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  1. #41
    Elite Member Redneck in training's Avatar
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    South Central Iowa
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    TYM 330 HST with FEL

    Default Re: New Home Heating Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck in training View Post
    I didn't read all the responses (I am between flights and don't have much time) geothermal is hard to beat. We heat 3800 sqft with geo feeding floor heating. I don't think we ever paid over $100/month for heating. Needles to say that we have separate meter just for the geo and associated stuff like pumps, backup direct heat etc. Our utility charges heating rate 4.2c/kWh. AC is charged at full rate 10.9c/kWh. We have 100% electric house and our average electric bill is somewhat less than 300/month. We are located in south central Iowa so our climate is not much different than in Michigan.
    Our neighbor, (I think he still has it) has/had automatic corn boiler. He feeds that about once, twice a week with front loader of corn. It works like gas controlled by thermostat. But he produces his own fuel.
    I would like to add few more notes to my previous post. If I do my house again I would consider split heat pump units (Halcyon or similar) and solar panels. I have one in a guest room located in my shop building and found it to be phenomenal. It is super quiet and according to the manufacturer it will efficiently heat down to -4. It was running last winter and we hardly noticed it on our electric bill. The split units are relatively cheap and easy to install and work well. Solar panels cost dropped considerably since last year to a level that it makes financial sense to install them especially if you can do it DIY. I am in process of adding 22.5 kW solar system to our house for final cost 2.25/W. In other words it will cost about 35000 (after rebate) to install and make about 300/month in lower utility charges. That is about 10% return on investment. The lowest bid on installed system by professional was 3.90/W. If you have the option to position your house so the roof is EW and slope it to about 36-37 deg you could fill it with solar panels that you could fold into a mortgage you should consider it. You would get (I think) two rebates. 30% federal on the installation cost and the second on mortgage interest paid and never worry about energy cost increases.

  2. #42
    Silver Member
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    Independence, MO.
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    Iseki 3200F, kubota L245DT

    Default Re: New Home Heating Ideas

    basement walls should be insulated on the outside. the mass of concrete will help keep the temperature even. super insulate the house with double walls and three pain windows and use a heat exchanger ventilation system

  3. #43
    Elite Member Piston's Avatar
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    Central MA, Lakes Region NH
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    Kubota L4610 and John Deere 410

    Default

    It will be interesting to follow your progress with this as I'm in a similar situation as you. I'm interested I'm geothermal for my new house as well.
    Kubota L4610 and John Deere 410 - WR Long 64" Grapple (best attachment ever!) QA front forks, rear forks, Brown 472 HD Rotary Mower, Land Pride RBT4096 hydro blade, Woods 7200 Power Rake, homemade 3 pt log splitter, Land Pride rake/blade combo, Land Pride HRL 3578 box blade (Hydro scarifiers), Shaver SC50 3 pt. Stumpgrinder, FitRiteHydraulics TnT, 6" Vermeer PTO Chipper (Hydro feed), Disc Plow, Ratchet Rake, LP HD25 Hydraulic PHD, Woodmizer LT15 portable sawmill
    Rear Remotes Install

  4. #44
    Platinum Member BIG DOOLEY's Avatar
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    MICHIGAN
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    JOHN DEERE 2320

