Well, I haven’t made a lot of progress on the heating project, and I’ll have to admit I wasn’t very diligent on tracking our temperature fluctuations this weekend. The times that I did track it showed that while the thermostat said 68°, it was usually 5° colder in the family room/kitchen. (And, okay, Chris at BlogHer, I must be a real wimp, but keeping your house at 58° is just insane!!) However while Chris’ family room/kitchen is heated with a wood pellet stove and is the warmest part of the house, we have just the opposite: we spend most of our time in the family room and it’s the coldest room.
We had our furnace serviced a couple months ago, so that shouldn’t be the problem. All the radiators are hot to touch, so we know that heat is reaching them. I was doing a little more research about our particular radiators, which are Burnham Base-Ray cast iron baseboards, and Burnham offers a zone control system, the EC 5000, that offers individual temperature control for up to 4 zones.
This type of system could be a great way to drop the temperature in rooms we don’t use very often. Right now that’s the living room because we’re living in a fish bowl with the current lack of window coverings (they’re on order and they’re going to be fabulous!). The living room also has our BHF, or “Big Honkin’ Fireplace” which is a direct-vent, gas-starter, wood-burning unit with a blower. While I understand that fireplaces are not very energy-efficient, the blower provides a lot of heat to the living room and dining room. Whether or not using the fireplace to provide heat is cheaper than heating these rooms with gas is another story. But at least we’d only start a fire and when we’re actually using the room.
In any case, I called our heating guy and they’re coming out on Monday to look it over and discuss some options.
Other than that, I’m still insanely busy with work, so I haven’t gotten much done around the house other than tearing out articles I want to save from stacks of This Old House, Fine Homebuilding and various other home remodeling magazines. Oh, wait, isn’t Christmas Eve in 10 days? Guess I better get shopping done before I do anything else!