With outside temps between 90F & 95F, I kept my 1600 square feet Ranch Home at a comfortable 74 with just (1) 6000 BTU Window A/C & the use of a strategically placed fan !
With Winter coming, I am looking to save $$$ by doing what I did last year & the year before.
Firstly, insulation is best. You can plan all you like for making efficient energy but if it's going out the door you are wasting time & money.
Gas & Electricity have both gone up but I have been saving at least $60 per month by using my old Boiler to get the house to temp with the Baseboard Hot Water Heat system & then dropping the thermostat down & using an electric room heater in the living room at night.
68F is okay during the day when you are doing housework & moving about but when you sit down at 7pm to watch TV, that's when 68F isn't enough.
We burn Gas to get to 73F or 74F, drop the thermostat to 65F overnight but use the electric heater to keep the living room at 74F until bed time.
The big change this year is taking the 1500watt noisy Fan Heater back to Wal-Mart for a refund & buying a DeLonghi oil filled radiator which is an AWESOME heater.
I love this heater. For the same 1500watt investment it sure puts out not only more heat into the room but in my opinion, a much nicer heat.
I have been reading about radiant heating using a high quality Hot Water Heater instead of a Boiler & I am very interested.
I was told that I can't use it with Hot Water Baseboard Heat but, at the risk of sounding like an arrogant prick, I'm not ready to admit defeat just yet.
The lowest water temp setting on my Boiler is 170F & the highest water temp of a Natural Gas Hot Water Heater is 150F so I'm not convinced that a void of 20F will rule the system out for me.
My HWBBH system uses 3/4" Copper Pipes with Aluminum "fins" along the Baseboards to radiate heat into the house. Ever turned your water tank to it's highest setting & grabbing the copper pipe that comes out the Hot side ???... It's DAMN hot !
It may take a little longer to get the house to 74F but I can't believe that a loss of 20F in water temp won't work.
The Math looks good,... A 30,000 BTU water heater vs a 120,000 BTU boiler & a reserve of 30 Gallons of hot water vs only 10 Gallons.
Initial heating of the system & the internal house temp will take a little longer but system temp loss is less due to a higher reserve of hot water, better insulation of the hot water & 1/4 of the Gas consumption.
There is no risk of danger because the Hot Water Heater is only doing what it's designed to do & that's heating & holding hot water.
I would love to hear some views on this but I do know that "if" my Boiler died tomorrow I would absolutely risk the $500 on a new Hot Water Heater. If it doesn't work then I have a new Water Heater,... If it does work I will be saving a lot of money !