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Thread: Heating System

  1. #1

    Default Heating System

    I am not sure if this is the right forum, but anyway - I am building a house that I will be using only during the weekends, maybe once or twice per month. I may move in there eventually after a few years. The house is in Maine and it gets very cold in the winter.

    I will have a propane tank and need to decide on some sort of a central heating system based on propane. Since I’ll be there on weekends only (including during the winter), I need to find an easy way to “winterize” and the “de-winterize” every other week or so.

    A water based heating system may not be practical, as I don’t want to drain the water every time. A coolant based system may work, except that I hear it is not recommended as the coolant might be harsh on the system and leaks may develop – definitely a bad idea given that I won’t be there most of the time to see them when they happen.

    Then a hot air based system is an option, though I don’t like the fact that it is dusty, and there is no way to control the temperature via different circuits.

    What do you think is the best solution?

    Also, do they sell washing machines and dishwashers that are easy to drain?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Default

    A hydronic system would still want makeup water available, so that would still be a weak point even if you did use antifreeze (the use of antifreeze requires a slightly larger boiler since it actually transfers less of the heat verses pure water).

    A forced-air furnace can be zoned, but it costs more. Done right, it doesn't need to be drafty or dusty. It likely would be the least expensive to install, too. Depending on what you have for places to run ducts, you could go with one of the high velocity, small duct systems where the outlets are in the order of 3" or so.

    If the electric rates aren't too bad, you could go with a split a/c-heat pump system. But, in Maine, it would likely use a bunch of resistance heat. You probably wouldn't need the a/c often, so that may be a poor choice.

    You also need to deal with the toilets - you can drain the tank but if you don't leave something in the bowl, you'll have a house full of sewer gasses. RV antifreeze works there and in the other traps. Not sure if you'd want to use that in the DW...maybe if you ran a cycle before you put dishes back in it. You'd have to read the label.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    forced hot air. have the ductwork and furnace sized and installed by someone that knows what they are doing. It won't be dusty or dry (both are wives tales) if it's properly sized and installed.

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks for the replies.

    I spoke to my propane supplier - they suggested a Thermopride MDA1-100 system with manually adjusted vent valves. Is that a good system?

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