new home owner with Laars Mini Therm 2. please advise

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Old 02-27-13, 08:21 AM
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new home owner with Laars Mini Therm 2. please advise

sorry for the read. im a noob. thanks in advance. i have a gas powered hot water baseboard heating system. my house is roughly 2000 square feet. i have three zones. actually 4 including my hot water storage tank. i am trying to be as efficient as possible. my heating bill comes in at around 280 for the past two months. i was thinking this is rather high, considering my wife and i work full time, no kids (yet) and we keep the zones set at 63 when we are working and at the highest 67 when we are home.

in any event, my house doesnt get that warm. there were two conclusions i made. either heat is escaping or heat output isnt sufficient. i filled every crack i could find in my baseboards and in my door jams, i re insulated my crawlspace as best i could. still my house wouldnt get warm enough. i figured out the problem.

the water temp on my boiler was too low. it was set to 120 degrees. the water running through my baseboards wasnt putting out enough heat. i found the dial to increase the water temp to 165 and instantly i could feel a difference in heat output. my holds 66 degrees all the time now and my fiance and i are both happy.

NOW, im curious as to how much this will change my energy bill. im conflicting in how i think about this. one side tells me that if i raise my water temp, logic will say that i will raise my energy bill?! but i was also thinking that my heat wont be kicking on that much because there would be no need for my thermostats to call for heat. before when the heat was set at 120 degrees, my house was always freezing and every zone would constantly be calling for heat....every 20 min the heater would fire up and run for a bit.

what should i expect? how can i save money on my bill? winter is pretty much over so im not as much worried about it now....one zone is dedicated to my TV room. i also have a gas powered fireplace in that TV room. if i shut my zone off and just use the fireplace when we are home for a couple hours would that cost more or less when compared to using the baseboard in that specific zone.
 
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Old 02-27-13, 03:27 PM
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one side tells me that if i raise my water temp, logic will say that i will raise my energy bill?! but i was also thinking that my heat wont be kicking on that much because there would be no need for my thermostats to call for heat.
A 'typical' high limit setting is 180F, but you may be able to heat the home with it set to 165F.

I believe your logic is partly correct. Reality is probably part way between the two extremes. You may spend a little bit more with the boiler at a higher temperature (you may also NOT), but the difference certainly will not be linear and proportional. But read on for the dangers of running your boiler that cold...

I don't have time at the moment to get into the hows and whys of this, but turning the boiler temperature down to 120F was absolutely the WRONG thing for that person to have done. I'm sure they did this without any knowledge of exactly what "flue gas condensation" is and the damage it can cause to the boiler, the connecting flue pipe, and the chimney itself.

Flue gas condensate is very much like the dew that forms on the grass... except that the water vapor that condenses out of flue gas is ACIDIC because it carries with it the acids that form during the combustion process.

If allowed to continue for extended periods of time, these acids will literally EAT a boiler, flue pipe, and chimney...

It was a FALSE economy they were striving toward. Compare the price of a new boiler with the few dollars they may (or may not have) saved.

The best bang for the buck is always going to be insulation and air sealing. It is fuel that you only pay for ONCE. Continue that endeavor.

Depending on your home style, it may be a fairly easy job to increase the insulation in the attic. At the same time, seal up any gaps around any wire and plumbing penetrations, and if possible, increase the attic insulation to a minimum of R40.

You have fin-tube baseboards? If so, remove the covers and brush and vacuum all the dust off the fins. Do this every several years. They will put out more heat and the boiler won't have to 'work as hard' to heat the home.
 
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