Thread Number: 73194  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Turned on the heat for the 2017-2018 season
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Post# 966821   11/8/2017 at 12:08 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

With no sun for the past two days so no solar gain and dropping temps, I finally turned on the heat last evening. We have not had a serious frost yet, but Friday night's low it is forecast to be 21! Yikes! Then 24 for Saturday night. Today AccuWeather started talking about a Mid-Atlantic storm forming before Thanksgiving.  

Post# 966825 , Reply# 1   11/8/2017 at 12:14 by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        
here in Upstate-Central NY...

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the HIGH is forecast to be 24 on Friday, snow showers are possible.
Had heavy frost off and on intermittently for the last 3 weeks.

Post# 966827 , Reply# 2   11/8/2017 at 12:20 by johnrk (Houston)        
We're In A Cold Front

and it's down to 69F in the Houston area today. But my central a/c is running as I write this. It'll be hot again here before Thanksgiving.

The last two winters, we had no hard freezes, I didn't have to put in any plants.

Post# 966828 , Reply# 3   11/8/2017 at 12:24 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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Weve been using the electric baseboard heaters in the mornings for over a month and also in the evenings too for the last 20 days or so. We have a pellet insert that for the past 20 years we have used as our main source of heat. But last year we spent over $50.00 or more per mo. on pellets and fire starter squares. So it is just as expensive to use the pellet insert for heat as it is to use the electric heat.

Our baseboard heaters are Hydronic, made by Cadet, and they really heat the house nicely if we turn the heat on upstairs too to equalize the heat. If we just use the heaters downstairs the heat rises upstairs and it never really gets completely warm downstairs, so its a false economy. By turning the heat on upstairs too the heat is uniform and the heaters dont cycle on and off as much trying to maintain the temp set on the thermostat.

Im glad we finally tried this option. It was getting harder and harder to find the pellets and starters at a good price. And with the Bay Area Air Quality Control District, when there are no burn days we had to use the electric heat anyway.

If you havent ever used Hydronic Electric heaters you will be surprised how much better they are than conventional electric baseboard heaters. They are quiet, dust free, and relatively efficient for an electric source of heating.

Ive been monitoring the usage online since we have a SMART meter, and so far it looks like we may break even or pay less for all electric heat as opposed to using the pellet insert.

Post# 966832 , Reply# 4   11/8/2017 at 12:40 by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
We have had our heat on for a few weeks

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Have lit the gas fireplace a few nights, but since Halloween night the furnace has been coming on pretty regular. It was 32 this morning at bus stop time.

Post# 966841 , Reply# 5   11/8/2017 at 13:14 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Since his stroke several years ago, Dave is always cold.  It used to be just the opposite.  As a result, I kicked on the main forced air system and the den wall unit about a month ago while I could still have the doors and windows open to get the stink out of the house.


Since last weekend, we've been using heat almost daily, to get the morning chill off at the very least.  Inside the house it has already gotten down to 61 overnight.


Similar to what Tom stated, even when it's sunny and near 70, this time of year it's typical to have very little air movement, so the house stays cold even with doors and windows open.  Also typical this time of year is for the peak temperature to be reached around 4 PM, which doesn't help much when you only have about an hour left before twilight. 

Post# 966843 , Reply# 6   11/8/2017 at 13:40 by beekeyknee (Columbia, MO)        

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Like Harley said, its been in pretty cold here in the middle for a few weeks now. Heat pumps been on quite a bit but the furnace has only been on a few times (atmospheric pump). I think its been a bit cooler than that up in the northern plains. How about it guys?

Post# 966844 , Reply# 7   11/8/2017 at 13:53 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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I have been running my gas Hearthstone to take the chill off since the beginning of October, My BBHW system has been running since the first of this month. 24 degrees here this morning, possible snow tomorrow night and wind chills Friday in the single digits. 5 more months and this cycle will be reversed.

Post# 966845 , Reply# 8   11/8/2017 at 13:54 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

This post has been removed by the member who posted it.

