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Author Topic:   Any HVAC experts around?
SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 43152
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 03-02-2005 10:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is there any quick and dirty charts to determine what BTU requirements a house needs or do I just have to do the math? I'd also like to calculate what my house should use for fuel. It's been very cold this year, but I think 190-200 gallons/month of propane for a superinsulated 960 square foot house is out of whack, even though we use it for cooking and drying clothes too.

I'm thinking it may make sense to replace my 1990 propane boiler with a more modern, more efficient unit, and I want to calculate the payback rate.

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'70 Mustang Mach 1 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 Open
'70 Mustang Convertible 250 I6/3 speed/2.79 Open
'72 Mustang Sprint Hardtop 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Loc
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip

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lyle29464
Gearhead

Posts: 962
From: Mt. Pleasant S.C.
Registered: Mar 2000

posted 03-02-2005 11:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lyle29464   Click Here to Email lyle29464     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would see if you can use a ground loop heat pump. If so It would save you about 50% average.

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70boss302
Gearhead

Posts: 371
From: Jeffersonville, NY USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 03-02-2005 11:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 70boss302   Click Here to Email 70boss302     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Super insulated is a relative term. You need a balance of insulation, ventilation, infiltration retarders and energy efficieant heating/cooling mechanicals.
Start with the basics.........drafts. Find them and stop them. Spider webs love to form around drafty areas of the house. Reason is that the drafts drag food into the spiders nest. Next is ventilation. If you are super insulated but not ventilated, you could have condensation in the walls and attic areas of your home and that could be worse than no insulation. Reason is that cool and damp materials absorb dry heat to neutralize themselves.Also, is your furnace eqipped with an electronic igniter? Your water heater? There is so much to do before you spend the big money on equipment.

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70 Boss 302, 71 429 Mach1, 86 RX7 GLX
02 Z06 Vette

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SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 43152
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 03-02-2005 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Heat pumps are never used around here, I don't think. I believe they are very ineffective at sub zero temperatures.

This house is tight, there are no drafts that I can think of. At doors and windows you feel nothing except for the glass and metal on the doors get cold. In fact it's so tight, too tight I often think, that if someone slams a door anywhere in the house you can feel it in your ear drums.

I know I have heat conduction through the windows and door, I meant to install storm doors last summer, but I kept putting it off. I would also like to see if I can get glass or plexiglass windows to go where my screens mount.

I should probably attack that front first come to think about it, rather than replacing the boiler. Although if I remember right, my Weil-McLain boiler was rated 87 efficient, and the Monitor boilers I'm looking at are claiming performance in the 92-97 range. {I wonder if that's like new cars that claim 27 mpg but only give you 20}

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'70 Mustang Mach 1 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 Open
'70 Mustang Convertible 250 I6/3 speed/2.79 Open
'72 Mustang Sprint Hardtop 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Loc
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip

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66fstbck
Gearhead

Posts: 275
From: Worthington, Pa. USA 16262
Registered: Feb 2000

posted 03-02-2005 04:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 66fstbck     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steve, I worked in HVAC in the Navy back in the early 70's but my steam heat and R-11, 12, and 22 experience won't help much here !!! Heat pumps I know, don't do much up our way either. I did buy a new Amana high efficiency gas furnace a few years back when we finally got gas service here. Sure beats the old oil unit !!! Biggest thing I can say about it is, the exhaust is PVC pipe and leaves the house at about 90 degrees as compared to the old exhaust that would burn the crap out of your hand if you touched it !!! So they are squeezing as much use out of the heat from the burners as they can.
I think the answer is to just drive south until someone asks what the heck that thing (snowplow) is on the front of your truck and then live there.

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Alan
66 Fastback
99 GT Convertible

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lyle29464
Gearhead

Posts: 962
From: Mt. Pleasant S.C.
Registered: Mar 2000

posted 03-02-2005 09:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lyle29464   Click Here to Email lyle29464     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
most heat pumps use outside air to get the heat from. I didnt think you can get much heat from that. I was talking about ground loop heat pumps. They get the heat from the ground 50 feet below your house.In most areas that is in the 50 to 65 deg range. this gives you a seer rate in the high teens.

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70boss302
Gearhead

Posts: 371
From: Jeffersonville, NY USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 03-03-2005 12:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 70boss302   Click Here to Email 70boss302     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Monitor kerosene furnaces are very efficient and go for about $2500 installed. You would cut your heat bill in 1/2........if not more!

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70 Boss 302, 71 429 Mach1, 86 RX7 GLX
02 Z06 Vette

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SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 43152
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 03-03-2005 08:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Blah, no kerosene for me. I like stinkfree living. I'm looking for something that burns propane.

Lyle, I know you were referring to ground loop system. I believe the ground maintains 58 degrees below the frost line. But in an area that can see -25 or -30 below zero, that frost line can get down there.

