older homes in cold weather

I'm noticing in upstate NY, zero or subzero weather and just wonder how the older homes handle these temps? Does your heater constantly run? Pipes stay safe? Etc... Do you have to do anything special to your home for these kinda temps?
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wrote:

It only got to 1F here last night, so the furnace doesn't even run 25% of the time. It is sized for 20 below- which we hit every few of years.
My house is 120 yrs old or so-- but the oldest window is 15 years old- and I've insulated it to or beyond modern specs over the past 30 years.
My neighbor, a bachelor, has a similar house, with original windows and no insulation. He 'camps out' all winter in one room with a kerosene heater. I like my way better.
Jim
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wrote:

Wow, interesting. Yeah I like your way better too. Thanks.
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One friend of mine near the PA line, near Binghamton. Had her water line freeze, a day or two ago.
I've been OK. It's been miserable cold. I was out tonight, and it was cold in the truck, took a long time to warm up.
My residence is a 1974 trailer, three bedrooms. A couple friends and I blew some cellulose into the ceiling. Used to have huge icicles, from the heat loss. When I took out my old furnace, in 2004, it was 80k BTU. I had a choice of 70 or 90, and glad I chose 70. Actually, for here, 70k may be too much. I havn't paid a lot of attention as to the duty cycle. I put in a 90 percenter, hope that saved some bucks. Took out an 80 percenter. I also use a humidifier, which uses a couple gal of water each day.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
wrote:

It only got to 1F here last night, so the furnace doesn't even run 25% of the time. It is sized for 20 below- which we hit every few of years.
My house is 120 yrs old or so-- but the oldest window is 15 years old- and I've insulated it to or beyond modern specs over the past 30 years.
My neighbor, a bachelor, has a similar house, with original windows and no insulation. He 'camps out' all winter in one room with a kerosene heater. I like my way better.
Jim
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On 1/23/2013 6:57 PM, Jim Elbrecht wrote:

Probably one of those that "doesn't smell and you don't even know it is running" deals?
That seemed to be a fad around here maybe 10 years ago. The things stink no matter how much you imagine they don't. As a bonus you get to deal with frozen pipes in the underheated spaces.
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wrote:

We had one thirty years ago. We were able to keep our pipes from freezing, once, when the boiler crapped out. We ran it, and one borrowed from a friend, for over 24 hours until we could get the boiler serviced.
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wrote:

Nope. Just pay the heat bill.
In really cold weather, (<-20F) the furnace may run continuously or nearly so but that's also true here in the South when it gets down to +20F. Basically, the heating systems are sized for the expected temperatures.
Pipes can freeze but mainly because something isn't built right (water service or hyrdonic heating systems in exterior walls or worse, in cantilevered floors/walls). In a properly built house this doesn't happen, unless the heating system is down (pay the bill).
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Hi there! Although I know you are quite knowledgeable with conservatories, I would like to add a few information. 1)Winters are a good time to to build your own conservatory for it is the best time to rest. 2)If your conservatory has a right foundation, you will not feel the cold temperature outside. 3)Lastly, it will keep the boiler heat insulated.
If you want to know more about conservatories, I can share with you all the information I have. Keep in touch!
--
sophiahayes713


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wrote:

Really depends on insulation, insulation value of construction materials, and how air tight it's built. Type of windows make a big difference. Pipes are always ok if they're in heated spaces, and always freeze if left bare in unheated space. I've been surprised at how low my heating bills have been in my last 2 uninsulated brick houses. The ranch I'm in now has attic batts, and that's it. I did put in all thermal pane windows, but good storm windows are almost as good. More hassle putting up/taking down. Pretty easy to track heat loss and address it in most houses. The expense and payback can widely vary. My brick ranch is 54 years old, and it would cost more to insulate the outside walls with 3-4" than the much older stick house I grew up in. Besides replacing the drywall, I'd have to restud, and box the windows and doors. Never seriously considered it. Pulling the drywall, and putting in foam panels is an option, but haven't looked hard at that either. Wouldn't get much R-value, because the panels would be only about 3/4" thick. The air in there already has some R value. The old stick houses with clapboard siding like I grew up in were usually drafty. We didn't walk around half naked in the winter. But when money is tight, you adjust to all that. You can insulate any house - if you have the money. But going after drafts always has a high payoff.
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On 1/23/2013 5:26 PM, Doug wrote:

I think it is less usual to find older homes that weren't retrofitted with better insulation etc. So if they did a good job there isn't much difference compared to a newer house.
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On 1/24/2013 5:34 PM, George wrote:

I live in a subdivision built in 1968 outside of Toronto. The home builder here was known for illegally under insulating homes (walls) and ours is one of them but to be honest you can't tell. As long as the drafts are cut down on the west and north walls where the wind can't blow inside things are fine. When I first moved in here i found drafts along the inside corners from lousy drywall joints and simply putting up new beading and mud eliminated the drafts and raised the temperature.
Getting rid of the 1968 single sheet garage door and installing an r16 insulated garage door raised the temperatures in the rooms above the garage by 2 C but the real savings came in summer cause it cost less to cool those same rooms down as well.
We can get a week or two at a time where the temperature will never rise above freezing and I spend more time worrying about warming up the wifes car than I do heating the house.
Now let me tell you what it was like growing up in a 100 year old Canadian wooden farmhouse that was on top of a 400 foot hill that was heated by wood furnace that never ran at night, then having to wake up at 5 am to start farm chores before school....
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Made you really appreciate warm siblings?
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Now let me tell you what it was like growing up in a 100 year old Canadian wooden farmhouse that was on top of a 400 foot hill that was heated by wood furnace that never ran at night, then having to wake up at 5 am to start farm chores before school....
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