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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    113

    Default Heating Options for Seasonal NE Cottage

    I'm pondering purchasing a small 1955 seasonal ranch-style cottage by the shore, that has no furnace. There's also no basement or crawl space.

    Its been winterized over the years, and I'm wonder what my options are as to installing either an oil or gas heating system. Right now the owners have electric baseboards they use on chilly evening but I'm not about to heat year round w/electricity.

    What are my options w/o breaking the bank? There is a southern exposure.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The deep South
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Heating Options for Seasonal NE Cottage

    Wood stove , Propane heat , natural gas , if available .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    550

    Default Re: Heating Options for Seasonal NE Cottage

    I would agree with djohns---I would also recommend you touch as many bases as possible before the hard weather hits.

    Talk to any nearby neighbors about what kind of heat THEY have---they would also have a good idea of what fuel supplies in your area are available & reliable.

    Also check with local real estate agents--they have a wide swath of knowledge about scores of different house types & different heating systems.

    Is there a natural gas pipe servicing the house now??

    How about a propane tank outside, or propane service in the area, How about an oil co.??

    All of them could recommend an appropriate heating system---cal them up to have them come over to give you a free estimate.

    What is the sq.footage of the building???---it's a very easy matter to box off a small 6' X6' utility room with sheet rock & 2 X 4's to install a gas-fired or oil-fired boiler or furnace---they install a side vent so you don't need a chimney if the house doesn't have one.

    Modern boilers/furnaces are the size of a large suitcase these days, yet put out as much heat as you will need.

    HD/Lowe's carry a limited number of oil-fired & gas-fired boilers/furnaces that you can go in to check out---you'll be surprised at the small size of these units---not that you have to BUY anything at HD, but get some idea of what they look like.

    A basic sizing of heating equipment is done in btu output per sq.ft.

    Thus a cottage 25' X 35' = 875 sq.ft. X 40 (heat factor) = 35,000 btu/hr (approx.) to heat the building---if there is little insulation the heat factor would be 50 or 60.
    Last edited by NashuaTech; 10-25-2008 at 07:49 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Heating Options for Seasonal NE Cottage

    I would definitely recommend a pellet stove...for next year. I daresay this year it would be very hard for you to find pellets at a decent price, but if you can wait until next year it is a great option. In addition to being eco-friendly, pellets are easy to store in 40 lb bags if you've got a place to put them. They don't go "bad" so you can buy them in May or August when the prices are at their lowest.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: Heating Options for Seasonal NE Cottage

    Guess I didn't explain clearly that I won't be living in the cottage yearound, but would still like it to be heated. Don't wish to winterize.

    Thus, using a wood or pellet stove (which I use at other house) are excellent solutions if/when someone is there to stoke the fire. That won't be the case.

    Many of the nearby cottages are seasonal, yet some do heat entirely year round with electric baseboards. my wallet won't allow such. This is a relatively small cottage, around 1100 sq ft.

    Curious if anyone was familiar with installing a furnace in an existing closet/room (since there's no basement or crawl space) and running baseboard or ducts throughout an existing structure. As opposed to doing all this during the construction. I did notice propane tanks at some homes. But appeared to be small - like to run a stove. Not like there's an underground gas pipeline that close to water. Basically need like to know what's involved in retro-fitting a house with a heating system.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    550

    Default Re: Heating Options for Seasonal NE Cottage

    As noted from others living on the lake, electric baseboard is often used because it is very easy to install & doesn't freeze in cold weather--however if the elec. rate is over 9 cents/kwh, it is a very expensive form of heat.

    Other options might be a gas-fired or oil-fired hot water baseboard system strung together with PEX plastic tubing--this could be snaked thru the walls & even to a 2nd floor with little effort for an easy, quick install.

    Such a system would have to contain propylene glycol (non-toxic antifreeze) if it's in a cold area, & would not include air conditioning.

    There is a UNICO system that uses forced hot air fed to registers via 3" wide flexible ducting, which is also easy to snake thru wall cavities--this system is often installed in an attic location.

    There would be no freeze danger with such a system, & it also provides AC in the summer.

    There are thru-the wall PTAC's (Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners) or combo heat pumps/AC's that some use that require no ducting--the heat output falls off considerably if the temp falls below 35 degrees & some supplement form of heat has to be provided--this equipment also has no problem with freezing temps.

    I also urge you to have a building inspector check out the house before you buy--lakeside structures have a reputation of often being just thrown together as a temporary structure without a foundation & often too close to the water in the event of flooding.

    There is also a problem with vandalism & theft in these types of lake shore houses--the thieves target the ones that are vacant most of the time, and often the local police are apathetic.

    http://www.unicosystem.com
    http://www.ptacunits.com
    Last edited by NashuaTech; 10-28-2008 at 08:25 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: Heating Options for Seasonal NE Cottage

    > There is a UNICO system that uses forced hot air fed to registers via 3" wide flexible ducting, which is also easy to snake thru wall cavities--this system is often installed in an attic location.
    >
    >There would be no freeze danger with such a system, & it also provides AC in the summer.

    Many thanx, this is the kind of info I was looking for. this particular cottage has a good size attic - rafters are high enough for a person to stand. Will check out the sites.

    Before purchase is done, will definitely have a complete inspection. have already come across cottage where a 2nd bathroom
    was installed on top of the deck - detached from house. the piping from shower, sink and toilet, runs along bottom of deck, "directly" into ground (who knows what its attached to). so you are correct that many cottages have interesting design (most are likely not up to code).

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