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'70 Mustang Mach 1 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 Open
'70 Mustang Convertible 250 I6/3 speed/2.79 Open
'72 Mustang Sprint Hardtop 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Loc
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip

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70boss302
Gearhead

Posts: 371
From: Jeffersonville, NY USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 03-03-2005 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 70boss302   Click Here to Email 70boss302     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With the Monitor, there is no odor in the house. It is vented to the outside and draws air from the outside as well. The reason you use Kero is because the tank is usually outdoors and subject to low temperatures. The Monitor should heat your entire house all Winter for about $400! No smell, no mess, and no money going up the chimney!

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70 Boss 302, 71 429 Mach1, 86 RX7 GLX
02 Z06 Vette

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SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 43152
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 03-03-2005 10:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know people that have monitor kerosene heaters. No thanks. I don't want any tanks or heaters sticking out of the wall, and I grew up in a house partially heated with a kerosene stove, so I'm not eager to go back to that.

I already have a functioning propane hydroponic heating system, I just want to make that system more efficient. I am looking at a Monitor boiler, though, like the Model MZ25C: http://www.savemoreonheat.com/residential_products/default.asp

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'70 Mustang Mach 1 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 Open
'70 Mustang Convertible 250 I6/3 speed/2.79 Open
'72 Mustang Sprint Hardtop 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Loc
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip

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SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 43152
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 03-03-2005 11:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 66fstbck:
I did buy a new Amana high efficiency gas furnace a few years back when we finally got gas service here. Sure beats the old oil unit !!! Biggest thing I can say about it is, the exhaust is PVC pipe and leaves the house at about 90 degrees as compared to the old exhaust that would burn the crap out of your hand if you touched it !!! So they are squeezing as much use out of the heat from the burners as they can.

My vent is stainless steel, but I don't think it comes out that hot either. I ought to see what temps come out of it.

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'70 Mustang Mach 1 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 Open
'70 Mustang Convertible 250 I6/3 speed/2.79 Open
'72 Mustang Sprint Hardtop 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Loc
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip

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66fstbck
Gearhead

Posts: 275
From: Worthington, Pa. USA 16262
Registered: Feb 2000

posted 03-03-2005 01:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 66fstbck     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Your flue is probably a double wall type with a space in between so you won't get an accurate temp. reading unless you can check it before it enters the flue. Maybe inside the furnace cover.

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Alan
66 Fastback
99 GT Convertible

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N266fords
Gearhead

Posts: 1404
From: Spokane ,WA USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 03-04-2005 02:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for N266fords   Click Here to Email N266fords     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steve if you have nat. gas go with a 90% furnace that has 2 pvc pipes also you can check on an ERV to bring in the fresh air you can also add a 14-17 seer rated heatpump like carrier for when the temps are above 37 degrees you have to run a dual fuel set-up so not to burn fuel while running ac or heatpump. this would be the most effective without going GEO-thermal ground source heat pumps which as stated above is very effient. waterfurnace is the best for geo-thermal but costly to install if you have to drill. do you have a large body of water cause you can use that to extract the heat from as well Montana does it all the time..
Hope this Helps Bruce Williams A.A.S. in HVAC/R

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SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 43152
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 03-04-2005 11:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No, for the 2-3 weeks a year we actually use A/C our window unit is fine.

I'm just going to install storm doors and windows this summer and see where I'm at then.

Thanks all for your input.

Now, back to my original question, does anyone know of BTU requirements and average heat consumption for specific house type charts?

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'70 Mustang Mach 1 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 Open
'70 Mustang Convertible 250 I6/3 speed/2.79 Open
'72 Mustang Sprint Hardtop 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Loc
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip

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N266fords
Gearhead

Posts: 1404
From: Spokane ,WA USA
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 03-04-2005 02:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for N266fords   Click Here to Email N266fords     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes steve I can do a heat gain or in your case a heat loss on the house. What type of walls 2X4 or 2X6 what type of insulation any vapor barrier? what is the contruction slab on grade or partial basement 2 story/split level ect. type of roof. Type of attic insulation. size and type of windows which ones face north, south, ect. are there tall trees for shading ect. I would need your location as well and the square footage of each level also if your have an attached garage and if its heated, I thought you said befor you use electric heat in the shop.
Thank you,
Bruce Williams
just email me with any questions or the info I asked for.
Also inportant is how many fireplaces do you have and if your water heater is gas fired?
give me all this and I have all the info to give you how many btu you need on the coldest day to keep you warm..Bruce

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74merc
Gearhead

Posts: 1006
From: Demopolis AL
Registered: Jun 99

posted 03-06-2005 12:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 74merc   Click Here to Email 74merc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SteveLaRiviere:
No, for the 2-3 weeks a year we actually use A/C our window unit is fine.

Wow... I actually had to run my AC for two weeks in December...

No doubt about it, I would die a miserable death up there...

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70boss302
Gearhead

Posts: 371
From: Jeffersonville, NY USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 03-06-2005 05:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 70boss302   Click Here to Email 70boss302     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can take the cold far better than I can take the heat of Summer!

