Friday, August 19, 2016

heat

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I hope the basement will be warmer this year because I have rebuilt the two basement windows in the house. There had been significant cold air coming in from the outside before this repair.

I am also planning to cut off heat to the sun room. It has a lot of big windows. A wonderful room in the summer. A wonderful room in the winter also but it must cost me a lot to heat it. I don't know how much but I would not be surprised if heating the sun room was 1/4 of my heat cost including fuel and electricity. Calling it a sun room in February here in Lion's Head is a gross misnomer. There is not much sun here in February.

I have replaced the operable sun room windows with nice thermopane but the large ones are single panes. This room has a bad air leak noticeable when the wind blows a certain direction and the door to the outside does not seal very well at the bottom.

So this winter, I plan to temporarily partition the sun room, including the forced air duct that feeds heated air to to its three floor vents. That duct is large (16x8 inches) and has no damper (air control valve) in it now. I would like to add one. A quicker fix is to block the three floor vents. There is no return air duct. Return air just flows back into the main house through a six foot wide open doorway.

I am not going to heat that room this winter. I will modify my behavior by doing without a whole room for the winter except for cold storage. I don't use the front door although I keep the snow clear from the door as an emergency exit so the partition will need to have a door.

Conservation is key to reducing my electrical usage. If I need less heat, I will use less electricity even though I use oil primarily. In my furnace, there are two hungry AC motors and the ignition which run while the furnace runs. I have not seen it on the smart meter yet. I'll be firing it up for a test run in the next few days.

I had installed a programmable thermostat a couple of years ago. My strategy was to go between two heat levels. One as low as I could stand for night (about 13C) and another for the daytime (about 18C). Thinking about my huge rate differential in the study leads me to a different strategy. Should I minimize during the peak times by keeping the same temperature (low) all day while creating a warmer room in the house (the work area or the sleep area) with a local portable electric heater?

With better insulation in the basement, no heat in the front room, it might even be possible for me to ride out the six hours of peak without running the heat? Like I do with the water heater, the fridge and the freezer. If that were possible, I could then have the night time temperature whatever I wanted, at least in electricity terms.

I have become quite interested in the technique of the Moody wall which I could use upstairs?

Thanks for your interest

George Plhak
Lion's Head, Ontario, Canada

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