Heating System Project

One of the biggest drawbacks of the house when we bought it was that it only had electric baseboard heat. We’re not sure if maybe the previous owner only spent summers here or whether he just didn’t mind the cost of electricity. But when we got out first month’s electric bill last January it was $900 and we knew we would want to do something before fall 2016 was over.

We considered several different types of heating systems. Mini splits were going to require too much room on walls where we didn’t have the room. Oil would have been okay, but it wouldn’t give us AC. SO we ended up deciding on a propane forced air system.

We talked to three vendors and decided on Dutch Oil in Moodus. They seemed really knowledgeable, were priced right in the middle and a local small business.

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Dutch started the project on November 7th. By then we’d already had several cold nights and were looking forward to getting it installed and working. They expected the full system would be done in about two weeks.

One of the first steps was to install three 100-gallon tanks on the cement pad behind the garage. If we wanted to do a single 500 gallon tank we would have had to put it 10 feet from the garage and that didn’t work for us. So they chained these three tanks together.

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They had CBYD come out before the project started to confirm the trench from the pad to the corner of the deck was going to be okay. From the deck then pinned the pipe to the underside of the deck before going into the house through the same – although larger – hole that was used for the stove.

Next they placed the units in the attic and the basement. Yep, we had two units installed for maximum efficiency.

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During the first week they got the attic unit set up and working as well as all of the gas and electric connections made.

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My one complaint is that the air system takes up a lot of space. However, I guess the tradeoff is worth it.

By Friday of the first week the attic unit and second floor heat was working and felt great! To celebrate we borrowed one of our neighbor’s kayaks on a warm afternoon and went for a paddle out behind the island. It was quiet and peaceful. The first time Deb and I had kayaked together since we moved in. Actually probably the first time we kayaked together ever!

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During the second week the guys came and finished the first floor. Part of that week was them fabricating all of the duct work.

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There are two areas in the basement where the ducts work is kind of invasive. But overall we still have plenty of room to get around. Good thing I’m short. Now that it is done we only get the wood stove going when we want to. It is still nice to have. But it is REALLY nice to come in on a cold night and have the inside of the house be warm and welcoming – in all rooms too!

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