How do you heat where you live?

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How do you heat where you live?

#1  Postby The_Metatron » Oct 25, 2018 4:30 pm

We live in a single floor, detached house, about 2400 square feet (222 square meters). The building is heated and cooled by a ducted heat pump system.

It rarely gets so hot we need to use it to cool the house. We’ve had sultry summer nights when there was a lot o smoke from wildfires, and we used it. Nice to have, if we need it.

It also heats our house. Where we live, it’s a good choice. Our temperatures won’t get so extremely cold that the heat pump can’t keep up. Our electricity is 95% hydroelectric and pretty inexpensive, just under six cents a kilowatt-hour.

We have a supplementary heater, too. A wood pellet stove.

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I was dubious about this thing when we bought the place. I was wrong about that. These things are fucking great.

Wood, regardless of species, has about the same energy density by weight. The pellets we get are made from Douglas fir waste. They come in 40 pound (18 kg) bags, and cost between five and six bucks a bag. I paid attention this year and bought an entire ton (50 bags) from the local lumber yard, and got them for $4.35 a bag.

Image

It’s really a little blast furnace that burns pellets. There’s a combustion fan that blows air from underneath a grate onto which the pellets are dropped, a few at a time. Since it’s a forced air ventilated flame, it burns much hotter than if it burned normally (if you could even get pellets to burn without forced air). And, it produces far less ash.

There’s a timed heater for the combustion air, which is used to ignite the pellets when we start the stove. It takes about a minute to light. Shutting it down is as easy as stopping the feed motor. The fuel in the grate burns up and the flame goes out. The circulating fan keeps running until the stove is cool. Super easy to use.

Last winter, I had to replace the feed motor. This summer, I replaced the impeller on the combustion fan. The impeller blades had eroded away from the heat and oxidation to the point that the fan was unbalanced and noisy. Instead of replacing the entire combustion fan assembly for $200, I found the impeller itself, and replaced that for fifteen bucks. I didn’t even try to remove the old impeller normally, it was welded to the fan motor shaft by years of heat and corrosion. I used an angle grinder to grind the impeller collet off of the shaft. Sweet result, the stove is much quieter now.

The chimney is a double walled, insulated pipe that vents outside the wall. It doesn’t need a full chimney installed onto the house.

I highly recommend one of these stoves.


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Re: How do you heat where you live?

#2  Postby Alan B » Oct 25, 2018 4:42 pm

Gas central heating with a boiler in the loft.

I would like a wood burner (yours looks great), but they are frowned upon here in t'city.

Besides, it would be just for show...

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Re: How do you heat where you live?

#3  Postby laklak » Oct 25, 2018 4:42 pm

Ducted heat pumps (2) with resistance strips if it gets too cold, which it never does. Our electricity is $0.12 a kilowatt hour, so twice yours. Solar is about the only renewable source here, we're too flat for hydro, wind is too variable, and tidal range is low. We have an LPG fireplace, we light it on Christmas Eve. It would work fine for emergency heat.
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Re: How do you heat where you live?

#4  Postby Alan B » Oct 25, 2018 4:53 pm

Gas central heating with a boiler in the loft.

I would like a wood burner (yours looks great), but they are frowned upon here in t'city.

Besides, it would be just for show...

Where did you get the London bus from?
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Re: How do you heat where you live?

#5  Postby Alan B » Oct 25, 2018 4:59 pm

That's strange.
I posted the above a few moments ago before laklak. Doing a 'newposts' only showed laklaks. So I 'back arrowed' copied my post and re-posted after laklak.

Ah, got it, there are duplicate threads.
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Re: How do you heat where you live?

#6  Postby zulumoose » Oct 25, 2018 5:05 pm

Heating, what's that?

Build in Durban, never heat again.
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Re: How do you heat where you live?

#7  Postby The_Metatron » Oct 25, 2018 5:34 pm

laklak wrote:Ducted heat pumps (2) with resistance strips if it gets too cold, which it never does. Our electricity is $0.12 a kilowatt hour, so twice yours. Solar is about the only renewable source here, we're too flat for hydro, wind is too variable, and tidal range is low. We have an LPG fireplace, we light it on Christmas Eve. It would work fine for emergency heat.

Our house in Oregon had a couple of those LPG fireplaces. The one in the living room was too noisy to run when it’s fan activated. The one in the bedroom was a nice mood setter.
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Re: How do you heat where you live?

