Heating a house

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I have a 1700 square foot house on a crawl space foundation with the bedrooms on one end of the house and a living room/dining room/kitchen on the other. I have propane water and heat.
To make a long story short the living room/dining room/kitchen area stays colder than the rest of the house. I have had the system looked at and it is working fine.
I have a fire place "insert" with chimney. The house is about 6 years old. Wanted to put in a gas log but my gas bill is crazy. I have to get my tank filled up 3 or 4 times a year.
Debated putting in a wood burning stove as I remember having one when I was younger and they heated a house up quickly. But someone said i would probably have to change the chimney pipe ot the "double insulated kind" Not sure what that means. My chiney is at the end of my house and outside and covered with vyinle as is the entire house. Is changing the pipe something I could do myself?
What other options are there for me? I have even debated putting in those fake electric logs that put out heat but how much heat do they put out? Would it warm a small living room?
Any help is greatly appreciated!
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you might try an oil filled rollaround heater.
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What is that?
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Don wrote:

http://www.lowes.com/lkn?action=productDetail&productId$9077-33454-MG15T
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Increase wall, crawlspace, and attic insulation, cheapest in the long run.
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Don wrote:

Where is the thermostat located? Is it in the warm area or the cool area? Is there something about the cool area that makes it loose heat faster than the warm area (more windows, uninsulated door, etc.) or does the heat simply not get to the cool area?
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The warm area of the house is the beddrooms which are on one side. The living room is at the other end and is more "open". The thermostat is on the bedroom side.
The living room is the farthest form the furnance. The living room has more windows and doors.
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(snip)
Good thought. If the OP spends the most time in his living area, could make sense to move the thermostat there.
Given that my home sounds similar to the OP's, and I have similar problems, I have a question:
Would it be possible to have two thermostats in my home, which could supply one average reading that would trigger my HVAC system?
BTW, my thermostat is in the middle of the hallway where the bedrooms are.

Given that my home sound similar, I'll bet part of the problem is more windows, proximity of heat-producing kitchen appliances such as fridge, stove, and dishwasher, and air leaking through the chimney. And in my case, the living area is just so dang big that it's harder to heat or cool, compared to the bedrooms, which are smaller.

In my case, the heat gets to the living area, but it's never as warm as in the bedrooms. In summer, the situation is reversed, except it's worse: hot living area, cool bedrooms.
Hope nobody minds me interjecting my situation in my home. The OP's situation sounds so similar to mine that my experience may be relevant and/or I can learn something along with the OP from you other posters.
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N wrote:

Most heating systems work on a simple on/off switch triggered by the thermostat. I can think of a way to have each of them set to a different temperature and connected to an intermediate switch which would require both to be on before it would turn on the heating system but I can't see any benefit in doing that. A more complex system would continually sample the temperature reading at multiple locations and turn on the heat when the average (or weighted average) reached a specified value. That might have more benefit but I've not seen any such thing on the market. Maybe for a Johnson Controls type commercial system but not for homes. I think it would be less expensive to put in a second heating system.

That sounds like leakage/loss of temperature differential in the distribution system. Are the ducts insulated? (Assuming forced air because it does both heating and cooling.) Or maybe the total volume of warm air at the starting point isn't great enough?

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If this is consistant, then that just means that you have to arrange for more air to be delivered to and returned from the living area, and less to the bedrooms, until it's right.
You'd only need a separate heater or zone if either the error, or the desired relative temperature of the assorted spaces changed, at different times.
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<snip>
Gas logs are designed for aethestic purposes only. They are not designed for heating and are very inefficient at doing so.
When they are installed, it is a common practice to put a stop in the chimney damper, thus making it impossible to close the flue up. This is to prevent CO problems, but you then have a constant drain of heat from your house...straight up the chimney.
Jena
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snipped-for-privacy@comwares.net (JMartin) says...

