Need a weed-wacker for my heating bills
August 14, 2006 6:24 AM Subscribe
I'm looking for a take-no-prisoners strategy to reduce home heating bills.
posted by Gordion Knott to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I just prepaid for this winter's allotment of heating oil, and my head is still reeling in agony.
Fortunately, I'm about to contract for a big addition of office space to the house, and I'll be able to tweak the current setup -- within reason.
I'm thinking of an all-out rezoning of the heat system. A new zone for the new offices used by me and my wife, of course. But also a new zone for the existing living room (which we don't use), and for my new basement DVD room. The latter will be attached to a timer that kicks in at four pm, so I can watch a DVD at five. This zoning layout will allow us to cut unused rooms off of the system, maintaining them at a low, low 45 degrees (to keep the pipes from freezing). We'll also have all zones except the bedroom shut off at night.
I'm also thinking of swapping my 17 year old oil-fired boiler for a new one, hoping that 17 years equate to a big jump in efficiency. Other options are to switch to geothermal, natural gas, electric, or propane, but these all factor to a higher cost than heating oil. Geothermal's not doable in my (ultracold) climate, it seems. So I'm sticking it out with hotwater baseboard, heated by oil.
Is the multizoning layout (five or six in all) a practical and logistically possible idea, or is it totally wack? Does it make $en$e to swap the old boiler for a newer model? Any other, out-of-the-box ideas?