Thanks for the link Dallas, that is helpful. Remember fellas, I have a wood burning insert firing 24/7 in the living room, adjacent to the dining room that contains the thermostat.
U235a4, I have two zones, the living room is on its own zone and is outfitted with baseboard. The rest of the house is on the other zone, controlled by the thermostat in the dining room, and is outfitted with radiators - not the small thin ones you see in a lot of early 20th century homes - the coils on these radiators are rounded rectangles about 2" by almost 3" as far as dimensions (this is the smallest I have... there are a couple that have larger coils). I have a hot water coil in the boiler, which by the way holds 60 gallons. I have no other storage for the hot water than in the boiler/system itself. The coldest temp we see is maybe 7 degrees, but we get a lot of wind - we live on a hill. The wind kills us! The house is surrounded by porches on three sides.
So far I have burned an eighth of a tank (275 gallons) in 16 days under this type of arrangement. I live in central Pennsylvania.
Coalman, the greatest delta in temperature is maybe 4 or 5 degrees from from end of boiler firing to next boiler fire 12 hours later. The house temps are fluctuating greatly overall. The upstairs, by far the coldest, is normally around 60 degrees on a cold day (20 degrees), and about 67 on a warmer day - like temps in the high 30's. This is probably due to the wood insert in the living room. The stairs are only about 12 feet from the fireplace - almost directly in front of the fireplace. So I know heat travels up and cold air travels down, you can feel it at the top of the stairs. After the boiler is nearing the end of the 45 minute cycle, the rooms upstairs are nearing 68 or 69 degrees, and stays that way for a while - at least 2 hours or so, before the temps begin to drop to around 60 - 64 depending on the temps are wind outside.
I hope I have described everything clearly... I really think that this is going to work... I just wanted to know what the experts thought of my crazy idea. I haven't seen excessive oil consumption yet... put 200 gallons in Nov 29 (589 BUCKS!) - and it's been a typical Dec here... temps in the high 30's during the day and low 30's or upper 20's at night.
Coaledsweet, I share coalman and your opinion about changing temps... I don't. It's better to leave the thing alone... it takes more energy to heat the things in your home that than the energy one saves by turning it down a couple of hours and then back up again. But the cycling on and off of the boiler last season worried me. I did leave the thermostat at 70 last year, burnt about 450 gallons, while stuffing that wood insert. The year before, I burnt about 325 gallons with the heat off, and only turning it on when absolutely necessary, again stuffing that insert. Now I'm stuffing the insert as well and think I might get away with less than three hundred gallons if my calcs hold out. 16 days, 1/8 tank - got 4 of those 1/8's left before I need to put some more in... that puts me at the end of January. One hundred and 50 gallons is the bare minimum that I can order and that would definitely keep me till the warm weather hits.
I don't know where this is going, but maybe - if my theory holds out - this could be a better way to keep the house warm IF one uses a 'secondary' radiating heat source. Please comment.