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!
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?
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.
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
BTW, my thermostat is in the middle of the hallway where the bedrooms
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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