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70 Boss 302, 71 429 Mach1, 86 RX7 GLX
02 Z06 Vette

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SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 43152
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 03-06-2005 06:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We've had years we didn't put in the A/C at all. Didn't need it. From about the beginning of May to late September the weather around here is perfect. As long as you can stand December to April, you have it made.

I couldn't stand living where you HAD to have A/C. I even go out of my way to make sure my cars don't have it. The only vehicle we have with A/C is Pam's car, and that's because it's just an appliance.

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'70 Mustang Mach 1 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 Open
'70 Mustang Convertible 250 I6/3 speed/2.79 Open
'72 Mustang Sprint Hardtop 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Loc
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip

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Big D
Gearhead

Posts: 5133
From: WELLS, NEVADA USA
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 03-06-2005 10:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Big D   Click Here to Email Big D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Steve,,

Here's a link to HEAT LOSS CALCULATIONS,, put together by CADET Electric Heaters.. Looks like all you have to do is plug in your location,, insulation levels,, windows,, etc..

http://www.cadetco.com/heatloss.php

How high are your Electric Rates compared to Natural Gas/Propane.. Basically you can convert all energy sources into BTU's per their units of measurement.. Then figure the efficiency of the system you are looking at.. If your duct work isn't insulated,, means big loss in efficiency..
Anyway,, you can take how much it costs to heat your house now (amount of KWH,, Gallon,, Cubic Ft.,, etc)and apply those figures to various heating sources..

I'm emailing you a "Builder's Field Guide" for Super Good Cents Homes.. It's written so that the common person can understand how an energy efficientit house should be built.. It's a large PDF file,, so be prepared for it..

There are some new electric heaters that people really like and studies show because they put off both radiant heat and convection heat,, and their comfort factor is so high that they are rated higher than 100%.. Electric Resistance heat is 100% effecient.. These heaters are called COVE HEATERS and they are installed a few inches from the ceiling,, pointing down at about a 45 degree angle,, because people don't live on the ceiling..

If you have an area,, such as your living room that isn't as warm as you like it,, they'd be a great supplimental heat source to add comfort to that area.. Easy to install,, and don't let them talk you into baseboard.. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING..

Here's a link that tells about them..

http://www.radiantsystemsinc.com/
and another link where you can get the results of a study telling about the comfort factor..
mailto:[email protected]?subject=report

Best thing to do if you want to learn more about them is to do a search on the web for "Electric Cove Heaters"..

A note on Heat Pumps.. They're only as good as their total installation.. It's a lot like a race car,, if everything is not designed to work together,, it will never run to it's potential..

http://www.aceee.org/consumerguide/topcashp.htm

Is that what you needed..

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Don
6T6 Fastback
331 STROKER, T-5

Royal Blue Metallic w/SoonToBeNewAndImprovedFlames
http://mustangsandmore.50megs.com/MembersPics/BigD.html
First Time out..
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[This message has been edited by Big D (edited 03-06-2005).]

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SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 43152
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 03-07-2005 07:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, excellent info. Thank you, Don!

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'70 Mustang Mach 1 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 Open
'70 Mustang Convertible 250 I6/3 speed/2.79 Open
'72 Mustang Sprint Hardtop 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Loc
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip

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ewokeric
Gearhead

Posts: 216
From: woodbridge, va united states
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 03-07-2005 06:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ewokeric   Click Here to Email ewokeric     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
hey steve i work for a hvac company and a good rule of thumb is 40 btu's per square foot for a tight house and 50 btu's for a loose house

figure one ton is 12,000btus

i hope this is what you are looking for, as for heat pumps the new ones work good down to about 40 degrees and then they don't do much the best configeration is to have a heat pump with gas back up or as emergency heat this envoles some contorl work but works well
so a 1000 spft house would need some where in the neighbor hood of 40,000 btu output of your furnace personally i would go not less than 60,000 just as a per caution for those cold days, the other way to go is a 2 stage gas furnace like i have. the first stage of mine is 54,000, and second stage kicks it up to 80,000 and it usually runs on first stage and also getting a electronic tstat that you can program will save you some as well you can set is back when nobody is home. Again i hope this helps

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68 mustang coupe(california special)not real though but looks it(will be nice) 351w/c4
My 68 Coupe
[url=http://mustangsamdmore.50megs.com/ewokeric.html]

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SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 43152
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 03-07-2005 06:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere   Click Here to Email SteveLaRiviere     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, that helps alot. Our house is 960 square feet, so I should look for something about 50-60k BTUs.

Yeah, a heat pump that punks out at 40 wouldn't be good here, we've gotten 80 degrees colder than that. When we get much below zero our current unit has a hard time keeping up, and I think we have a 42k BTU unit now.

That 2 stage sounds like a smart set up.

Thanks!

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'70 Mustang Mach 1 351C 4V/FMX/3.25 Open
'70 Mustang Convertible 250 I6/3 speed/2.79 Open
'72 Mustang Sprint Hardtop 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Loc
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip

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