The one my mom has is a completely enclosed glass front unit with a heat exchanger and air circulating fan. It is not too bad for efficiency, heating by both radiation and hot air. Of course, when the power goes out its efficiency drops way off, but it will still radiate enough heat to warm someone sitting in front of it.
I'm a real fan of 19th century technology. This got me to thinking about wing back chairs, which were designed to keep you warm facing a fireplace. I don't know anybody who owns one any more.
When I was in college, one place I rented had a gas heater that heated a vertical gas grill about a foot high and 18" wide. There were heat exchanger fins above that. The grill would glow bright red and put out a lot of heat, and the heat exchanger would scavenge what was left over. I have never seen anything like it since. It put out as much heat as a wood stove.
--
http://home.teleport.com/~larryc

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wrote:

I had one of those myself once upon a time. Nothing like coming in from a freezing winter day and sitting with that monster. Back in '94 we had a huge snowstorm that knocked the power out for days. My neighbors were out pulling up their wooden fence to burn for heat while we were comfy in the house. Sure miss the old timey simple things that just worked.
To the OP. Since you already have gas in the house look for a gas burning wall unit if you have space for it. You can get nonvented or vented and they both do a pretty good job though I prefer the vented because I am scared of possible carbon monoxide. These will also work without power so that gives you a source of heat in an emergency situation as well.
Steve B.
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(JMartin) says...

designed
Oh, we can tell that from here - no doubt your usenet access is via a telegraph wire connected to your Babbidge Difference Engine which is located in a room lit by coal gas lamps. It's obvious from the font.
What puzzles me is that a self-declared fan of 19th century technology and wing back chairs apparently doesn't own at least one himself, especially since they're so widely available at an astonishing range of prices.
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(snip)

Yep. Someone gave us our gas log as a gift, which I appreciate, but the gas log situation is exactly as you describe above.
I'd stuff some insulation up the chimney when the gas logs aren't in use, but that idea makes my wife nervous. So yearround, it's a hole in the house.
(snip)
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If its a ducted system, I might look into rebalancing the duct work so that not so much heat is going into the back bedrooms--lets face it, how much time do you spend in the bedrooms anyways ???
--
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Don wrote:

Yea, it is working fine. However was it properly sized, with a properly designed distribution system and installed properly? The answer is NO. If it was you would not have part of the house too cold!
You need to get a real tech in to look at the home and do the "Manuals" needed to find out what you need. You can not fix the problem with a bandaid.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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This is exactly the problem my parents' house has, and has had for the last 37 years. Not sure about the furnace being the wrong size, but the original AC did have to be replaced, and we were told it was indeed too small for the job.
My folks' place is a tri-level, and the heat goes right up the center stairwells. Closing off the bedrooms and the vents to these rooms has helped push some of the warm air toward the kitchen.
Also, keeping the garage door closed helps immensely, as it faces North and the garage is adjacent to the dining room. Additionally, stacking bales of straw along the outer walls of the kitchen and dining room help. A space heater has been the ultimate solution, if/when the oven is not being used.
Hopefully needless to say.....the flu to the fireplace Must be closed when the fireplace is not in use. Makes a Huge difference in the temperature of the house.
Regarding woodburners....I was told, just this last summer, that to put a woodstove into my polebarn would necessitate a *triple* insulated chimney, much more than what is required of a standard gas furnace. Big bucks, I was also told, altho I am not that sure that this contractor really wanted to do the job in the first place.
Assuming your place is adequately insulated, I would look for additional sources of heat loss. You are using a huge amount of gas.
ymmv... Linda H.
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If what you have in the fireplace is what is normally called an "insert", it IS a wood burning stove. Does it have a fan to circulate heat around the part hidden in the fireplace? Have you tried it? I used my insert last year for all the heat in my house.
In any case, opening the vents where it is cold, and partially closing those where it is not should help. Insulation additions will help more, and save $ also.
Bob
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wrote in message

And ... with any stove, if you run it much of the time with uncontrolled draft, you'll not get any efficiency. The impact will be determined by the difference between inside/outside temps, and we got not clue as to area climate.
IOW, as possible, close the doors; regulate the draft.
Then there are the issues of sealing at connection to flue and distributing heat from the insert, which can be hugely important. Later.
HTH, John
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