Maintain low temp (45F) in an unoccupied house???

Maintain low temp (45F) in an unoccupied house???

PostBy: etribuna On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:13 pm

Happy New Year to all.

We heat our house with an AA130. We're going to be leaving the house vacant for a couple of months starting next month.

I plan to set the thermostats to 45F +/- while we're gone. I'd prefer to use the AA130 for this rather than switch to oil. I have a very reliable person who is willing to tend to the ashes and keep the bin full and has the ability to deal with other issues (he does maintenance for a property management company, so is quite handy). I would clean the ash from the flue right before departing.

So, the obvious question - is there any reason I shouldn't run the AA130 to maintain the low temp? If so, what temp would you recommend? Or, do you think it's just not a good idea?

Ed...
etribuna
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Axeman-Anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: 130-M

Re: Maintain low temp (45F) in an unoccupied house???

PostBy: Coalfire On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:17 pm

What kind of house? how old? 45 is pretty low. I've been in some houses that you had to leave the kitchen cabinets open or the pipes would freeze :shock: . Don't know if this is your situation but worth mentioning.
Coalfire
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine 96K btu Circulator
Coal Size/Type: Nut

Re: Maintain low temp (45F) in an unoccupied house???

PostBy: Sting On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:25 pm

Leaving the cabinets open and or keeping the piping exposed to as much of that 45 degrees as possible

YES -- good

but think about it as in temperature rise like a degree day load

Would you keep the house at 70 if it were 25 degrees outside ( a 45 degree temperature rise )

so why not keep the house at 45 if it is zero outside?

Wind may be an issue as there is less heat soak in the dwelling to help adsorb draft.

I keep my cottage at 48 to 50
Sting
 
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG

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Re: Maintain low temp (45F) in an unoccupied house???

PostBy: crazy4coal On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:43 pm

If your house is less than 10 yrs old you might get away with 45f. if it's older than that then I would bump it up to 55f. that's if someone is going to check EVRYDAY to make sure the heat's up. If you run a lower temp you chance freezing pipes on outside walls before 24 hours has passed. When the temps drop down to the teens with a low temp setting the loops will need to run more often just to keep water moving so as not to get an ice slug in them. No water moving=broken pipes. Pipes on outside walls will freeze first on the windward side even if the "core" of the house is 50f. Heating loops over unheated garges will do the same. Open all the cabinet doors under the sinks so the warm air can get in there. My 2cts
crazy4coal
 
Stove/Furnace Make: buderus
Stove/Furnace Model: logana

Re: Maintain low temp (45F) in an unoccupied house???

PostBy: etribuna On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:58 pm

The house is about 16 years old. Insulation is good, but the windows are OK at best but no serious drafts. They are double-pane.

I have no problem with setting the temp higher. I'll have someone coming by pretty much every third day. I could also shut off the water where it comes into the house to play it safe.

Opening cabinet door is smart. I hadn't thought of that.

Thanks for the input all.

Ed...
etribuna
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Axeman-Anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: 130-M

Re: Maintain low temp (45F) in an unoccupied house???

PostBy: Rob R. On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:04 pm

I think 45F is a little on the low side. Considering the trivial amount of fuel it would take to maintain a few more degrees, I try 50F. I keep my guest house at 50-52F during the winter with the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open, works good for me.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Maintain low temp (45F) in an unoccupied house???

PostBy: whistlenut On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:11 pm

My .02 says to keep the house at 65, go enjoy your vacation far away from the frozen NE and let your friend take care of the heat. Just how much do you think you are going to save, vs a potential freeze-up......broken pipe situation? The short dollar says to go with 45 degrees, the long dollar says "why take the chance".
I was in a condo late today that they couldn't shut off the shower valve. Yes, people live in it, but don't use the upstairs. It was 74 downstairs, 28 upstairs. Toilet was frozen solid, shower valve had the guts pushed out into the shower itself. Even shutting down the water was difficult....older folks still live there. Shark-bite ball valves.....done......heat is back on, but you can't imagine the repair costs that will follow.
Total electric baseboard in these homes....individual thermostats.......easy to close doors and turn off the heat....