    Default Re: New Home Heating Ideas

    geo would be great if you can swing the cost up front.
    have a few coworkers that are very happy with their systems.
    wood can always be add later if your budget lets you.
    you can plan ahead where you might like to have a wood stove/furnace (center of house?). lay out plans to fit in stove pipe, cement board, tile, wiring etc... at a later date.
    outdoor stoves are cleaner (mess outside) but less efficient.
    length of water line run, type of insulation for water line run, water table pulling heat from your lines, type of wood you will buy or cut, circulation pumps sizing
    i also heard last week that they might have banned sale of outdoor furnaces that don't meet polution standards. that was from my father in-law who has one here in michigan.
    they smoke terribly. if the stove is upwind from your house you may have odor problems... blowing in your door.
    my brother in-law and father in-law use 3 times the wood i do every year with their outdoor furnaces.
    there are some new concrete tankless outdoor furnaces on the market but i have not read up on them.
    my indoor cast iron double wall stove has a catalast to reduce the emmissions and actually makes the stove hotter without burning harder.
    insulation.........
    possibly rafters that allow for "full" insulation at wall point.
    r-50 or more in michigan for attic
    lots of attic ventilation for summer efficiency.
    insulate your basement walls also.
    i have 2400 square feet with a crawl space. 4" of styrofoam on the crawl space walls. my crawl space is 67-70 deg in the worst of winter.
    there are also solar air tube heaters that mount outside your house for souther exposures. dampers open when the tube are hot and air flows thru convection?
    consider you power outage situation.
    my inlaws are in the county. 1-2 power outages per year. they last 2-5 days most times.
    they need a generator to run their circulation pumps and well pump. they finally bought a generac outdoor propane powered generator. deep well pumps generally require a larger surge capacity to start them.
    have fun and good luck on the house.
    tom
    Last edited by BIG DOOLEY; 10-10-2012 at 11:07 PM.

  5. #45
    Veteran Member
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    Prince Edward Island, Canada
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    Kioti DK45SC

    Default Re: New Home Heating Ideas

    I'd also encourage you to maximize sealing, insulation and solar gain. Beyond that, any of the options that have been mentioned can work.
    I just converted from oil heat/hot water to geothermal. Total cost will be about $20K. Of course, my oil bill will disappear, but I don't know yet how much my electric bill will go up. I'm expecting about a 10-year payback time on the $20K cost, but this is because we have always kept our house really cool (12C when we're not at home or in bed and 16C the rest of the time). Somebody with a saner/more comfortable household temperature regimen could have as little as 7 year payback on geothermal. ie, YMMV!
    BOB

  6. #46
    Gold Member Ranger Rick's Avatar
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    Louisa, VA East of Charlottesville
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    Kubota L3940

    Default Re: New Home Heating Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by rd_macgregor View Post
    I'd also encourage you to maximize sealing, insulation and solar gain. Beyond that, any of the options that have been mentioned can work.
    I just converted from oil heat/hot water to geothermal. Total cost will be about $20K. Of course, my oil bill will disappear, but I don't know yet how much my electric bill will go up. I'm expecting about a 10-year payback time on the $20K cost, but this is because we have always kept our house really cool (12C when we're not at home or in bed and 16C the rest of the time). Somebody with a saner/more comfortable household temperature regimen could have as little as 7 year payback on geothermal. ie, YMMV!
    BOB
    The way oil prices keep going up your pay back could be less then your 10 years. In the states the Federal government also has a 30% tax credit that reduces the pay back time considerably.

  7. #47
    Platinum Member deezler's Avatar
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    Southeast MI
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    Cub Cadet 7305

    Default Re: New Home Heating Ideas

    Great thread and responses thus far.

    I TOO ! am in Southeast Michigan preparing to build our own home on 19 acres. Sounds like you are planning to build a fairly conventional home - we most certainly are not (not that one is necessarily better than the other).

    We are building a single-story (no basement), earth-sheltered, passive solar home. A giant hearth right in the middle, with huge mass, should mean we only need to fire it up once a day on the really cold days, then let it radiate for hours longer. Any exposed walls will be built with 2x6 advanced framing (24" O.C.), R-19 insulation and the best windows available. An energy-recovery-ventilator (ERV) will most definitely be needed to keep the interior air fresh. Every new home needs such a system, in my opinion. A super-insulated home without one is an unpleasant death trap.

