It’s August 22nd and summer is coming to a close. That only means one thing, winter is not far away. We are still without heat here but we think we may have a plan.
We have gotten a plethora of advice regarding how we should proceed. We are desperately trying to save our terrazzo floors, which has guided our thinking. Our first thought is that we would have radiant floor heat. It takes 40% less energy than forced air to achieve the same degree of comfort. The traditional method is to lay radiant tubing on top of the existing floor, and then lay a new floor. But then we would lose our terrazzo. My husband proposed we lay the tubing on the ceiling of the crawl space, thus allowing us to save the terrazzo and have radiant heat.
But would it work? Many say no, some say yes. What we do know is it would be the most cost effective solution.
We currently have a 1.1 million BTU oil boiler. The heating bill for the last year the school was operational was $38,000. Much too rich for our blood and not green enough. We have bought a biomass boiler from China. We can feed it wood pellets, corn cobs, or wood waste. We already have a standing invite to help ourselves to the giant pile of wood chips from a local arborist in town free of charge. Every orchard burns the wood they prune from their trees. We can use it for fuel. The only set back is it’s arrival time. It costs 90% less to buy a biomass boiler from China instead of Canada. Some say not all Chinese companies are reputable. We will see. Our fingers have been crossed for the last month anticipating the boiler’s arrival.
Let’s hope it gets here before the snow arrives.
Another option is to get a propane tank, have a forced air furnace, and run ducts. This is the most conventional method of heating our place. We could set this up and then retrofit the system to our new biomass boiler. The propane system would then be used as a back up if that is ever needed.
But don’t those radiant floors sound cosier? What if it did work? Warm terrazzo floors on a chilly morning, and no need for slippers, and some money left in the bank. That’s a hard bet not to take.
We haven’t fully decided on what to do. Although we did buy a small pellet stove as a back up in case that radiant floor thing doesn’t work out.