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ezrasuncle 12-08-2008 11:40 PM

Do I need to heat the mud room if I'm using a wood stove?
First time home buyer, and just moved into our NH house and starting to get the cold. We are using a wood stove as much as possible to heat the house. We have a mud room that is connected to the forced hot water heating system used in the rest of the house. We've been closing off the mud room since it's seems a waste to heat it, especially since it's not well insulated.

My fear now is that if the forced hot water never turns on because we have the wood stove going, is there a chance the pipes could freeze in the mud room. Do we need to keep the mud room door open and heat it so the pipes in there don't freeze??? thanks!

beenthere 12-09-2008 03:19 AM

They could freeze.
Generally, the outdoor temp has to be arond 20F or lower, for the pipes to freeze.

donimbimbo 12-09-2008 06:00 AM

NH like Vermont gets pretty cold. If the pipes for the baseboard heat do freeze they could split. Since they may be located inside walls, it could be an expensive repair. You might want to call a heating contractor and see if you are able to turn on your main circulator pump when it gets really cold. This will keep water circulating through the system and its unlikely to freeze.

Marvin Gardens 12-09-2008 09:06 AM

Put a thermometer in the mud room and keep an eye on it so you get an idea of what the temperature gets in there.

Something like an Oregon Scientific with a remote sensor would be best. It has high and low tracking so you can see what it does during the day and how cold it gets at night. Some models will allow up to 3 remote units while others allow up to 10. Put an outside one on the mud room and one inside the mud room. Over time you can see just how much heat is transferred from the house to the mud room and how the outside temperature affects it. Tracking the temperature is the best thing you can do because it gives you information. With this information you can see if the pipes are in danger of freezing or not.

SKIP4661 12-09-2008 11:16 AM

Have your hydronic system drained and refilled with a glycol (anti-freeze} solution. Never have to worry about a system freeze up.

beenthere 12-09-2008 11:23 AM


Originally Posted by SKIP4661 (Post 195997)
Have your hydronic system drained and refilled with a glycol (anti-freeze} solution. Never have to worry about a system freeze up.

Makes the system less efficient if he ever wants to use it for heat again.
Since glycol will lower the BTU output.

ezrasuncle 12-09-2008 03:06 PM

How less efficient? I assume it would be more efficient than heating that room all winter long? I came across constant circulation of the water in the pipes. I don't see any way to turn that on with my Smith Series 8 boiler. Is that a function one can add? But I wonder how energy efficient THAT is. Is that run on electric or the boiler?

beenthere 12-09-2008 05:00 PM

A small electric baseboard is a realatively cheap method.

Running the circ, only uses electric to run the circ.
Plus removes some heat from the house. Using wood, you won't notice it too much.

Depends how much glycol you use.
Could be 10%, or 40% increase in heating cost if and when you use the boiler.

dac122 12-10-2008 12:00 PM


Originally Posted by beenthere (Post 196101)
A small electric baseboard is a realatively cheap method.

Or even a plug-in space heater. Depending on the size of the mud room it might just do the trick to temper it from freezing.

biggles 12-10-2008 05:54 PM

on that mud room door any chance to cut a louver in so you can crack it during the winter instead of leaving it open.a 250 watt flood light will do the trick as a heat load but it will be prety bright in their.i do commercial HVAC in NYC and when they fill those big wooden tanks on the roofs in the winter they hang a 100 watt bulb just above the water within the tank, and it never freezes with the wind chill!small run of elecrtic baseboard on the exterior wall check out the website

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