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Poll: How do you heat your home?

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  1. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Into the low 30's F tonight (near 0 C) so I turned off the heat pump (fan on for circulation) and lit a fire in the wood stove. Now it is plenty hot everywhere. May need to open a window.
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    What do you prefer: a furnace or a radiator?
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    I will most likely give my preference to radiators, as they are much more convenient, in my opinion. Since I come home late at night, I have to heat the furnace and wait for the house to warm up while coming straight to a warm house with radiators. When I was renovating my apartment, I also decided to upgrade the radiators. I used check these radiators, with the help of which I was able to find the option I was interested in.
    Last edited by Bvgary; 7th Apr 2022 at 09:12.
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  4. Currently this voting can provide different results, first in Eu there is madness about Green Energy (whatever it means), coal and wood are banned and cursed way to generate heat, we also have due postcovid economy and resent war between Russia and Ukraine insane increase in energy prices - NG was raised from 250$ to around 3000$ per 1000 cubic meters in last two months, prices of electricity also going up yet mad people from EU push for renewable energy sources despite they are unable to provide stable energy supplies... i see future for most of Europeans in gray and cold way... but this is when ideology is placed higher than people life... (above remarks are based on fact that whole EU has less than 20% responsibility for eventual anthropogenic climate change).

    As i'm currently building home then i can say that my home will use floor heating (foundation plate will be used as heated floor and heat accumulator - there is already over 1.5km of heating pipes there) with recuperation system (air ventilation with wasted heat recovery) and my two heat sources will be air heat pump and additional, second heat source will be fireplace with some warm air distribution system, also i have ground heat exchange so in summer period i will be able to cool incoming air and recover such heat later in colder days. My goal in near future is to install PV system, in future also small wind turbine and perhaps some electrical energy storage. Incoming years will be very tough for people living on the northern hemisphere...
    Unless some miracle happen we will be sent to middle ages by ecofascist's...
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    and wood are banned and cursed way to generate heat
    Yes funny that, Great Britain is currently burning "biomass" to produce 1.7gw or 6.7% of their total power consumption. The Germans, biomass 4gw!
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    Originally Posted by pristick View Post
    What do you prefer: a furnace or a radiator?
    I have a boiler and hot water heat, so radiators are the only choice. The only downside is that there is no ductwork to add air conditioning.
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  7. Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by pristick View Post
    What do you prefer: a furnace or a radiator?
    I have a boiler and hot water heat, so radiators are the only choice. The only downside is that there is no ductwork to add air conditioning.
    We have the same kind of set up, an older smaller house with no ductwork and a hot water heater and steam boiler.
    We had a mini-split HVAC system put in. One outside unit and two indoor "heads/controllers." They run a 3" amibilical from the outside unit to the two inside units through the wall. It uses a compressor for AC and a heat pump for heat.
    This gives us very efficient AC and heat. It works well in our house. Has been very reliable and has come down in prioce a great deal since we had ours done in 2007.

    --dES
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  8. In Canada, there are rebates to encourage switching to zero-carbon space heating. So we switched, replacing our ancient gas furnace with a "cold-climate" heat pump. The rebates covered half the total cost, the house is much more comfortable, and now we will have cooling in the summer in case we get a repeat of last year's "heat dome" that pushed temperatures into the low forties.
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  9. Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    and wood are banned and cursed way to generate heat
    Yes funny that, Great Britain is currently burning "biomass" to produce 1.7gw or 6.7% of their total power consumption. The Germans, biomass 4gw!
    Technically coal, gas and oil are biomass - issue is as always in law and ideology... Wood will be banned for private heat generation usage - due generated particles and so called low emission - same for coal...
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  10. Ret. Hippie Guitar Player Axel Slingerland's Avatar
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    I may not have much experience with video streaming, etc., but I have been using forums since before they were forums in the old dial-in BBS days, and I just have one little bitty question... Starting with post #33, that and all subsequent posts are dated on or after 14th March, 2022, which vBulletin says is 4524 days old. (All previous posts were from 2009.) And my question is This. How can that be, when the number of days between 14th March 2022 and today is only about 22 days? Depending on where and when you start and stop counting the days, of course.

    Ok, back on topic...

    I live in the hills outside of a coastal town in northern California, where it is typically cool about 60F / 16.55C to 70F / 21.11C in the summer to 40F / 4.44C to 20F / 6.66C in the winter. I usually say that we have two seasons, summer and wetter, due to how dry it gets in the summer and how much rain and fog we get in the winter. But the last few years it's been a lot warmer all year round. This past summer it actually got hot, for us anyway. It actually got up to 80F / 26.66C. On the other side, that last winter we hardly got any rain and it rarely got below 40F / 4.44C. As such we didn't use our gas wall heater or throw any logs on the fire for heat. That saved me a little money but it's also a warning it might get hot again this summer, and that means we have to be on fire watch all the time. I always make the joke "That's the price we pay to live in paradise.", but when it comes to fire season, I have to remember the small town named Paradise, California that was almost completely burned to the ground in 2018, and several other places recently... And that we could be next.
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  11. Member thecoalman's Avatar
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    I know this is an old topic but surprised how many people answered coal. When they mention anthracite it's the highest grade of coal and nearly pure carbon. It's "smokless". My avatar is anthracite.

