I am building a second home in a cold climate (in Maine) and I need to decide how to heat it. I will be going there once or twice per month during the winter, mostly for the weekends. I have a propane tank so I am looking for a propane based system.
My heating contractor recommended a forced air system, so that I can turn the system off without having to drain the water from the pipes every time. I should note that efficiency of the unit is secondary, as I’ll be spending about 10 days per winter in totoal at the house. Reliability, though, is important.
The heating contractor suggested Thermopride MDA1-100 (100,000 BTU). I am also going to put a 70,000 BTU wood burning stove in the living room.
Now here’s the problem – if the system supports one thermostat only (i.e. one zone) and if the wood burning stove heats the area where the thermostat is – aren’t the bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. going to get very cold?
I really need some way to zone the house. My contractor said there are valves that can work off of individual thermostats but these were not very reliable after a few years of operation, in his experience. Can anyone recommend any such system?
Then, I was thinking, what if instead of the MDA1-100 we put two independent MDA1-50 units (each 50,000 BTU). One will heat the lower level bedroom, the lower level bathroom, the upper level bedroom and the upper level bathroom. The other will heat the living room, the dining room (both have cathedral ceilings) the kitchen and the upper level open loft. Would that work?
If and when the wood burning stove is on it will heat the open areas – the living room, dining room, kitchen and open loft. So that MDA1-50 unit will cycle rarely or be off for the most time, while the other unit (heating the enclosed bedrooms and bathrooms) will work normally and independently of the first unit.
Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated!