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OMG... My heating bill is huge

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Re: OMG... My heating bill is huge

Postby Trevi on Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:07 pm

Sadly my fireplace IS an open one but it's 4.5 feet wide and 3 feet tall (This used to be a tavern) so it actually throws off a lot of heat. Not as much as we'd like and certainly not enough to heat the 9 rooms we have but a few fans placed just so and we could take the chill out of the house....

We talked about putting in a wood burning stove but there is a cast iron swing arm built into the brick that holds a cookpot and I don't want to loose that. It's one of only a handful of things original to the house (1790's) and I just cannot part with it. :wink:

I tried to upload a picture of the fireplace but I can't seem to do it for some reason. Trust me- it's bigger then most average fireplaces and the swing arm is WAY COOOL! Especaially for an ex-pilgrim who misses cooking over the fire! :mrgreen:
~If you look closely you can hear the souls of those who came before you

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Re: OMG... My heating bill is huge

Postby HouseNut on Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:23 pm

Trevi, if you don't want to put in an insert or close up the fireplace (I wouldn't either) then I'd say just make sure the damper, if there is one, is in good condition and will close tightly when it's not in use.

A while back we looked into getting our fireplace into working condition and while it didn't happen because the chimney ended up falling on our roof (don't ask) I do recall reading something about some new type of damper that goes at the top of the chimney and is some type of blow up jobby that is controlled from inside. It might be worth looking into upgrading that part of the fireplace as it could make a big difference for heat loss.
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1820's Urban Farmhouse in Eastern Ontario
(The picture is the "before" picture... before the PO's bought it and destroyed it. We're still trying to get it back to that.)
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Re: OMG... My heating bill is huge

Postby Trevi on Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:36 pm

I think I figured it out.... Maybe?... YES!!!
This is before we moved in. You can see the swing arm there...
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And trust me- I USE IT
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We got some beautiful, HUGE, old andirons at a local auction for 5$- I'll have to take a picture of those in the fireplace now that the paint is all gone and the cedar fireplace paneling is shiny and new looking!
~If you look closely you can hear the souls of those who came before you

Check out our renovation endeavors at http://www.harlowfarmhouse.com

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Location: Plymouth MA

Re: OMG... My heating bill is huge

Postby Josiecat on Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:15 pm

Trevi - That is so cool. I wouldn't part with that swing arm either.
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The Wellcome House
1892 Queen Anne Victorian
Topeka, Kansas
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Re: OMG... My heating bill is huge

Postby Trevi on Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:38 am

Thanks Josiecat! It comes out but why would I get rid of it? It's been there through 200 years! Plus I really DO use it... :D
~If you look closely you can hear the souls of those who came before you

Check out our renovation endeavors at http://www.harlowfarmhouse.com

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Re: OMG... My heating bill is huge

Postby jeepnstein on Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:56 pm

Just checking in... It's been a while since I've done anything Old House related other than living in the darned thing. Life is good that way some times. Anyways, here's a breakdown of gas consumption since I took on the wooden storm window project. I think I may have paid for the materials already.

2004 = 2657ccf
2005 = 2004ccf
2006 = 1632ccf
2007 = 1764ccf
2008 = 1846ccf
2009 = 1778ccf
2010 = 1678ccf

We had part of a ceiling opened up for the better part of the fall and winter of 2008 due to an unfortunate plumbing emergency. The storms were built and installed over the 2004-2005 time period. I think I can do even better when I get the last two remaining ones built. Anyways, seeing is believing.

My big heat loss right now is the darned doggie door. Seeing as how my wife's two Maltese dogs and our cat, Lucille, kind of like to take it out doors I'm willing to live with that. Lucille likes to leave it hanging partially open.

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This is Georgia, she's trying to decide whether to ruin the hardwood floors as career right now.
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Re: OMG... My heating bill is huge

Postby Don M on Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:37 am

Maybe you need to get one of the doggie doors that lock & only allow pets with collars to go in & out. I'm not sure but I would think their design would ensure they are completely closed after each entrance/exit. Your storm window information is impressive; that's great! Don
1840 Limestone Farmhouse
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Re: OMG... My heating bill is huge

Postby rehabbingisgreen on Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:14 pm

That is a nice improvement with the storms. This house sure needs some new storms. We have the old aluminum ones and they don't seem to do much of anything any longer.
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Re: OMG... My heating bill is huge

Postby farmermiller on Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:16 pm

Got to love my small 2 bedroom house.Jan heating bill was 60.00 dollars,Feb is 52.00 dollars maybe i don't need to get my wood stove hook up yet.
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Re: OMG... My heating bill is huge

Postby HydePark on Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:58 pm

jeepnstein wrote:My big heat loss right now is the darned doggie door. Seeing as how my wife's two Maltese dogs and our cat, Lucille, kind of like to take it out doors I'm willing to live with that. Lucille likes to leave it hanging partially open.

I have one (in my basement door; my cat stays indoors) that is magnetic, so it always closes completely. It's a little noisier, but not too annoying. Might pay for itself pretty quickly in your situation.
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