heating for tiny house not always occupied.
Hi everyone, I have a complicated house heating question.
I have a forced air electic 1964 furnace in a very old, small renovated barn. The top room is around 300 sq. feet. The bottom (partly underground) is about 250 or less sq feet (the boiler is in a tiny room downstairs and totally underground on 3 sides. The house is insulated but not perfectly: leaks, door not insulated, etc. It is in southern New England and surprise, surprise, the winters seem to be getting warmer but there are still below zero nights (1 or 2) and days of 20 F or less.
I am at the house in the winter (Oct thru March) about 60 or so days and not during the coldest times. When not around I just need the pipes kept warm. I need to be reassured that the system I have will work without anyone around which is why the current system is a good one except inefficient and old. I have a device that calls me if the heat is too high or too low. I sort of wanted to keep this electric as I haved no gas and it makes me nervous.
I cannot use baseboard because the place is so small that everything is agains the wall. Plus I have cats with a lot of hair that ignites! There is no attic only a sloping ceiling at about 40 degree angle. Not insulated probably. the height of the wall is about 6.6 feet.
Friends have suggested the following:
1. just heat the pipes when I am gone and have some local heat otherwise. Seems like a good idea, but what kind of heating of the pipes and what other safe thermostat heat when I am here. 2. get an electric heat pump that uses the exisitng ducts if there is one small enough. (don't need aircontioning unless it is not much extra 3. radiant electric -- but I can't find anything that is just electric not a radiator and not a baseboard that would not need tremendous rebuilding. 4. electric heat fans on the wall -- huge wiring costs someone said. I do have 220 and plenty or extra places for addtional wiring out of the box. 5. gas heat pump. Someone said they are small and mentioned propane heat. I would have all kinds of concerns on this since I am gone much of the time. 6. turn off the water. This seems like a very complicated thing for someone who is not really handy and the pipes also are very old. Who knows what this would do. I have a well also so don't know how that would be affected by this.
The house is not worth much as you can imagine -- just the view out the window. I have a tight budget too. Are their any ideas out there for my problem?