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Opinions on forced air please!

Opinions on forced air please!

Old Nov 24th 2017, 7:05 pm
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Default Opinions on forced air please!

Okay, so we’re now into properly cold weather in Pennsylvania. Traditionally, (in the UK) we’d have the central heating in all day because we’re all at home for a holiday, and very likely augmented by the Rayburn wood burner, casting a deliciously warm heat around the lower part of the house.
Now here we have forced air and a decorative gas fire.
1. We don’t know how much forced air is likely to cost us
2. Were not sure this gas fire is warm enough.

How do you manage your heating during the cold weather?
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Old Nov 24th 2017, 7:27 pm
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Default Re: Opinions on forced air please!

Originally Posted by RollingStones View Post
Okay, so we’re now into properly cold weather in Pennsylvania. Traditionally, (in the UK) we’d have the central heating in all day because we’re all at home for a holiday, and very likely augmented by the Rayburn wood burner, casting a deliciously warm heat around the lower part of the house.
Now here we have forced air and a decorative gas fire.
1. We don’t know how much forced air is likely to cost us
2. Were not sure this gas fire is warm enough.

How do you manage your heating during the cold weather?
Is the boiler oil or gas fired? Isn’t the system on a thermostat?
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Old Nov 24th 2017, 7:34 pm
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Default Re: Opinions on forced air please!

It’s all gas fired.
We have a thermostat, two in fact, one for each side of the house.
Where it should be set though it subject to debate between hubby and I. Then then, that’s no different to home.
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Old Nov 24th 2017, 7:56 pm
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Default Re: Opinions on forced air please!

When it gets cold, we keep ours on 64 (66 if we are feeling fragile) when we are in the house, and 56 when we are out and at night, to keep pipes from freezing. We also have a good living room wood stove to keep toasty in the evening. We have an old draughty house and pay a lot for heating oil.
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Old Nov 24th 2017, 7:57 pm
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Default Re: Opinions on forced air please!

Originally Posted by RollingStones View Post
It’s all gas fired.
We have a thermostat, two in fact, one for each side of the house.
Where it should be set though it subject to debate between hubby and I. Then then, that’s no different to home.
Is it programmable? Then you can set it to automatically cool down overnight, kick in before you get up in the morning, cool down again if you are out all day, and then warm the place up before you get home in the evening. As to what the heating will cost, that is very much dependent on how big the house is, the temperature outside, and whether you are out at work or home all day. In a really bad cold snap, our oil bill can be $500 or $600 a month, and we keep the thermostat at 68 during the day and drop it to low 60s overnight.
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Old Nov 24th 2017, 8:38 pm
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Default Re: Opinions on forced air please!

If the gas is natural gas and not propane it is one of the cheaper fuels to use. How old is the house? If newer probably better insulation. Are windows newer double paned? If you own the house and plan to be there a while I would invest in insulation and windows if yours are not up to par. All you can do this year is keep temp setting to a comfortable level and just see how the bill runs. If the fireplace is like most it will be very inefficient and costly to operate. I just built a 1200 sq foot super insulated house on a lake here in Tennessee and using a 1 1/2 ton heat pump my monthly electric bill which includes hot water and cooking is around 60 dollars per month in both winter and summer.
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Old Nov 24th 2017, 9:03 pm
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Default Re: Opinions on forced air please!

We have forced air in a 1610 sq ft house. As we are retired we are home all day and have the thermostat set at 72 from 7am to 11pm, and 62 during the night. We don't wear fleeces or jumpers in the house.

We use natural gas to heat, cook and run the water heater. The bill is averaged over the year and we pay $61 a month, and usually get a month or two rebate at the end of the year.
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Old Nov 24th 2017, 11:51 pm
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Default Re: Opinions on forced air please!

We have forced air and use natural gas for heating, hot water and cooking. From April through mid-November the average bill is $32. Keep the house at 70 when it drops in the 40's and at 72 when it goes into the 30's. (Shit insulation) At bedtime it is set to 62 and the program is set to kick on the heat to 70 at 6 am which is around the time we get up just to get the chill out of the air.
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Old Nov 25th 2017, 1:16 am
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Default Re: Opinions on forced air please!