Post# 966848 , Reply# 9   11/8/2017 at 14:23 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        
No heating yet...

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With daytime temps in the mid 80's along with low 60's at night this is my time to crow...but stay tuned, that crow goes back to being a buzzard before you know it.


Beautiful weather for last Sunday's parade...

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Post# 966850 , Reply# 10   11/8/2017 at 14:33 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I first started using the furnace no later than early October. Maybe even late September. Although at first it was mostly banishing morning chill. But I probably wouldn't have needed heat then if I lived someplace that had better insulation.

Post# 966851 , Reply# 11   11/8/2017 at 14:33 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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No heat thus far, although came close on a previous couple-days norther.

Post# 966855 , Reply# 12   11/8/2017 at 14:59 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I'm getting close to turning the heat on here in mid MI.  House has been holding 59-60 degrees most of the time, I keep it at 62 during the winter so no big issue.  I always tell people it takes about 10 days to 2 weeks to get used to the cooler temps inside, after that I'm fine in shorts and a medium weight shirt.  I will admit to using the gas log a bit in the study at night watching TV, but I really don't mind the temp that much.

Post# 966868 , Reply# 13   11/8/2017 at 16:51 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
The oil is

Burning as we speak, 40s here right now...I LOVE IT, the colder the better...No grass or bugs!

Post# 966878 , Reply# 14   11/8/2017 at 17:40 by Launderess (Quiet Please, Theres a Lady on Stage)        
New York City Recently Passed New Heating Laws

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Requiring indoor temperatures for multi-family buildings be kept at 62F overnight regardless of outdoor temps.

As such heat has been on here for past few weeks off and on. Am here to tell you am roasting most of the time. This with windows open and the convectors shut off.

Post# 966882 , Reply# 15   11/8/2017 at 17:54 by appnut (TX)        

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I took a few days off last week and my days seem to be running together.  The last weekend of October we had lows of 32 both Saturday & Sunday morning.  But those days warmed up considerably.  But with my days running together, I do remember some point during the past 10 days that the heat was on early in the morning and by the evening, with doing some cooking, that the a/c was coming on.  And the thought--it's that time of the year where I'll have heat in the morning and a/c by bed time to maintain sleep temp of 74.  Today it's been drizzling off & on has pretty much stayed mid-40s.  When I got home the house was 68.  I imagine the heat will come on at some point before night time winter sleep temp of 60. 

Post# 966892 , Reply# 16   11/8/2017 at 18:32 by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Heat has been on for three weeks now. Currently 35, tomorrow nights low is 23. Friday is a high of 33.

Post# 966894 , Reply# 17   11/8/2017 at 18:35 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

Predicted to be very cold here on Fri., with the high about 36, and low in the lower 20's. Expected to be sunny, so not likely to have snow.

Post# 966909 , Reply# 18   11/8/2017 at 19:54 by washman (Butler, PA)        

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The non union Goodman has been running for a bit now.

Post# 966936 , Reply# 19   11/8/2017 at 22:02 by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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The heat has been on in the house for the past month. No snow yet but that is coming tomorrow, about 5 cm. The forecast low for tomorrow night is -14 C and a high of -6 C on Fri. Fortunately it is supposed to warm up next week.


Post# 966937 , Reply# 20   11/8/2017 at 22:05 by spacepig (Floridas Emerald Coast)        

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Still running the a/c here in the Florida panhandle, but not nearly as often.

Post# 966938 , Reply# 21   11/8/2017 at 22:10 by Stan (Napa CA)        

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Are your baseboard heaters portable or built in. Don't think I've ever seen baseboard heaters?
Vacuumed and cleaned our furnice out wth soap and water two weeks ago to get it ready.
Think I've got venting issues with this old girl though..
Do the repairs ever end for me! LOL

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Post# 966945 , Reply# 22   11/8/2017 at 22:27 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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our baseboard heaters are built in and were installed when in 1980 when the house was built. Each room has a separate thermostat mounted on the wall.. We painted the heaters the same color as the walls in each room so they just kind of blend into the backround. I think that you can get portable Hydronic baseboard heaters too.

