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Choosing a New Wood Stove

Posted on April 01,2015 by ScottG in heat

Patricia Appelbaum is in the market for a new wood-burning stove, one without a catalytic element, to provide mostly supplemental heat for her 1,600-square-foot home. There are a lot of models to choose from, and that's part of the problem.

Upgrading a Shop’s Heating System

Posted on April 01,2015 by ScottG in hydronic

Matt Cooper's 1,800-square-foot woodworking shop sits on a 6-inch concrete slab heated with a radiant-floor system. Unfortunately, the on-demand water heater that Cooper uses to heats the water for the in-slab tubing isn't performing well. "I've been using a Takagi Jr. to heat it for the past couple of years but it's been no end of headaches," Cooper writes in a Q&A post at Green Building Advisor.

How to Choose the Right Mechanical System

Posted on April 01,2015 by ChrisBriley in boiler

With any house, there are so many variables that influence the decision to choose one particular mechanical system over another: climate, house size, cost, local availability and cost of fuels and materials, and the lifestyle and preferences of the occupants. There is no “one-size-fits-all” system that we can reliably prescribe for all projects. Phil and I sat down over a good winter cocktail to share our views, anecdotes, battle scars, and wisdom on this important subject.

Can Switching to a Dual-Flush Toilet Save Heat?

Posted on April 01,2015 by user-1048334 in BTU

First off, my wife just joked that I used a photo of a “male bathroom”: seat up and two rolls of toilet paper. Regarding the heat savings mentioned in the headline, we'll see... I haven't done the math yet. But it is a minor claim occasionally made alongside the claim that these toilets save water.

Heating a Tight, Well-Insulated House

Posted on April 01,2015 by user-756436 in direct vent

If you build a small, tight, well-insulated home — in other words, a green home — it won’t need much heat. Since typical residential furnaces and boilers are rated at 40,000 to 80,000 Btuh, they are seriously oversized for a superinsulated home, which may have a heating design load as low as 10,000 to 15,000 Btuh. Builders have been struggling for decades with the question, “What’s the best way to heat a superinsulated home?” Your solution will depend in part on your answers to a couple of other questions:

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