Even if your home is fairly new, 45 is a close call when the wind blows at 40 mph overnight. I wouldn't even consider shutting it down either. Trust your maint guy, and sleep peacefully. Also, the poor AA would be sad to not get to stretch her legs on the cold nights. The structure of the house will thank you later, also. :idea: :o :roll:
whistlenut
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA130's,260's, AHS130&260's,EFM900,GJ&VanWert
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Hand Fed Coal Stove: Alaska,Gibraltor,Keystone,Vc Vigilant 2
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Van Wert, NYer's, Ford,Jensen.
Coal Size/Type: Rice,Buck,Pea,Nut&Stove
Other Heating: Oil HWBB

Re: Maintain low temp (45F) in an unoccupied house???

PostBy: Townsend On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:02 pm

I agree with Whistlenut in that the savings would be minor. Keep it in the 60's. Think of how pissed off the burglars are going to be when they don't have a comfortable dwelling to prowl around in. Where did you say you lived in Leominster?

Did you remember to:

*Notify local PD that you will be away and request patrol checks?

*Cancel mail and newspaper delivery?

*Tell your caretaker to come at different/odd hours?

*Not post your plans on facebook, twitter, etc? (Of course they're no felonious persons on coal burning web sites so feel free here)

That being said, enjoy your trip!
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Townsend
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Coal Size/Type: Pea / Buck

Re: Maintain low temp (45F) in an unoccupied house???

PostBy: etribuna On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:14 pm

Thanks Townsend. All those things are on the list of things to do. We still have a bit more than three weeks before we leave.

I'm gonna make sure I don't leave any alcohol behind for the burglars and prowlers.

The house is in a good neighborhood where houses are close enough for the neighbors to keep an I on things as well. Just finished installing new deadbolts on the doors as well.
etribuna
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Axeman-Anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: 130-M

Re: Maintain low temp (45F) in an unoccupied house???

PostBy: Townsend On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:27 pm

Sounds good Etribuna, just looking out for your back!

I wouldn't worry about the wet bar,... they'll hit the medicine cabinet for sure though.
Townsend
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Coal Size/Type: Pea / Buck

Re: Maintain low temp (45F) in an unoccupied house???

PostBy: coalnewbie On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:40 pm

I agree with not cutting the temperature too close, it's just not worth it. When I went to Florida for the winter (when I could afford it) I left a cheap webcam pointing at three inside/outside temperature sensors (Lowes -about $25 - various makes). I put the remote sensors (outdoor) in sensitive places, i.e. cold interior walls. Now I could dial up the Webcam can just read the temperatures of the remote places and the big garden thermometer $7 told me the temp near the camera. Even if your guy is reliable, people get the flu, or break a leg and I always knew things were OK. Do you sense paranoia - yep. Let me tell you about returning from a vacation in Spain to my in laws house in England to see water coming out of the upstairs bedroom window...... you don't want to know....... it leaves scars.
coalnewbie
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL AnthraKing 180K, Pocono110K,KStokr 90K, DVC
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Re: Maintain low temp (45F) in an unoccupied house???

PostBy: AA130FIREMAN On: Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:39 pm

If the electric goes off, you may not maintain the 45 :lol: I would go warmer than that, it would give you a time buffer untill the lineman repair the lines. :mad: Why not drain the domestic water pipes,dump some rv antifreeze in the toilets.
AA130FIREMAN
 
Stove/Furnace Make: axeman anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: 130 anthratube

Re: Maintain low temp (45F) in an unoccupied house???

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:51 am

65* covers the power outages and random *censored* that can happen in New England...
You know what they say about Mr. Murphy...
Enjoy the vacation knowing you have taken the conservative route...
CapeCoaler
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: want AA130
Hand Fed Coal Stove: DS Machine BS#4, Harman MKII, Hitzer 503,...
Coal Size/Type: Pea/Nut/Stove

Re: Maintain low temp (45F) in an unoccupied house???

PostBy: coalkirk On: Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:41 am

AA130FIREMAN wrote:If the electric goes off, you may not maintain the 45 :lol: I would go warmer than that, it would give you a time buffer untill the lineman repair the lines. :mad: Why not drain the domestic water pipes,dump some rv antifreeze in the toilets.


That's great advice. If I were lucky enough to go away from my home on an extended vacation, that's exactly what I would do. I would probably use the oil burner though as you never know what can happen to your friend who has offered to tend the coal boiler.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: Maintain low temp (45F) in an unoccupied house???

PostBy: jim d On: Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:51 am

why don't you pump some antifreese into your system and shutoff your domestic h2o then 45 would be fine w/ the cab doors under sinks open it's a closed system so jack your pressure up to 20#s and every thing should be ok
jim d
 
Stove/Furnace Make: alaska//coaljck
Stove/Furnace Model: liberty// cj3

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