03:59PM | 06/02/04
Member Since: 05/31/04
2 lifetime posts
I'm building a cabin in northern Michigan that will only be used from time to time. I cannot decide what type of heating system to install. The local heating and cooling installers recommended a system that uses no ducts. It simply blows air into the crawl space and vents are cut into the floor and the heat rises up. The heat will only be on when we use the cabin. Would it take to long for this type of system to warm the cabin up when I stop in the middle of winter and heat has been off for a week or longer? Would a system with ducts heat the cabin faster after the heat has been off? Thanks for any advice or answers.


04:43PM | 06/02/04
Member Since: 05/31/04
2 lifetime posts
The cabin is going to be 24'X 36' with a loft. It will have electricity and propane is available.


08:36AM | 06/03/04
Member Since: 06/02/04
1 lifetime posts
i have a place in Northern Michigan too. Don't go with fuel oil! If you have propane available go with it. It's much cheaper and cleaner. I have an 1100 sg.ft cabin and I currently use a wall furnace with more than enough heat. I plan on changing over to a forced air (with ducts) perimeter heating system. Since you have a loft, I would recommend using a ducted system and propane.


09:16AM | 06/03/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
549 lifetime posts
The initial boiling point of propane is -44 degrees F at 14.7 psia (NFPA LP Gas Code Handbook). You would need sustained cold weather below this point to have a problem with supply. For extreme conditions there are vaporizors available to supply heat to accellerate the vaporization of gas. At these temperatures, fuel oil is gelled. Propane is a great choice.

The idea of heating a crawl space and using floor openings is a throwback to a gravity heat system. It will work, but very inefficiently. It also means the crawlspace must be clean, sealed and insulated. It makes air recirculation impossible, so its inefficient and poorly distributed. Insist on a system that supplies warm air to registers and returns cold air from the heating envelope for recirculation. The more time you plan to occupy the cabin, the better and more efficient unit you should consider.

We operated a Trane XL90 on propane, serving ducts in the lower level of a 3-level mountain home for years and never had a problem. Beyond the first floor, the system acted as a gravity / convective unit, but the first floor was forced air with recirculation. Furnace was horizonatally mounted under first floor and supplied by an exterior propane tank.
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