us to double check our own living spaces.
Check out the Hearthstone Equinox reviews.It's one of the biggest if not the biggest stove out there.
 

Rich L

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2008
846
Eastern,Ma.
g-mail.com
I stumbled upon the equinox and really like it but I just put a 6 inch liner in last year.... any more suggestions?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Troutlaw I have the Hearthstone one which proceeded the Equinox which they don't make anymore.My stove gives off so much heat that I go out in subzero weather just to cool off.I think the Equinox will do the same.All the reviews love the stove.I would invest in an 8'' liner.In the long run the benefits will be worth the costs.For your space and ceiling height I don't have any other suggestions.I've owned many stoves over the years such as,Hearthstone Mansfield,Lopi Liberty,Woodstock Classic and Fireview,P.E summit,Performer Z,Blaze King and one or two others which I can't remember and most I sold when they couldn't heat my area.The Blake king was good but I sold it because I didn't have it go into an 8'' pipe and I got smoke everytime I opened the door.Of all the 6'' stoves I've owned the Mansfield was the best heater for my home.I put a pipe damper in both my stove for longer heat times which work well.There's one gentleman in the equinox reviews who has the high ceilings like you and likes the equinox.Like the other gentleman said you need the biggest heater you can get.If you go small you may end up like many others disappointed and not as warm as you could have been.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,498
South Puget Sound, WA
If the Efel did a decent job many modern 3 cu ft stove will work even better. The pipe freezing issue is not really related except that when one wood heats often there are areas the furnace or boiler would heat that are not getting heat with the stove only going. That's why I recommend letting it cycle during very cold weather.

If you are looking for a more classic looking stove consider the Quadrafire Explorer III, Hearthstone Mansfield or Manchester, Pacific Energy Alderlea T6, Jotul F55. In catalytic consider the Woodstock Progress Hybrid and the Blaze King Ashford 30.1.
 

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,732
Indiana
I stumbled upon the equinox and really like it but I just put a 6 inch liner in last year.... any more suggestions?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I don't think you have a choice...take that 6 in liner down and sell it to try and recoup some of your costs....you need heavy hitting firepower for that place!
 

1ruralmailman

Member
Feb 17, 2013
32
i would also suggest that if you are going down the road of boiler replacement consider putting in a heat exchanger type.we have one,so all of our zones are filled with antifreeze that is rated down to -25f way if the power goes out,or the stove keeps the boiler off,there are noworries of freeze up.
 

theTroutlaw

Member
Feb 5, 2017
17
Northern NJ
i would also suggest that if you are going down the road of boiler replacement consider putting in a heat exchanger type.we have one,so all of our zones are filled with antifreeze that is rated down to -25f way if the power goes out,or the stove keeps the boiler off,there are noworries of freeze up.

That’s rural, exactly what I’m doing. Cryotec I think it’s called.

Still not sure what radiant heat exactly feels like. Not sure if the Mansfield will enough, the equinox is a BEAST


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

CentralVAWoodHeat

Minister of Fire
Nov 7, 2015
667
Virginia
I can highly recommend the F600. We have a 2200 square foot ranch with ten foot ceilings throughout. I have insulated it VERY well and it is half underground. The F600 heats it very well. Even in the recent cold snap, I was loading it, at worst, every four hours to keep the house in the mid 70s. At one point, my wife had the house up to 82 degrees in the past couple weeks.

With ceilings as high as yours, several ceiling fans would help keep that warm air circulating down at ground level.
 

Carlv123

Member
Feb 17, 2015
104
Asheville nc
Kuma Sequoia freestanding. I have the same problem, 25 ft ceilings with 1 wall of complete glass. Your climate is worse than mine so the Kuma should work
 

Allagash350

Burning Hunk
Apr 9, 2016
200
Bowdoinham, Me
Thanks for the post! I’ve never heard of the therm guard before, I will definitely be picking one of those up. We had the same situation the baseboard froze in the stove room. So now I have to crank that thermostat to 82 just so the boiler will fire for a few minutes.

With the temps we have had I do a full load of red oak around 10. Then set an alarm and do a reload at 2-3. Tonight will be in the 20s so I’m not setting an alarm! Sad when you get excited about the 20s haha.
Hope the rest of the winter treats you well and good luck with everything.
 

georgepds

Minister of Fire
Nov 25, 2012
873
Since no one mentioned it, put a ceiling fan in that 30' space and push/mix some of that hot air up there so it reaches the floor
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,789
Nova Scotia
Burning some oil once in a while pales in expense to what happens when things freeze & break. If I had an oil boiler and a wood stove, I would consider the stove as supplementing only and still let my boiler cycle some. I would not run or put a stove in with the idea of it providing all my heat and my boiler not running at all - still comes down to a stove being a space heater.