Here are a couple of photos and a link to Cadet Softheat.

BTW, I love your floor furnace. I remember standing on the grate of our floor furnace when I was a kid, until it got too hot, LOL. Does your floor furnace have a furnace key? I remember more than once when the key got dropped down the grate and my Dad was none too pleased about having to get in there to fish it out. I also remember the distinctive smell that floor furnaces had. It wasnt the smell of gas, but I cant put my finger on what it smelled like other than floor furnace!


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Post# 966949 , Reply# 23   11/8/2017 at 23:10 by Dustin92 (Jackson, MI)        

Our furnace has been on for a couple weeks, before that just as needed. The thermostat is set for 71 during the day and lowers to 62 at 10:30. I just changed the filter this morning so provided everything holds up we should be good to go, it's a 25+ year old Amana 90% efficiency and has worked nearly flawlessly for the 6 winters we've been here. I do check the filter fairly regularly throughout the winter, but the old one I took out had 12/3/16 written on it so probably due. Didn't look too bad anyway.

Post# 966953 , Reply# 24   11/8/2017 at 23:31 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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I honestly don't know when the right time for the furnace is--but the wife complained about the cold since the middle of October, so there she goes--and so does our latest gas bill going from the affordable $43, from last Summer, to the un-payoff-able $100+ in the coming months...

We have a few electric space-heaters lying around in the basement, but we don't dare use them--likely to be too fire-hazard ready to burn down our place...

-- Dave

Post# 966963 , Reply# 25   11/9/2017 at 00:50 by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Have been looking at houses with my aunt lately, all homes built between 1926-1966. None of them had anything exciting for a furnace, the oldest one I saw was in a home built in 1947, it was just an early 90s Bryant. That house had very nice ductwork though, the branches were tiered so each takeoff stepped down in size, and was all installed very neatly. The metal wasn't your typical sheet metal either, it was shiny more like actual tin, and very thick too. All the registers were placed about 3/4's of the way up the wall which I found fascinating given that setup works best for A/C, not heating, which is all anyone did during that time. I've only seen one other house like that in my life, built around the same time. It had the same kind of ductwork in the basement and had phenomenal airflow on the second floor, so the whole house cooled real well in the summer (it was in Kansas City where 100 degree heat waves are normal in the summer)

The 1926 house had the huge baseboard registers along the interior wall, which were originally part of a gravity flow hot air system (coal furnace in the basement).

Every single house had a furnace at least twice if not three times larger than it should've had. I had the furnace for the main level here downsized to what it should be and it now runs much longer cycles maintaining a more constant temperature in the house.

Post# 966969 , Reply# 26   11/9/2017 at 03:42 by iej (Ireland)        
A bit unpredictable here in Ireland

Ireland's a bit like living on a ship in the North Atlantic, you can get all four seasons in one afternoon.
The heating went in a bit late this year, about 2 weeks ago, but it wouldn't be unusual to need heating on in September or April.

It rarely gets extreme cold weather but it's still fairly cool. You will definitely get the odd touch of frost in winter but nothing too much beyond crispy grass that thaws by 10am.

Jan and Feb: averages between 4 and 7 C (39.2 and 44.6 F)
July and August averages 14 to 16 C (57.2 to 60.8 F), Sumner maximum : 17 to 18 C (62.6 to 64.4 F) near the coast, to 19 to 20 C (66.2 to 68.0 F) inland.

The length of day changes enormously compared to most of the continental US.

In summer you're looking at dusky bright skies at 11pm while in mid winter it'd dark by 4pm.
We are as far north as Edmonton in Canada but it's a lot milder due to the Atlantic.

Basically it's mild, cool, temperate oceanic climate and you get huge amounts of variation and unpredictability.

