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re: frugal heating this winter??
8 oct 2004
serendipity   wrote:

>...the  key thing when trying to save on heating costs is to eliminate
>air leaks.

these might be 30-50% of a typical fuel bill.

>so our first step of which we have started again is caulking.  we do this
>every year.   it gets less but we always find a few small air leaks.
>caulking is a cheap and easy diy project that more than pays for itself.

it also increases winter indoor humidity. a house that needs a humidifier
in wintertime is probably too air-leaky. 

a window exhaust fan might help you find leaks, and you might measure
air-sealing progress (and find which leaks to fix next) with testo's $150
405 v2 "velocity stick," a durable hot-wire anemometer that measures
airflow from 0 to 2000 fpm down to 0 fpm with 1 fpm resolution and 20 fpm
accuracy on the 0-400 fpm scale, and also measures temperature from -20
to 160 f with 0.5 f accuracy and 0.1 f resolution. testo (nj) is at
(800) 227-0729 or crack open a window and put the
stick in the crack and measure the air velocity with the fan running.
as you seal up the house, the air velocity will increase.
>we are installing a couple of solar heaters so that will accentuate the 
>solar gains we have from our windows.  we made the solar heaters 
>ourselves, another inexpensive, easy to do, and cost effective project. 

vertical thermosyphoning air heaters below the windows with david delaney's
"flow organiser" near the top...

>thermomass can be extremely cheap to install and if you use recycled 
>items, free.  the trick is making it fit your decor.  we finally came up 
>with a solution that was inexpensive and fit our decor.

what was your solution? i like the idea of thermal mass in the ceiling,
(as in "the barra system") where it can supply some radiant heat and be
warmer than the room (storing more heat than room temp mass) and allow
night setbacks. a room air thermostat and slow ceiling fan can control
the room temp. 


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