To the real estate editor: I have just finished reading your column in the Monitor Dec. 28. The church where I am a member solved its new heating problem in the following way:
We changed from oil to gas, because gas costs less per output therm in this area. Electricity is higher than oil.A call to each supplier will give you the present cost of each type of energy.
We had a steam-radiator system and decided to stay with it for cost reasons.* This meant we needed a new steam boiler. If your present system is a gravity-air system, you should be sure the new system has an air circulator or two, depending on the size of the church. Also, be sure the air- noise factor is as low as it can be. Noisy air systems can be disturbing.
To reduce the cost of operation still further, we installed a 7-day timer to regulate temperatures. When the church is in use, we operate at a temperature of 68 degrees F. If the anticipated crowd is large we drop it two degrees. This will not hurt the organ. Just be sure the church is up to temperature when the organ is being tuned or used for practice and services.
We also connected the cooling thermostat to the timer and merely set the minimum and maximum temperatures for that season.
Caution: There is a great temptation for many well-meaning people to "adjust" the timer. I suggest a small lock with only two or three keys. It could save a few service calls.
Special meetings may require the use of the manual override switch.