December 5, 2007

Hello, Norbert:
We finally had our first taste of winter weather here in New England with temps in the low teens and sustained winds of 30-40 MPH.  I am happy to report that your masonry heater that Stephen Bushway installed is everything that I'd hoped for . . . and more!
I am still working off of the same 100 gallons of oil delivered in late spring for the boiler combustion test.  So far I have used the boiler for DHW only and have been heating the house with the masonry heater only thus far.  By having one air handler for the center room and a separate one for the for the wings, I am able to turn off the heat and turn on the fan only for the air handler in the wings to capture the warmed air from the center room and distribute it to the wings.
The gentle heat provided by the regulation of the masonry mass makes it very comfortable.  I have been having two fires per day--one in the morning and one at night--to minimize temperature fluctuations and am getting pretty good at watching the weather forecast and adjusting the the wood charge to keep the average temp of the center room just below 70.  The wings generally stay about 7 degrees cooler.  Of course, the bone-numbing cold is not here yet, but this heater seems to work really well with the thermal mass of the logs.
Of course, it helps that the masonry heater is in the center of the house and that the house is nice and tight.  Attached: <<EnergyStarCert.doc>>  I'm sure that you familiar with the ENERGY STAR program.  The HERS score has recently been replaced by the HERS Index.  An index of 100 indicates that a home meets the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code.  To qualify for the ENERGY STAR certification, a house must achieve a HERS index of 85, which means that it's 15% more efficient than the standard.
Heerza coupla pics to help understand the layout of the house.  Attached: <<Aldrich_v20060403.gif>> <<Stain_Done.JPG>> <<stephen_bushway.JPG>> <<first_course.JPG>> <<masonry_heater.JPG>>  You can see that I still have to mortar the cap in the spring. 
There's a little feedback; I'll keep you posted.
Thank you,


Energy Star Certificate


finished house

Steve Bushway building the core

First Course

Finished heater