The Long And Winding Road

As many of you may know, our home is an on-going project (who’s isn’t?).  And we are planning on adding a wood boiler into the mix to supply most of our heating needs during the year.  However, even with the freebie Memco MW100 Tasha’s inlaws are giving us, it will require a couple grand to install it ourselves.

So, I’ve made some steps to get us there.  There are several things more important than the boiler (even though at times I try to put the wood burning at the top of the list).

Step 1:

– Fix dip in living room ceiling
– Regrade land around foundation for better drainage
– Basement
– – – – Install new 150 gallon oil tank
– – – – Remove old 220 gallon oil tank
– – – – Inspect/Repair as necessary all floor joists
– – – – Jack up and support dip near basement stairs
– Install new light in upstairs bathroom
– Pay off Discover Card
– Add more insulation to old side of attic
– Install drop-down attic stairs
– Repair all wonky outlets (some of our 110v outlets aren’t mounted well)
– Develop all 35mm film (we have 15+ rolls undeveloped, some 10+ years old)

Step 2:

– Have foundation inspected (and repaired if necessary)
– Finish digging sump pit in basement
– Wire in separate gfci outlet with it’s own switch for sump pump
– Rewire phone jacks (add jack in kitchen and master bedroom)
– Install whole-house water filter

Step 3:

– Build shed, install wood boiler
– Have wood boiler run two “Kickspace heaters” downstairs (need to keep the wood and oil systems separate so we don’t loose our service contract on the old oil boiler).  Each boiler will have it’s own thermostat, the oil will be turned down so that if the wood heat goes out or the kickspace heaters can’t keep up with demand, the oil will kick on and run the normal baseboards.

Step 4:

– Add 300 gallons of thermal storage to the wood system (100,000 btu/hr at 40F delta T, enough to run the house heat for 6 hours on a 0F winter day, 24 hours in the spring and fall or provide domestic hot water for 10 DAYS in the summer)
– Switch domestic hot water from oil to wood heat (leave oil boiler’s dhw coil hooked up, plumbed in so we can manually switch back to oil dhw if necessary)

Step 5:

– Swap oil and wood zones.  The oil will now be regular backup, only supplying heat to the kickspace heaters.  The regular baseboard will be in everyday use again but now by the wood instead of the oil.  The oil will kick on if the wood and storage run out of heat and the house get’s below 62F (need to keep it relatively warm because of our Lovebird).

So, that’s the plan.  It might take 3-5 years to get all the way to Step 5, and something may throw a wrench in the plans as it seems that happens a lot.  But at least things are looking good for now.

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