Saturday, February 8, 2014
The Magic Number
I been sitting here tonight watching the various temperature readings at the cold weather command center and catching up on blogs. Since I got back from the wood run this afternoon I have steadily watched the outside temperatures climb into the mid to upper teens. We are also getting another dusting of snow but temps are suppose to continue to rise to 20 by dawn.
What I have noticed is that after we hit approximately 12 degrees everything seemed to visibly improve. The blower did not go out on the furnace, even when I put only a few logs in it continued to purr like a kitten. The inside temperatures rose quickly into the 80's and I had to go out and close the air vents to get a slower and cooler burn which still did not shut the blower off.
The basement temperature stabilized at 36 degrees so no backup heat was needed for the pipes and in general everything seemed to function much better.
At this point it is telling me that I need to keep the internal thermostat on the wood furnace from kicking off in the single digit and sub-zero temps. I don't remember it having an issue with the lows like this before but they have never stretched this long either. It could also be that the thermostat is going bad as I have seen that happen with these units before. Enclosing the entire unit might help a lot or maybe I can get by with just some foam insulation around the actual blower box. It seemed the real issues started whenever I began to see constant ice staying on the furnace where typically it would melt off.
If I can keep the blower going on the wood furnace the reduction in cutting and splitting times almost makes up for the higher wood consumption when I compare it to running a standard wood stove. Almost... I am still not 100% sure about that and I am also not sure how much hauling time would increase in a grid down situation. I can also keep the burn and the blower going for a good six hours before needing to resupply the box thereby continuing to cut the fuel use way down.
The entire process hinges on that thermostat that activates the blower. If it is a matter of them going bad over time I either need to stock a couple of them or figure that weak link just makes the entire thing unreasonable. The up side to the furnace is I can heat the entire house comfortably with no need to close off rooms or run multiple units.
Now that I am seeing somewhat more reasonable temps I may have to recalculate the numbers.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!