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No central heat at all...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

We have a furnace that has been nothing but a headache ever since it was installed.  We have a woodstove in our basement which has vents n the floor to let heat into the main level.  Our second floor each bedroom has a oil type heater (the contained type with a thermostat on it) which over all does good heating those rooms.  I am considering not getting the darn furnace fixed AGAIN.   I know we won't be able to keep the house 66 degrees in the coldest times but it will be doable.  Has anyone else lived with basically wood heat and a couple of space heaters?  Our windows are double paned, we have good insulation and already sealed up our windows and extra doors.  But our house is 100 yrs old so not totally tight. 

post #2 of 15

I'd say try it, if it's not working for you then call the repair person.

post #3 of 15

We heat with just wood in a drafty old house-- one woodstove in the downstairs. It's certainly do-able, especially if you have heaters int he rooms.

post #4 of 15

We went two winters with a broken furnace. We have a small direct vent heater in our living room, and a small radiant heater in our mudroom,( because its closed off from the rest of the house) But our wood stove has always been our main source of heat, and even now that our furnace works we rarely, if ever, use it.

post #5 of 15

We heat our house (built in 1883) with two woodstoves. Ours isnt in the basement, and we dont have heat running through any furnace system. There is a stove in the back of the house, and one in the front of the house. It stays pretty warm most of the time, but we do wake up to some cold cold mornings. I know it gets colder in MO than here in Kentucky, but I think its totally do able. Personally, for us, its all about harvesting and burning the right wood.

ETA:We do use a space heater in the bathroom. I cant live with the toilet water freezing solid.

post #6 of 15

I suspect that the answer to your question is going to differ with every poster based on their climate and the insulation of their house.  I agree though that you should try it.


Our heater is currently broken and it gets pretty cold in our house.  Living without a heater is doable but not fun...although we live in a mild climate our house is almost 100 yrs old and has original windows and no insulation.  This last week it got down into the low thirties and we couldn't get the house warmer than 58 degrees (and that was with the oven on and three space heaters going).  And our house is small...only about 850 sq feet.  I can't imagine what it would be like with a larger house.

post #7 of 15

We rent, the house is about 1600-1700 built in the 70's.  It has good insulation, but single pane windows (the originals).  The furnace is propane, and the issue is that it is a minimum of 100 gallons per trip, which lasts less than 3 months.  The propane delivery companies charge a fortune for their delivery (propane at the local feed is less than $3 a gallon, but if you get it delivered it is $3.79 a gallon plus delivery charge). 


We live in Oregon, we have occasional temps in the teens, although when it gets that cold it lasts for a week or more.  We are fortunate to be in the lee of a hill, and get very little wind.  Average temps for winter  are 25-45 F.


The playroom (converted garage) has 2 very nice electric heaters built in.  We use a propane heater that is rated for some indoor use with an oxygen sensor, I need to get a CO sensor, the landlords told me they were installing one and did not.  Then we also have a couple space heaters.  Last week when our high was 16 degrees, the house only went down to 62 at night, we brought it up to 67-68  during the day.


I do occasionally use the oven trick, too.  They say it isn't safe, but I'm here the whole time.

post #8 of 15

A new, energy-efficient furnace will pay for itself within a few years. 

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by A&A View Post

A new, energy-efficient furnace will pay for itself within a few years. 

Our furnace is actually less than 10 yrs old.  Its a lemon.  We've replaced our ac unit, put in a woodstove, did lots of winterization to the house.  We've spent a lot of money fixing our existing furnace.  We're kinda tapped out on funds  to keep replacing stuff at this time.  While we would love to get another furnace its gonna be a year or two.  We're hoping to make due with space heaters and woodstove.  Just wondering if anyone else does it this way.

post #10 of 15

We live in NH and heat with a wood stove only--I grew up this way too, so I am used to dressing in sweaters, slippers, etc. in the winter. They make small fans that go in the corners of your doors, so that heat will circulate to all the rooms. We took the doors off a lot of rooms so that heat can get in as well.  

We dont have any space heaters, but do have some electric blankets.

Our wood stove has a fan that blows out the heat, and it makes a huge difference--when the power goes out and the fan stops running, the house is freezing.

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

We are lucky in the fact a few yrs back we purchased a generator (a big one) so if we lose power our deep freezes keep on running.  We have three full! lol

post #12 of 15
We basically had to do this last winter for a couple of months. The house was by far warmer with less cost than with our boiler running. The thing finally got fixed, but it definitely worked using the space heaters.
post #13 of 15

I guess my concern would be how cold it gets in the house at night.


My biggest concern is the pipes freezing and then a bigger headache/ possible cost of repair.


That being said, we live in foothills of Colorado and set the furnace at 50 degrees. We heat primarily with wood, but the furance will kick on normally around 2a-3a and will run until we get up in the morning and re-start the fires. (not the most efficent burning stoves, also burn pine which does not put out the amount of heat that hardwood does, which I imagine is what you burn in the midwest) 


However, our house has a LOT of windows and a LOT of large windows as well. The doors are not weatherstripped (bought last week but haven't yet put up) and the house is layded out strangely as well as about 2500 square feet, so some things are not comparable.


Also, would worry about you leaving for any length of time... vacation, weekend away, etc, etc. If you are not there to burn fires, is the house going to drop into that danger zone of cold and pipes freeze?


We have lots of great blankets and will pre-heat beds with electric blanket to warm the sheets, but do not sleep with electric blankets on. The bedroom side of the house, never gets above 58 in the winter, it's fine as we only really sleep in the bedrooms and live in the "great room" during the day and night which can get up into the low 70's by mid day/ and into the evening.


If freezing pipes is not a concern, then I would keep doing what you're doing for the time being until you can get it repaired or replaced.




post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

Pipes freezing aren't a concern because the woodstove is in our basement.  We don 't have water lines on the second floor, just the main floor.  We once again think we have figured out the problem and can fix it ourselves.  And for once its not going to be expensive.  In a few weeks tho who knows...

post #15 of 15
We're facing a winter w no furnace for safety reasons, but like chamomile, we have a temperate climate. I bought fleece sheets for the bed, we have heavy comforters, wool socks, and the baby wears longies and a wool shirt at all times. The baby's room has a heater that we keep at 65, but the rest of the house is within a few degrees of ambient. It's not particularly pleasant, but thankfully winter is short here.
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