BTW what heats your domestic hot water? If you are going to replace the Tarm, I think I would just get a new modern small mass cold start boiler, but use an ordinary electric water heater for DHW.

Sounds like a good place for a wood boiler, also - but those aren't necessarily for everyone & every situation.
 

theTroutlaw

Member
Feb 5, 2017
17
Northern NJ
Right now I have an indirect hw heater so I can use the boiler or electric. I’ve been researching wood boilers but I need a solid backup first if my wife and I were to go away for the weekend. Do you have any suggestions for a low mass oil boiler? I am planning to get a burnham mpo with indirect hw. Wish I had a basement and forced hot air, I’d put a wood furnace in in a heartbeat. Have been looking into a wood boiler but with thermal storage, the boiler and install I’m over $10k plus the oil boiler $6k, you are talking about serious cash flow.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,789
Nova Scotia
Yes, big expense.

From your post I was thinking your Tarm was out of commission totally - but are you using it now for your DHW? If so, that would likely be quite expensive.

That seems high though for a new oil boiler? I haven't done any pricing around here lately but had been thinking about half that. Not really sure on a recommendation - Granbys are made 20 miles from me. Not that that matters much. Maybe more feedback will come from others on that.

How old is your indirect stuff?
 

theTroutlaw

Member
Feb 5, 2017
17
Northern NJ
Sorry the $6k was for the burnham mpo and brand new indirect. The hw heater is also probably close to end of its life. Figuring 3k for boiler, $1k for hw heater and $2k for install. My brother is a plumber and said he wouldn’t charge me but I can afford to pay him.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,789
Nova Scotia
I think I would put in a new conventional electric water heater, vs. new indirect stuff. Should be a cheaper setup to buy & install, and also cheaper to heat your DHW with. Or at least consider/evaluate the option. Might be a '6 of one...' decision, but I switched to electric DHW from oil 5 1/2 years ago, and should have done it long ago. I had a less efficient DHW heating setup though, a tankless coil.

All that might be getting away from your OP a bit. But any future investments should consider everything. As far as replacing the woodstove - from the sounds of it I would put firebox size as the first specification consideration. That's a pretty big heat load for a stove, and horsepower counts sometimes. :)
 
Jun 26, 2013
121
SouthCoast Region, MA
I had 3 sections of pex on one of my zones burst this past week. I have my house plumbed with each room as a separate zone and I use two Taco ZVC-406 controllers to run the system (I have 12 rooms/zones total) so I can shut down entire sections of the house when not in use (just my wife and I in a 3500 sq ft farmhouse built circa 1738 -- in the winter we pretty much live in 4 main rooms near our Jotul F55 and do not use the rest of the house.

As near as I can tell, the electronic head for that zone $#!+ the bed and even though the tstat was calling for heat, the valve never opened to supply heat to the room. It is a relatively unused section of my house, and the tstat is normally set to 50 in that room, before I noticed anything was wrong the room was down to 45 degrees.

The pex that burst were the small sections (4-5 inches) between the baseboard units on the northern wall. Makes sense, I guess, the hydronic baseboards have those aluminum fins which provide some structural strength to the copper pipe, enough that when the system froze up the pex was the "weak" point. Thing I like about pex is I can fix it myself, so I spent a day cutting out and reinstalling the sections of pex that burst. I also took the opportunity to install a couple of air vents in high points in that zone (it is built on a concrete slab, and there are doorways, so to bridge the doorway I had to run the loop in a chase I built around the frame of the door) just in case the zone was getting air-bound.

After I did all that, and purged the air from the zone, I still wasn't getting heat -- could see on the ZVC the zone was calling for heat but the valve wasn't opening. I keep a spare Taco valve head in the house at all times (because, they always fail at 8pm on a Sunday after home depot has closed), so I swapped that and everything is back to normal (sort of). Tonight I have to reassemble the chases I disassembled to install the air valves.

Definitely going to pick up a couple of those Thermgards...
 

Rich L

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2008
846
Eastern,Ma.
g-mail.com
Hey all,

Long time lurker, had to post my experiences so far. This has been quick a bitter cold month in New Jersey, we've had 3 pipe bursts and too pipe/toilet/faucet freezes. My wife and I bought our first home a year and half ago, we came from a natural gas 1000 sqft condo, so pipe freezes are a new concept. The house I live in now has had 5-6 different owners and it truly is stunning how LAZY they have been to fix simple issues that I have discovered.

