Our 3200 sq2 home during the 2007/8 winter.
Before, the oil tank for dual-heat and oil fired hot water boiler needed a refill 3-4 times a year.
Back in 1998 when we moved into our1975 cottage in the West Island of Montreal the World market price for oil was at $15 /Barrel. Energy was relatively cheap and heating cost concerns were barely on our radar screen. Fast forward to 2011 and Home heating cost would have approached our annual property tax bill if we had not implemented some drastic changes.
Home building envelope Energy efficiency improvements.
New casement windows and doors were installed. More attic insulation was added and the basement wall insulation was improved. Following these updates home heating cost dropped by about 30%.
New innovative hot water heating system.
About 40% of the annual heating budget can go into hot water heating. The existing 40 gal. Oil-fired hot water tank was replaced with a 60 gallon Electric heated tank. An innovative cold water “pre-heat” tank was installed in the basement next to the Furnace that now allows cold (+5°C) City water during winter to “pre-heat” to room temperature before flowing to the new hot water tank allowing water to heat more rapidly during winter. Following the changes hot water heating costs have dropped by 65% to about $250/year for a family of 4.
Heating system improvements.
The house came equipped with Dual-heat (oil furnace + heat-pump). Not satisfied with its performance and high operating cost, I looked at alternatives such as converting to Electric or Natural gas or installing a high efficiency wood burning fireplace to supplement Dual-Heating. Taking into account that the existing Furnace was still in good working order the investment required installing any of the alternative options seemed unreasonable.
Looking more closely at the operation of the existing Dual-heat system, I discovered important inherent efficiency issues that I determined could be resolved by adding a more efficient heat control system, without modifying or replacing the existing heating system. Unable to find the required equipment on the market, I used my Electronic Engineering background to design and build the 3-FLEX™ and T-eco™ control units.
Heating oil consumption has dropped about 90% to 140-230 L /year.
Heating cost reductions achieved are truly impressive.
Following installation of the 3-FLEX and T-eco the oil Furnace now only runs when the outdoor temperature drops below -12°C//10.4°F. At an average total of only 30-60 hrs/year. And because the heat-pump duty-cycle is now much improved, it produces efficient low cost heat, even during the colder days of winter. Despite the increased Heat-pump and complementary Plenum heater use the Electricity bill has only increased marginally .
Living in an older house does not have to equate to high energy bills.
Following the changes the“ indoor climate” has changed from dry and drafty, to warm and comfortable. The relative humidity before was at 25% during the colder days of winter even with a central humidifier installed on the Furnace. Now it holds steady around 45 to 50 % without central humidifier. The automatic house thermostat day temperature setting is at 21°C from 7am-11pm. The night temperature is set at + 17°C.
The total Electricity bill for the House, for heating and all other domestic use is now below $1100 / year.
Impressed with the results I have made it my business to help other homeowners serious about reducing heating cost and improving home comfort.
Please give me a call to discuss your project.
Now a refill is required only once every 4-5 years.
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