1912, 6000 sq.ft in the South

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Posted by Daniel on December 26, 2000 at 06:34:12:

Ok folks, what should I do next?

I've got a 6000 sq. foot home built between 1905-1912 in North Carolina. The original boiler was a coal-fired monster which was probably about 20% efficient. We've recently replaced it with a Burnham 12-section gas-fired unit. (I'm pretty sure it's a "Revolution" model.)

Additionally, a seven-day/four-period thermostat has been installed. During the heating season, it is set for 62F in the morning, 60F during the day, 62F in the evening, and 58F overnight. Yes -- it's chilly in the house!!

All the glass windows are original leaded/stained glass. Therefore, we're not going to put in energy-efficient windows and damage the visual interest of the home.

Insulation? I've dug into a few walls, and it's pretty meager. The attic has about one-foot of (cotton??) wadding.

Winter heating bills run $500-800/month depending on the weather and my willingness to pay the Gas Company.

Here's the question:
Can this hot-water boiler system be zoned? We only live in about 30% of the house, and I'd like to temporarily shut down some of the radiators. Even though I've closed those valves, energy is still being expended as hot water is pumped upstairs and into the delivery pipe of those units. Is it possible (or advisable) to install additional cut-off valves down in the boiler room?

Some of the radiator valves are hissing. We've replaced a few, but at $100/each, I wonder if that's a wise investment. Ideas?

I've heard conflicting advice about leaving all the interior doors open, versus leaving them closed. What's the deal?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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