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Old 09-21-2008, 10:26 AM   #1
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Best way to heat old house


Hello,
My house is located in central NY, it was built in the 1850's, It is 2700 square and has limited insulation. I have put in 28 new windows (good ones). I am presently using a oil fired (Thermopride) 185,000 btu unit (18 years old), but due to the price of oil, I am looking for a more efficient way of heating. I use about 1600 gallons per season. I do have natural gas feeding my house.

Do I put in a new efficient NG unit?

Do I install the Rinnai direct vent heaters

Do I invest in blown in insulation in the walls attic then wrap the house with another layer on insulation board then side it? then keep the oil unit?

Oh, also I have too kids in college, so I am not rich...
Thanks for any suggestions
Brian


Last edited by brian12345; 09-21-2008 at 10:34 AM. Reason: forgot to give location of house
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Old 09-21-2008, 11:58 AM   #2
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Best way to heat old house


You need to spend some money on insulating your house. Buying a different heating system is really not the route I would go. Not at first anyway.

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Old 09-21-2008, 12:58 PM   #3
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Best way to heat old house


youve started right by replacing the windows. You need to get the house insulated and air tight as possible before redoing the hvac. Blown in is the way to go. First go in attic and try to seal any and every crack you can see thats between the heated space (inside) and unheated (attic). Use spay foam and calk.Do the same for the exterior walls and floor. Stoping air infiltraion is as important if not more so than insulation.Then insulate. After all is done and your ready for a new hvac system it can now be sized correctly taking in consideration the amout of insulation and air infiltration you have. If your income is low enough there programs im my state that will do it all for free including the hvac. NY probably has one too.

Last edited by ididit; 09-21-2008 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 09-21-2008, 04:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ididit View Post
youve started right by replacing the windows. You need to get the house insulated and air tight as possible before redoing the hvac. Blown in is the way to go. First go in attic and try to seal any and every crack you can see thats between the heated space (inside) and unheated (attic). Use spay foam and calk.Do the same for the exterior walls and floor. Stoping air infiltraion is as important if not more so than insulation.Then insulate. After all is done and your ready for a new hvac system it can now be sized correctly taking in consideration the amout of insulation and air infiltration you have. If your income is low enough there programs im my state that will do it all for free including the hvac. NY probably has one too.
Thanks chris75 and ididit, I will start with the sealing up cracks and the insulation!
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Old 09-21-2008, 04:12 PM   #5
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Best way to heat old house


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Thanks chris75 and ididit, I will start with the sealing up cracks and the insulation!

Personally, I would sub this job out to someone with knowledge of foam, or blown in insulation products.
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:19 AM   #6
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Best way to heat old house


Definitely insulate, then evaluate your heat source.

Is the unit Hot air or Hot water? You will see significant savings on coverting to NG, but only if the the house is insulated.

Any chance for some type of aux heat? Wood Stove, etc.?
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:24 AM   #7
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Best way to heat old house


Oh, and get right on this. The longer you wait the worse it will be. I live in Northern NY and the morning temps are getting close to freezing (actually there in some places). I am in a similar boat in that I am replacing my 50 yr old oil furnace with NG. Have about a week to go. IN the act of converting though, my wood stove is also disabled, so I am trying to act as quickly as possible....

Good Luck!
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Old 09-23-2008, 03:31 PM   #8
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Best way to heat old house


Brian, I live in your area. Call Comfort Windows and ask for a free home energy audit. They will show up with an IR Scanner that will pinpoint where you need to seal and insulate.

All the previous suggestions are good, tighten your house as much as possible, then think about upgrading your heating system. When you get to that point NG is the lowest cost per btu for fossil fuel. Pellet stoves are so efficient these days you can just side vent them, and the cost per btu is comparable to wood. Wood stove are cheaper upfront are labor intensive, but some people just like the experience.

I would not recommend a tank-less water heater due to high initial cost, high repair costs due to complexity, potential plumbing upgrades, and dubious operational savings. For some with kids and high volume hot water needs they may pay for themselves. Get a normally vented NG hot water tank with the thickest insulation (3") and heat traps.
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Old 09-23-2008, 03:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by javan View Post
Definitely insulate, then evaluate your heat source.

Is the unit Hot air or Hot water? You will see significant savings on coverting to NG, but only if the the house is insulated.

Any chance for some type of aux heat? Wood Stove, etc.?
It is a warm air unit- no chance on the wood or pellet mabey pea/rice coal.

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