#8  Postby laklak » Oct 25, 2018 5:34 pm

In Swaziland we use little space heaters in each room, I've never seen a central heating system. Strange, because at least in Mbabane it gets bloody cold.
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Re: How do you heat where you live?

#9  Postby The_Metatron » Oct 25, 2018 5:36 pm

Alan B wrote:Gas central heating with a boiler in the loft.

I would like a wood burner (yours looks great), but they are frowned upon here in t'city.

Besides, it would be just for show...

Where did you get the London bus from?

We’d buy a tin whenever we took our holidays in Scotland.
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Re: How do you heat where you live?

#10  Postby Fallible » Oct 25, 2018 7:17 pm

Radiators from a gas boiler, like 99.9999% in the UK.
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Re: How do you heat where you live?

#11  Postby Hermit » Oct 25, 2018 7:41 pm

Air conditioner. I use it when the inside temperature exceeds 28°C or so, which isn't often because my home is well insulated. In winter I chuck it in reverse when the temperature drops below about 12, which isn't often either. I actually have three split systems and a ducted evaporative machine, but have used only the small one in the study in the past seven years. Electricity prices are extortionate here at 32 cents/kWh. South Australia is making good progress with wind farms and photovoltaic plants. I expect rates to actually decrease in the next few years. Kitchen and bathrooms run on gas. That's another $100+ per quarter.
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Re: How do you heat where you live?

#12  Postby Animavore » Oct 25, 2018 7:48 pm

Jog on the spot.
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Re: How do you heat where you live?

#13  Postby Hermit » Oct 25, 2018 8:30 pm

Animavore wrote:Jog on the spot.

Summer is a bigger problem. When the temperature outside exceeds 40°C for too many days, indoors will eventually get on the wrong side of 28. Jogging on the spot is not as useful then as you might think. ;)
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Re: How do you heat where you live?

#14  Postby Fallible » Oct 25, 2018 8:48 pm

I think Ani was saying what he does.
John Grant wrote:They say 'let go, let go, let go, you must learn to let go'.
If I hear that fucking phrase again, this baby's gonna blow
Into a million itsy bitsy tiny pieces, don't you know,
Just like my favourite scene in Scanners .
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Re: How do you heat where you live?

#15  Postby Animavore » Oct 25, 2018 8:53 pm

Yep. :lol:
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Re: How do you heat where you live?

#16  Postby scott1328 » Oct 25, 2018 9:20 pm

Heat pump (backed up by natural gas for the winter months) in a forced air central heating system.
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Re: How do you heat where you live?

#17  Postby Macdoc » Oct 25, 2018 9:47 pm

high efficiency natural gas with some electric support since our computers heat the house a fair bit.

I use a Dyson hot/cold fan/heater

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Neat tech ...lets me reduce both whole house heating and whole house air conditioning and does a wicked job on particulates. I wake up breathing clear.'
We're on a flight path so the house is tighter than most for sound proofing so that's good for hvac. Always hard to to get the basement balanced against the rest of the house.

Want some more fans in place.

In Australia...no heating at all which on a few days of the year is a challenge. Fans rule in Aus
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Re: How do you heat where you live?

#18  Postby Hermit » Oct 26, 2018 2:18 am

Macdoc wrote:Fans rule in Aus

Oh yes! I forgot about them. When I bought The Hermitage it had four noisy, out of balance ceiling fans. Now there are nine smoothly turning, quiet ones. I'd have one air conditioner or other adding CO2 to the atmosphere for multiple more hours without them than they actually do.
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Re: How do you heat where you live?

#19  Postby kiore » Oct 26, 2018 3:19 am

Some sort of crazy steam cast iron radiator fired by something like carbonized baby seal eyes, serenades me to sleep with banging and rattling. Blasts tropical heatwaves when not required, needing the window aircon box to be activated to make life tolerable. When actually seriously cold like last January when it dropped to -17 C it doesn't work at all, I bubble wrapped my windows and slept in a pullover/sweater made of merino/silk. My building dates from the 1860's so no heating built in at all, suppose my tiny 35sm apartment used to house 30+ people then as am immigrant tenement which may have generated some human heating but was probably seriously nasty cold then too.
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Re: How do you heat where you live?

#20  Postby The_Metatron » Oct 26, 2018 3:43 am

Fallible wrote:Radiators from a gas boiler, like 99.9999% in the UK.

Mine in Belgium was radiators from an oil fired boiler, but gas were more common.
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