    I really suggest you read up on passive solar techniques. It's free energy! We should all capture as much of it as we can up here in the cold states. There are many subtle passive solar techniques that can be employed for huge energy savings. Awnings/overhang dimensions for full winter sun but summer shade, "trombe" walls for solar energy capture, solar water heating is pretty cheap, and so on.

    Earth sheltered is definitely another easy solution. If you can live without windows/access on the north side of your home, just berm it up! Or better yet, find a gentle south facing hill to build in/on. Getting the rear wall of your home 6 to 8 feet below grade offers a huge amount of passive thermal control inside your living space. Combine with smart passive solar design, thermal mass, and a central hearth or super efficient wood-stove, and you should have nearly free heat, and no need for A/C. That's my plan, anyway. We will probably have one or two small electric baseboard heaters for back up in the rooms further from the central hearth. Maybe a window A/C unit in the bedroom in the future, if it proves necessary. I am betting it wont.

    Geothermal is by far the best system for a conventionally shaped and laid-out home. If you have the land area, as you do, you don't need to go deep with it. Just a nice big grid of tubes under your yard.

    Good luck and have fun!

  8. #48
    Elite Member Piston's Avatar
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    Default

    Deezier,
    Sounds like a nice setup you have going on there. Im curious why your not going with more insulation? R-19 isn't considered 'super insulated' these days. I bet you could keep your house a lot more temperate a lot easier with more insulation. Have you decided on R-19 based on an effiency stand point or the most bang for your buck?
    Kubota L4610 and John Deere 410 - WR Long 64" Grapple (best attachment ever!) QA front forks, rear forks, Brown 472 HD Rotary Mower, Land Pride RBT4096 hydro blade, Woods 7200 Power Rake, homemade 3 pt log splitter, Land Pride rake/blade combo, Land Pride HRL 3578 box blade (Hydro scarifiers), Shaver SC50 3 pt. Stumpgrinder, FitRiteHydraulics TnT, 6" Vermeer PTO Chipper (Hydro feed), Disc Plow, Ratchet Rake, LP HD25 Hydraulic PHD, Woodmizer LT15 portable sawmill
    Rear Remotes Install

  9. #49
    Platinum Member
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    WI
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    BX 2350

    Default Re: New Home Heating Ideas

    Sorry this is short but we built a new house about ~3yrs ago and went w/ a Geothermal system. The up front costs were about 30% higher than a standard Hi efficiecy NG boiler. So after the 30% Fed rebate it turned out to be a no brainer for us.
    We have a ~2900 sqft single story house that it pretty well insulated and sealed up (yes we have a ERV) and hydronic floor heat throughout the entire slab.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greatlakes37 View Post
    Thanks for the replies. How often do you need to feed a wood boiler? Also, would anyone mind sharing their current utility setup, monthly cost and square footage of house for some comparison. Currently with electricity and natural gas my bill on the low end is $150 and high end is $300. My wife likes the house at 70 degrees year around. Square footage is 2400.
    Your current cost sound exactly like ours. Throughout the year the low for our Electricity & NG is also about $150 and during the heating season the highest it's been is about $300.
    Our heating costs have averaged about ~$112 for the 8 months we use it. We actually spend more on other electrical devices throughout the house then we do on the Geo
    BX2350 w/ 60" mmm, FEL, Hyd frt blade, 50" Farm King Snowblower, Custom F&R Forks

  10. #50
    Platinum Member deezler's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Home Heating Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Piston View Post
    Deezier,
    Sounds like a nice setup you have going on there. Im curious why your not going with more insulation? R-19 isn't considered 'super insulated' these days. I bet you could keep your house a lot more temperate a lot easier with more insulation. Have you decided on R-19 based on an effiency stand point or the most bang for your buck?
    Hmmm, yeah I just threw the number R-19 out there without really thinking - haven't gotten to the details of planning yet. I guess I was assuming that this was the max you could get in batts for a 2x6 wall. I see now that the high density is R-21, a little better. And spray foam can attain just R-20....? How does one significantly improve on this?

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