It rains a lot, especially on the western side of Ireland, up to 225 days (west) vs about 151 days on the east coast, but it doesn't tend to rain constantly. Sunshine, showers and spectacular rainbows tends to be the usual pattern which is why it's the emerald isle. However, it can also turn into cool, misty, drizzly rain for extended periods too which isn't the most pleasant but still fairly tolerable.

Grass grows very late in the year, especially in the southern coastal areas like Cork. So you're mowing grass right up into November most years and as a result Irish milk and beef is basically 100% grass fed too.

The big challenge in Ireland with heating is responsiveness and flexibility. We've had a lot of fads with underfloor heating, which is very popular in continental Europe but in general isn't that pleasant here as you get huge variations in solar gain at random and you can end up with a heating system that doesn't respond quickly enough.

In general hydronic systems with radiators are the norm here. Forced air never really took off. It was popular for a while in the 60s and 70s but it's usually ripped out and replaced with a more normal hydronic systems.

The most common heat sources are natural gas (in urban / small town areas where available) and typically oil (close to kerosine) burnt in pressure jet boilers. There's a growth of wood pellet systems and also some use of propane in rural areas, although mostly for cooking, as it tends to be bad value as a source of heat compared to oil and natural gas.

Electricity (usually storage heating that heats large convection heaters full of thermal bricks using off peak power at night and releasing the heat over the day) is used sometimes. It's popular with landlords and cheap apartment developers, as they don't care about the running costs and the maintenance and installation costs are low, but it's rarely used in houses these days as electricity isn't good value for heat here, even using off peak (typically half price) power.

The mix may change as electricity generation gets greener and people are inventivised to use heat pumps, but for now natural gas condensing boilers and very efficient oil boilers seem to be king.

Your typical Irish household central heating system is usually an pressurised, water filled hydronic system with radiators. The system designs very a bit but usually the radiators are flat panels or double panels and there are tons of designer options. They're more convectors than radiators in reality.

Thermostat control is usually a combination of zones controlled by pumps and actuated valves and also TRVs (thermostatic radiator valves) on each radiator.

Hot water is usually heated indirectly using a heat exchange loop in the hot water tank. This is controlled by a thermostat and valves and pumps. In my system the boiler can send different temperature water to the hot water heating loop, much hotter than the radiators, so it heats faster.

Radiators get water at about 60 to 70C. I keep mine below 60 due to visiting toddlers.
Hot water cylinder gets fed with 90C and maintains the tank at 60C. That feeds the taps via a thermostatic mixer that drops it in my system settings to about 48C for safety reasons - so no risk of anyone opening a hot tap fully and getting scalded.

The showers use normal thermostatic valves so you can obviously adjust the from cold to 48C

I also use solar heating for hot water.

These days, solar would also be quite common; using a second loop in the tank circulating hot fluid from the solar collectors.

You just use a control system to ensure the solar panels are used first and the gas / oil / wood chip source is used second to boost the temp where necessary.

Hot water systems here (including mine) also have an electric element (referred to as an immersion heater) that can be switched on too, on its own or in combination with the other sources. I rarely have had any reason to use it as it's stupidly expensive relative to gas and solar

Also old Irish (and British) water heating tanks rend to have abysmally and to almost non existent insulation. The very oldest time were a bare copper cylinder. They used to heat rapidly which is why a lot of people were terrified of "leaving the immersion on" as you were basically just running a 3kW heater 24/7 in a tank that might as well have been a radiator.

Modern systems are vastly more energy efficient and don't have any of those issues, but the myths and mentality that it's ludicrous to leave water heating systems on still persist.

Other than that, we've a mandatory building energy rating which you have to display if you're selling or renting a property. Like appliances, houses are rated A to G with A being passive and G being wind whistling through the living room.

There's also a big drive towards A rating efficiency in new build. So you'd have triple glazing, solar panels, very high levels of insulation, heat recovery ventilation etc etc

You've also got on going use of traditional, open fireplaces, mostly for decorative and nostalgia reasons but they're still used.

