Last night the weatherman on television was delighted to be able to report that we would see low temperatures like we haven’t seen for years. In some ways, this was good news to me; I’d get to see how the little pellet boiler would do in our big, old house in very cold weather. Not wanting to risk any frozen pipes, I adjusted the AquaStat on the oil boiler to kick in if the water in the system dropped below 150F.
At 6:00 a.m. today, my thermometer said -30F. The house was at the temperatures we customarily keep, and the kitchen was cool, as it generally is during hard cold snaps. There is insufficient fin tube in the kitchen to heat it effectively in very cold weather and it faces northwest.
I heard the oil burner kick on and run for about five minutes indicating that water temperatures in the system had dropped below 150F. When I go up, I checked the systems, and the MESys 4000 had a boiler temperature of 172F despite the fact that all five zones in the house were calling.
Showers, morning dishwashing, and keeping up with the house dropped the water temperature below 150F once more giving the oil burner another four or five minutes of catch up. For the balance of the day, no oil burner time was required, and the house stayed at its usual temperatures.
I gained confidence that the little boiler would have kept the house from freezing on those conditions, but layered clothing would also have been a good idea.