Heating Question

Discussion in 'DIY / Self Sufficiency' started by goathill, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. goathill

    goathill Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2012
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    We moved to a new homestead in NE Ohio in August, and are slowly making improvements to the property for self-sufficiency. We're currently looking at options to add wood heating to the house, as currently, we only have electric heating and want an alternative form of heat for the eventual snow storms and possible power outages. There's no natural gas run to the property, nor are there any existing gas lines to the house that would allow us to use a propane tank. Previous owners had a wood stove removed from the house and walled in the old chimney, so we're looking at having that chimney access restored and putting in a new wood stove.

    What are the best options for small-scale, temporary heating while we're working on getting wood heat? I've looked at kerosene heaters, but the house is REALLY air-tight, so I'm not sure that's the best option.
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Welcome to the new world of rural, self sufficiency!!!

    Same boat here. We bought this place 4 years ago off the repo market. Very rural. Only choices were propane and/or electric. Since we had the gardens to work on establishing, fencing, barns to build, the house to repair, etc, etc, it was a weary list of what must come first. Finally, finally this summer, I pulled the plug on the propane. The cost here was bankrupting and no longer a real option.

    Got the hearth in and the stove. Not that bad of a job and WOW, the warmth is terrific. Of course, firewood heats you three times, as the old saying goes. Yes, it is work. But the savings and benefits make a natural part of rural life.

    So for what it is worth? I'd push up the wood stove, in retrospect, to a much higher priority. Everything is screaming, "Do ME now", so it tends to compete with all the other needs in building a homestead. Had it to do over again? I'd likely have put it to the very, very top of the to do list.

    Meanwhile limp along with inexpensive devices, such as those oil filled radiator electric heaters. They are inexpensive to buy and do a great job. But they'll spin your meter!!!
    If you choose to put in an LP heater, do put in a vent type. The unvented create a ton of water vapor and say what you want, there's got to be residue from burning LP in a well sealed house with an unvented or ventfree device.

    Best of luck to you as you adventure on.


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  3. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    When did we get a DIY section? :D Cool!

    I have had every form of heat known. Electric in 1 house, Oil, Natural gas, wood, heat pump.. Hands down wood heat feels the best. It's nice to know that if the power goes out, you won't freeze to death - which is important when you have temperatures that can get to -40 in February.

    Right now we have wood as well as electric if we are feeling lazy. Wood is not for those who don't want to work for it. It take a lot of time. I'm sure you know this. We've lived in this house since April, and I've finally mastered the art of making a fire. It's so toasty warm when it's going. The heat feels very inviting. Like a blanket wrapping you after a long day's work.. However.. I hate waking up cold.. If you have only wood - you will wake up cold unless you wake up to feed the fire. When you get home from work it is freezing! I also do not like that very much :p

    I think the most energy efficient heating we had was the heat pump. They are expensive though, and it was a lot of upkeep. At least for our heat pump...
     
  4. goathill

    goathill Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    We have a heat pump now, and while it's no question that the wood heat is a high priority, I'm concerned we'll have a storm before the project is complete, so I want something for an emergency. Two little kids in the house and all. :D

    Thanks for the feedback on wood heating, over all, though! We have a lot of trees, and live in an area where access to cheap slab wood is plentiful.
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Propane heaters (unvented) or Kerosene heaters are bleh, OK, and necessary in an emergency. But, the longer term effects of the polluted air in a sealed up house? Not so great. Folks complain of mold growing, headaches, respiratory issues, etc.

    Anything works in an emergency. Longer term, if wood is your desire, it is very hard to beat. Best wishes to you on your endeavors.
     
  6. goathill

    goathill Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Thanks!
     
  7. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have two wood stoves in our house and absolutely love them. Yes, at times we get too hot or too cold, especially this time or year when Mother Nature can't decide if it is going to be cold or warm outside. Which is why we still have our furnace as a back-up. We typically loose power 5-6 times per winter, sometimes for a day or two.

    I like that our woodstove has a flat top that I can make a pot of soup or stew on. My sisters and mom were visiting last April when a snowstorm hit and closed the roads for the weekend. Of course we lost power for a day also. Sis showed me how to make baking powder biscuits on the woodstove to go with the stew I made for supper. It was like we were little again and spending a weekend at our cabin in the Wisconsin northwoods.

    Alot of our neighbors have pellet stoves, which are very good at getting an even heat from. Newer models are coming out that have programmable thermostats and even battery backup for when the power goes out. Pellets are not too terribly expensive around here, but you do have to buy them. We spend a good amount of time cutting, hauling, splitting, stacking, hauling, and stoking the fire, so I'm not sure I would say our wood is free, because my time is worth something also and we have to buy gas for the truck, chainsaws, splitter and atv we use for hauling wood to the house. We just pay ourselves in heat and saving on gym fees mostly.
     
  8. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nice installation Fred's Hens.
    Is that a Quadra Fire?
     
  9. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    The stove? It is simply a US Stove. We hope to upgrade it by next year.

    The false wall allows air to cool the wall and also allows closer clearance of the installation. I used aluminum studs to hold it off the back wall, covered it with 1/2 rock board, then tiled. As you can see, it is help up 8" on the bottom to allow for air to enter. It stops 10" short of the ceiling to allow warmer air to exit. Convection does all the work.


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    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  10. erinszoo

    erinszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Central Oklahoma
    Not sure that this is what you're asking about but have you looked into rocket mass heaters stoves for burning wood? We built one in our greenhouse in one day. It uses very little wood, has a mass element to retain and release heat slowly and evenly, and has almost no emissions, just steam and a little co2. I growing tomatoes, summer squash, and green beans in my greenhouse even with below freezing temps. If we had the place to build one into the house we'd do it in an instant. These aren't the same as just rocket stoves which are meant for cooking, although you can cook on these too.
     
    1 person likes this.

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