Modern closed wood burning stoves are also popular, again mostly as decorative items rather than primary modes of heating. Use is smokey solid fuels like normal coal is illegal. Historically coal was a mainstream fuel used in fireplaces throughout Ireland and Britain. It was responsible for the pea soup smog in London in the mid 20th C and there was give resistance to change, largely due to stubborn nostalgic notions of a certain bygone generation.

This post was last edited 11/09/2017 at 04:01
Post# 966970 , Reply# 27   11/9/2017 at 04:08 by marky_mark (Sitges, Barcelona)        

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My apartment has central A/C for the summer that also works as "reverse cycle" for the winter i.e. central forced-air heat-pump heating.  Here in Barcelona, unlike other parts of Spain, it doesn't normally get extremely hot or very cold.


Having had the A/C on constantly for months, we've had it switched off for the past couple of weeks and currently need no heating or cooling.  But this interim period of "nothing" doesn't last long before we'll need some heating at night.  We never need much heat during the day due to thermal gain if we leave the shutters open and awnings retracted. 


Twintubdexter: I've been to Palm Springs and I love it there!  But it only has 3 seasons, right?  Hot, hotter and hottest?!

iej: in the summer, Ireland is such a beautiful green country, thanks to the frequent rain!  Fortunately I do like the rain, but then we don't get it too often here!

Post# 967263 , Reply# 28   11/11/2017 at 02:40 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Turned on my heatpump last night because of a freeze warning.Used a portable heater in my TV room.and using a portable heater at work!

Post# 967564 , Reply# 29   11/12/2017 at 18:44 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
"wind whistling through the living room..."

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What doesn't help, is when British Gas engineers and their ilk, decide that previously adequate ventilation is now not suitable, and they slap a 'Do not use' label on the gas fire. The only way to get it back in service is to allow them to cut a 4" hole through the outer wall! Then you end up with howlin' gales blasting through the living room.

Post# 967621 , Reply# 30   11/13/2017 at 00:10 by dartman (Portland Oregon)        

Turned our forced air electric furnace on the 10th I think. Same here, no more heat gain during the day and it was getting to the low sixties in here. We have equal pay so it's about 124 a month year round and goes up or down each year depending on how severe the winter was. Last year it got very cold and actually froze the incoming water pipe but luckily caught it early and pex pipes so no damage as I thawed it out under the house and fixed the heat tape that had come unplugged.
Supposed to be another cold winter again for here so we'll see how it goes. Guess I need to make sure the tape is on again too.

Post# 967685 , Reply# 31   11/13/2017 at 09:17 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
I cleaned and tested

our furnace end of September.
It's been on since the first week of October, and running some at night since the second week. We leave it set at 70 F.
It was only 20 F. here Friday morning. I didn't leave the house. Can you say cabin fever so early?
Hubby is beginning to have some arthritis in the neck and shoulders.
Does the desert climate help long term? He hates high summer heat as much as humid hot weather.
He can work from anywhere.

Post# 967698 , Reply# 32   11/13/2017 at 12:00 by DADoES (TX,U.S. of A.)        

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11:55a. Current outdoor temp is 74F to 79F depending upon where (somewhere in town or east side of my house). Indoor is 74F to 78F depending upon where in the house.

Post# 968038 , Reply# 33   11/15/2017 at 05:02 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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We've had the 17 year old Amana gas package unit going since mid October.  Had some warm days and cold nights typical of middle TN this time of year. 


Stan, my grandmother had a floor furnace in her old house.  I used to stand on it looking down through the small window and watch when it kicked on.  It fascinated me to see the flames spread out.  That thing really put out the heat!  And as far as I know, my older sister and I never once got burned on it because we were taught from the get go to walk around it -- HOT!  But as an adult I have some shoes with that grid pattern melted into the sole from stepping on it.  She had it replaced with another before she had her stroke and moved in with my parents, an Empire brand I believe.  Hers was propane since her town doesn't have natural gas lines.

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