Originally Posted by RollingStones View Post
It’s all gas fired.
We have a thermostat, two in fact, one for each side of the house.
Where it should be set though it subject to debate between hubby and I. Then then, that’s no different to home.
We set ours to heat mostly while we are (i) at home, and (ii) awake, temperatures similar to Robin above - around 55°F when we are asleep or out, and 64°F when we are home and awake. Occasionally as high as 70°F on a Saturday evening or at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Once I worked out how to force the programable thermostats to do what we want, rather than what the thermostat thinks we want, we saved about 30% on out heating bill. In short, if we allowed the temperature to fall overnight, and then set the thermostat to say, 65°F at 6am, the thermostat would come on two or more hours ahead of 6am because the thermostat assumed they we wanted the temperature to be AT 65°F at 6am. As we left for work an hour later, it meant that while we wanted the heat on for an hour, if left to its own devices, the thermostat would turn the heat on for three hours! In the afternoon/evening we would want the heat on from 6pm to around 9pm, but the heat would come on two hours early in the afternoon too!
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Old Nov 25th 2017, 3:09 am
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Default Re: Opinions on forced air please!

Originally Posted by ddsrph View Post
If the gas is natural gas and not propane it is one of the cheaper fuels to use. How old is the house? If newer probably better insulation. Are windows newer double paned? If you own the house and plan to be there a while I would invest in insulation and windows if yours are not up to par. All you can do this year is keep temp setting to a comfortable level and just see how the bill runs. If the fireplace is like most it will be very inefficient and costly to operate. I just built a 1200 sq foot super insulated house on a lake here in Tennessee and using a 1 1/2 ton heat pump my monthly electric bill which includes hot water and cooking is around 60 dollars per month in both winter and summer.
I keep the heat pump thermostat set at 70 year round. In summer I want it to run enough to remove moisture from the house. One thing to keep in mind if your bills are too high is most older gas furnaces were 80% efficient at their best. Now you can get a 95% efficient furnace. Such little heat is lost up chimney that the chimney used is a plastic PVC pipe.
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Old Nov 26th 2017, 3:01 am
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Default Re: Opinions on forced air please!

Originally Posted by RollingStones View Post

How do you manage your heating during the cold weather?
We stretch out changing the A/C filter from 30 to 60 days.
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Old Nov 29th 2017, 6:58 pm
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Default Re: Opinions on forced air please!

Note on thermostats. The newer thermostats will try to get the house to temperature at the time you set.

eg. If you set the thermostat to 70 degrees for 7am the heat will come on around 6 so that the house is at 70 degrees by 7 am. You can disable this feature on most thermostats.

This feature confuses a lot of people. The thermostat is supposed to be able to tell how long it takes to warm the house up. I don't think this feature works very well.
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Old Nov 29th 2017, 7:22 pm
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Default Re: Opinions on forced air please!

Originally Posted by mrken30 View Post
Note on thermostats. The newer thermostats will try to get the house to temperature at the time you set.

eg. If you set the thermostat to 70 degrees for 7am the heat will come on around 6 so that the house is at 70 degrees by 7 am. .....
My experience is that it would come on between 4 and 5, but that probably reflects how cold we let the house get overnight. Either way, that feature is a PITA, and once I worked out how to override it, we saved about 30% on our heating and AC bill.

Last edited by Pulaski; Nov 29th 2017 at 7:27 pm.
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Old Nov 29th 2017, 7:26 pm
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Default Re: Opinions on forced air please!

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
My experience is that it would come on between 4 and 5, but that probably reflects how cold we let the house get overnight. Either way, that feature is a PITA, and once I worked out how to override it, we saved about 30% on out heating and AC bill.
I over-rode that on my Nests too - in fact, I disabled quite a lot of the Nests' functions and saved a small fortune. I also learned to lock them which comes in handy when you leave the teens at home whilst you are away.
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Old Nov 29th 2017, 7:51 pm
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Default Re: Opinions on forced air please!

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
I over-rode that on my Nests too - in fact, I disabled quite a lot of the Nests' functions and saved a small fortune. I also learned to lock them which comes in handy when you leave the teens at home whilst you are away.
So what you're saying is that you could have just bought a cheaper thermostat?
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