Anyway, here we go... I live in a 1800's barn with completely open 30ft ceilings that was converted to a house in the 60's. First winter as a homeowner was 2016, unusually warm, hardly below freezing. Never had a single issue, heated the house mostly with the oil furnace... come February, I finally had enough of $400/500 month heating bills between oil and heat pumps. Installed a Efel Arden Harmony myself with an insulated stainless pipe up 30ft chimney. Problem solved right? Well for 2017 February on it was...UNTIL this cold snap.

This hole freezing house/freezing pipe thing has made life insane, every weekend being ruined by more and more issues, finally enough is enough and I'm here to shed some light for you guys on what has worked for me so far.

1) Therm-guard - The reason my pipes froze the first time was because of the location of the thermostat versus the wood stove. House was 72 degrees but opposite corner of house behind wall in kitchen was cold enough for baseboard to pop...twice. Got a therm-guard which is a simple invention that tricks your thermostat into circulating the baseboards regardless of thermostat temp a set interval/time (5 mins every 2 hours for me). This has been a lifesaver, $70 saves you from getting that $500 plumbing bill the first time. I had it happen 3 times.
The inventor posts on this site, here's his site if you care to check it out.
http://www.bearmountaindesign.com/

2) But your old house is drafty and never feels warm when the temps get below 20 degree's. Defintion of my house. So I spend 6 hours this weekend walking about with finding drafts between floor boards, sheet rock, vents, light switches, you know it. I'm only 50% done sealing up my house but I've already noticed a HUGE difference. ESPECIALLY YOUR DOORS, my doors are horrible air leakers. Here's what I've used
- Rubber door sweeps nailed/drilled to all sides and bottom of door where I can feel air leaking, believe it or not, wife has not mentioned it looking ratchet so CHECK.
https://www.houzz.com/product/87445...de-door-sweep-transitional-barn-door-hardware

- Stuffing Foam/Insulation/FELT STRIPS (these are awesome) in all air gaps
- Silicon Caulk Clear/White
- Sealing up exterior doors that do not need to be used in the winter, I have 2 back doors, don't need to use both in winter. I added foam in all gaps.

3) So everything is fine now that I have thermo-guard? Unfortunately not exactly, I know my 1978 HS Tarm OT50 is on it's last legs. It's been used strictly as an oil burner for the past 5 years, I was tempted to start burning wood but the water jacket is leaking, it's 40 years old and I am not totally over the moon about overfiring these big mother. My oil burner went into hard lockout (extere at 4AM in the morning today after stove went out and froze up all pipes. The only caveat to therm-guard does not help if there is no power to boiler, to be expected but something to note. The tarm is so temperamental, that I've decided for $5K, having my piece of mine for a new boiler/indirect hot water heater is worth it. So make sure your boiler is at least serviced, functioning and in good shape if you rely on one at all.

4) Frozen water pipes that are not baseboard... well this is what I spent today on. Luckily half of my house is Pex but for some reason when they installed it, they ran the lines in the unheated/uninsulated crawl space completely BARE. I watched this video, thought it was completely overkill, then said SCREW it. I'm bombproofing every single pipe exposed to the elements that I can. Every other pipe that I can access, I'm insulating because why the hell not. More piece of mind.

5) Lastly, as I rely more and more on the wood stove, I've decided to upgrade after this winter ends when I can a deal. The Efel Arden Harmony is beautiful, it does put out a lot of heat as well but with 2000 sqft of living space plus 30 ft ceilings, it just doesn't have the BTU's or burn times (4ish hours +) that I'm looking for. That said, if anyone has any suggestions, I'm looking for the most noticeable difference in heat output. Looking at Jotul F600 & Woodstock Progress Hybrid. Will add pictures of my home to help describe what I'm trying to heat.

Much of what I've learned so far has been from you guys and trolling the interwebs. Although hes not on here, I owe much of the pipe fixes to my journeyman plumbing brother and my wife for not leaving me when we lose our minds from bursting pipes and ruined weekends.

Sorry for the long winded venting but this has been my entire life the past month! THANKS GUYS!
Did I miss something or did you say how insulated your home is ?
 

theTroutlaw

Member
Feb 5, 2017
17
Northern NJ
Did I miss something or did you say how insulated your home is ?

I cannot tell what r value is behind the Sheetrock but it is there, I would assume r13/15 behind the walls but can’t say for sure. The roof is another story... there is absolutely zero access to see the roof insulation, no attic. Framing also looks to be double roofed as I have a skylight that is flush with the outside roof like but looks sunken 3 ft when looking up from my bedroom. Previous homeowner said “very well insulated roof, no idea what that means.

IMO the insulation of this house would get a grade or C, after I sealed a ton of draft points maybe a B-. I’ve noticed in the short work I’ve done that th house is already 3 degrees warmer running the wood stove and not changing any other variables


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