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Environment Climate Change, Pollution, Endangered Species, Industrial Agriculture, Degrading Habitats & Renewable Energy.

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  #1  
Old Jan 4th 2009, 12:14 AM
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Greendruid Greendruid is offline
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Wink Where's your thermostat at? How do you heat?

Just curious to see where people typically find their thermostat in the winter months. With it being in the dead of winter here in the northern hemisphere my days are a constant reminder of the bold steps our ancestors took with woolly mammoth cloaks and fire-starting rocks to enter what must have been a most inhospitable environment in China and Europe hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Our house temperature fluctuates with the outside due to the fact that we try to heat solely with wood and only have a fireplace insert at the moment. I've woken up some mornings to 9C (48F) in the coldest regions of the floor that the insert is on. Usually though it hovers between 12C (55F) and 19C (67F) when we're diligent about keeping the fire well fueled. We have a medium level of insulation in our 1960s farmhouse and a brand new electric furnace. The breaker to the furnace remains at off though - it's just for insurance purposes because wood heat is not considered a primary heat source here. There is a wood-fired forced air furnace in the basement but it is currently not hooked up to the chimney flue. That's my next project. Eventually we'll have a nice old fashioned cook stove in the kitchen because the insert and the furnace both require electricity to blow the hot air around. A cook stove is just radiant heat.

I'd love a masonry heater but our house is poorly designed to benefit from one. They also range from $10,000 to $30,000 to install depending on supplies and consultation and other adjustments to the structure of the house.

Believe it or not our house (and 60% of Nova Scotian homes) was heated with stove oil which is basically diesel fuel from what I understand. I had a 200 gallon bomb (oil tank) sitting beside my house and the insurance company charges less to insure that than a wood-fired furnace!!! I should point out the province is largely owned by the Irving family (trees, oil, paper, etc.).
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Old Jan 19th 2009, 11:26 PM
john john is offline
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Default Re: Where's your thermostat at? How do you heat?

I live in the perfect climate and my house has no heater nor A/C.

I do have a solar water heater though...
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Old Jan 20th 2009, 10:03 AM
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Default Re: Where's your thermostat at? How do you heat?

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I live in the perfect climate and my house has no heater nor A/C.

I do have a solar water heater though...
Go away. No one wants you in this discussion.

As for myself, my eerie in the sky sits at about 21/22 pretty 7/24/365, though in the summer it can get a bit warm during the day (don't use a/c - just wait for the midnight breeze to cool the place off).
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Old Jan 20th 2009, 11:47 AM
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Default Re: Where's your thermostat at? How do you heat?

I'm content as long as it's somewhere in the 60's, Fahrenheit. Usually, I tend toward the high end of that, since other people that come over are made uncomfortable if it's on the lower end.
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Old Jan 20th 2009, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: Where's your thermostat at? How do you heat?

We heat with wood. An airtight fireplace that takes up to 32" logs with fresh air intake keeps the place at 70-73 (F) during the days, I bank it at night and the temp drops to about 65-66. We also have an airtight propane fireplace w/fresh air intake in the master bedroom as my wife considers 80+ the ideal temp for watching TV in bed.

Oregon code requires all residential exterior walls be 6" thick with appropriate insulation. I did that and added a 2" sheath of insulation under the exterior siding.

We have a full HVAC system, electric, two actually, one for upstairs and one for downstairs, but never use it in cold weather. Friends who use electric HVAC systems for heat in similar sized residences report monthly heating costs of $4-800.
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Old Jan 20th 2009, 12:37 PM
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Default Re: Where's your thermostat at? How do you heat?

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Originally Posted by john View Post
I live in the perfect climate and my house has no heater nor A/C.

I do have a solar water heater though...
I lived in Hawaii for five years with no heater or A/C. In most cases only the condos there had HVAC systems.
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Old Jan 21st 2009, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: Where's your thermostat at? How do you heat?

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Originally Posted by Greendruid View Post
I'd love a masonry heater but our house is poorly designed to benefit from one. They also range from $10,000 to $30,000 to install depending on supplies and consultation and other adjustments to the structure of the house.
Yes, these things are amazing. It is essentially the same technology the Romans used for central heating 2000 years ago (they were smart enough to build the units right into the walls and floors).
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Old Jan 21st 2009, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: Where's your thermostat at? How do you heat?

We have a small dream of a small log house back in the woods of our place. A masonry heater will be the central starting point of the design of the place. They are indeed amazing things and simple as all hell - force the air flow to meander through an air-tight chamber with a few 180 turns and you have the most efficient source of heat and pollution available today. Why did we try to complicate this in the first place?

Self-sufficient electricity is the second consideration. If I place it next to the brook I might be able to generate some power from that but not enough for our current uses. However, the distance from that brook to the road would necessitate a horse commute to my car to get to work.

We'd keep the main house as a B&B.
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Old Jan 21st 2009, 12:20 PM
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Default Re: Where's your thermostat at? How do you heat?

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Originally Posted by Greendruid View Post
We have a small dream of a small log house back in the woods of our place. A masonry heater will be the central starting point of the design of the place. They are indeed amazing things and simple as all hell - force the air flow to meander through an air-tight chamber with a few 180 turns and you have the most efficient source of heat and pollution available today. Why did we try to complicate this in the first place?

Self-sufficient electricity is the second consideration. If I place it next to the brook I might be able to generate some power from that but not enough for our current uses. However, the distance from that brook to the road would necessitate a horse commute to my car to get to work.

We'd keep the main house as a B&B.
How about a combination of waterwheel, solar panel and a windmill? Even if all three are marginal sources, the combination might be sufficient.
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  #10  
Old Jan 21st 2009, 12:54 PM
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Greendruid Greendruid is offline
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Default Re: Where's your thermostat at? How do you heat?

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How about a combination of waterwheel, solar panel and a windmill? Even if all three are marginal sources, the combination might be sufficient.
Yeah, that was what I was thinking. It'll look like a regular little gnome's workshop out there!
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