During our summer hiatus from regular Grange meetings,the need for decisions hasn’t gone away. Those of us who can remember back before warm weather arrived know that it won’t last forever–this is Vermont! Alert readers will remember we’ve been warned that our furnace is on its last legs. Heating oil is one of our largest annual expenses, and of course we need to keep the Hall warm once cold weather comes back. So some of us have been studying the options.
We’ve gotten quotes from a couple of heating system contractors, for a couple of options: replacing our current single furnace with another oil furnace, or changing to a pair of gas furnaces, to independently heat the 2 floors. Sizing of these has been based on our current fuel usage, and the current furnace size.
We’ve been lucky to get help from a new member of the Montpelier dance community, who has about 40 years of experience in HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning). Bill has stepped forward to use his expertise to evaluate the heating and ventilating needs of our building, using spread-sheet based tools. He’s surveyed the building, and interviewed me about the structure and the insulation levels–including the 12″ of cellulose which we put in the attic floor back in 2007. By doing this study, Bill expects to recommend the size of the furnace(s) we need, to run the most efficiently and minimize our fuel usage. He also expects to give us recommendations on where we should consider adding insulation to reduce our heating load and save money every heating season.
As we also prepare for the planned renovations of our basement fire exits, and of the downstairs bathrooms, we’ll be looking for opportunities to improve our insulation during the reconstruction of these areas.
On August 2nd, before the CDU contra dance, I’d like to hold a meeting to discuss Bill’s recommendations, and to make some decisions about which way to go. By that time, we should have some solid numbers on the heating needs of our building. This will not be a regular Grange meeting, but a meeting focused on this one issue. I’d like to meet at 5:30, planning on an hour of discussion followed by a potluck dinner; there will be a dance that evening with set-up starting at 7:00 as usual. Please contact me if you can join us in helping to make this decision!
Tim Swartz, Master (with everyone’s help)
Capital City Grange #469