    Originally Posted by pristick View Post
    What do you prefer: a furnace or a radiator?
    Radiation is going to provide a more even heating experience. There is two cons, it's much more expensive to install and it takes up some space in the living space. Personally after seeing the condition on the inside of many ducts I would never go near ducted heat or AC. I can be gross to put it bluntly and difficult to clean properly.
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    Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
    I know this is an old topic but surprised how many people answered coal. When they mention anthracite it's the highest grade of coal and nearly pure carbon. It's "smokless". My avatar is anthracite. .
    "Stop by your Blue Coal dealer today! ... and now, we return to, THE SHADOW!"
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    Allegheny County Pennsylvania had an anti-smoke ordinance since around 1950 which virtually eliminated the use of coal for heating. Coal-fired boilers were common before that and most people tended to use cheaper bituminous coal for heating. Anthracite was too expensive. I am not sure how many other PA counties have similar ordinances but they were necessary in Pittsburgh. I heard a lot of tales from older Pittsburgh relatives about streetlights that were on until noon and soot accumulating on the window sills to such an extent that they had to be cleaned daily. Every stone or brick building quickly turned black and they were still black decades later unless they were steam-cleaned.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 12th Jan 2024 at 14:13.
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  14. Member thecoalman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Allegheny County Pennsylvania had an anti-smoke ordinance since around 1950 which virtually eliminated the use of coal for heating.
    Is it just not enforced? I know there is people in those counties using anthracite and bit coal. You might be able to get bit coal for about $60 out that way, the anthracite is going to run you $500+/- a ton. It's quite high right now because of a huge demand from Europe that developed over this Ukraine situation.

    This is restored 1890's "Baseburner", about $15K+/-, it's not typical, new modern stoves and boilers are the most common. A stove like this when originally made would of been found in the homes of very wealthy people.



    Last edited by thecoalman; 13th Jan 2024 at 03:24.
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    Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Allegheny County Pennsylvania had an anti-smoke ordinance since around 1950 which virtually eliminated the use of coal for heating.
    Is it just not enforced? I know there is people in those counties using anthracite and bit coal. You might be able to get bit coal for about $60 out that way, the anthracite is going to run you $500+/- a ton. It's quite high right now because of a huge demand from Europe that developed over this Ukraine situation.
    In the future, there could be an ordinance against the use of coal (as well as all other fossil fuels) in Alllegheny County but that isn't the case now. This is an anti-smoke ordinance, not an anti-coal ordinance. Enforcement was and probably still is more likely for industrial use and commercial businesses. For residential situations now, a neighbor would probably have to register a smoke-related complaint. Most of Allegheny County went with natural gas as a replacement for coal after WWII. It was clean, cheap, abundant, and convenient, plus there was no pile of coal in the basement and no oil tank.
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  16. Member thecoalman's Avatar
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    When the primary source of energy for the electric you are using is gas and coal those laws outlawing gas stoves are quite frankly stupid. It's much more efficient to use it at the location you need the energy. Those laws can increase emissions. A newer gas power plant using a technology called combined cycle might be 60% efficient at best, this is before you account for losses in transmission. This could never compete with directly using gas to heat.

    As far as anthracite goes anti smoke laws would not affect it, it has lower PM emissions than oil fired units. The only source of heat that would be lower is natural gas. When the EPA was clamping down on these wood stoves this affected some coal stoves because they were labeled dual fuel. They were tested with wood and since they had the opportunity they tested them with anthracite, apparently even the regulators were surprised how low they were. This is information given to me by a manufacturer. The dual fuel lable was removed and they are now only labeled for coal.

    As far as industrial and commercial use that is going to be covered under EPA regs. Most of your PM pollution has been eliminated by scrubbers, when you are looking at industrial smoke stack anything visible is water vapor. Because of it's cost even going back to the early 1900's anthracite has never been used in industry. At most it may have been used for large commercial boilers for heating applications.


    The use of coal for home heating started a steady decline in the 1920's. Around 1922 PA mined about 200 millions coal equally split between soft coal and anthracite. This was a record that stood into the 2000's when it was eclipsed by Wyoming. Today production for soft coal is somewhere around 40 million tons and 5 million for anthracite. Anthracite is only about 1% of US production.
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  17. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    i gave up on anthracite because of the increased cost the last several years. i went back to wood. i can cut and burn as much as i want for free. currently there are many standing dead ash trees everywhere that are free to harvest here, due to the imported chinese bug, "emerald ash borer". all ash will be gone soon, because of it.
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  18. Member thecoalman's Avatar
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    "Free" depends on your perspective, that's a lot of work. I used to tell people if they were going to cut wood, sell the wood and buy coal. Nowadays that wouldn't make much sense. The recent increases are driven by an enormous demand from Europe.
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