For general questions on heating in your home.

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16
votes
5answers
3k views

How can I insulate my garage door?

Over the past year I've been converting our integrated garage so that it's a usage space. I've painted the walls, got lighting, power and water connected (To allow for a washing machine to be ...
14
votes
4answers
10k views

Why don't programmable thermostats automatically switch between “Cool” and “Heat”?

While I can set my house to be a particular temperature, I still have to manually switch it between "Heat" and "Cool" mode, and this seems to be true of every thermostat (programmable or not) that ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

How can I stop Lego bricks from falling in to a register?

My kids like to play with Lego bricks on the floor, and sometimes a small piece will fall in to a heating register. Sometimes I can pull them out, but usually they fall too far, and there are sharp ...
11
votes
2answers
12k views

What are the pros and cons of installing a roof heating cable?

Had some roof work done last year after mother nature abused my house by way of an errant tree branch. I had always suspected my roof had poor ventilation, most notably when I wound up with a 200 lb ...
10
votes
5answers
13k views

Safe way to close gaps around copper pipes?

I have baseboard heaters in my main living space. I can't see for sure without taking the covers off (which I haven't done yet) but it appears 2 copper pips come up from the basement (through the ...
9
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I figure out why half my house is cold?

I just purchased my home a few months ago, and the AC was sub par during the summer. Now that winter is here, the house is extremely uncomfortable (cold). My furnace shoots hot air up to one main ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Should I switch from propane to electric heat?

After a downright frightening heating bill, I am thinking of switching to electric heat. I want this to be as little impact to the house as possible. I currently live in a 1100 sq ft manufactured home ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

Is a radiant floor enough to heat the room?

I would like to know if an electric or hydronic radiant floor is enough to heat the room or if it's just to have a warm floor. And if yes, what is the efficiency (the time it take to warm the room, ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Can I season firewood over the woodstove?

I have a woodstove but all my firewood is still green. My friend suggested I dry it out indoors. He said I should put a few fire bricks on top of the stove, then stack green firewood on the bricks, ...
8
votes
4answers
16k views

What type of space heater is best for an uninsulated garage?

I'm planning on applying stain and polyurethane to some furniture I recently built. I've been thinking about getting a space heater for my uninsulated garage, both to help the poly cure, and for my ...
8
votes
2answers
612 views

How can I stop my fireplace from disabling my thermostat?

My thermostat is in the sitting room and I have an open fire, so as soon as the room is nicely warm and cozy, the central heating goes off and the rest of the house is cold. I have heard about WiFi ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I determine the maximum wattage that I can hook up to a breaker?

All of my heating is on one breaker, 240V on a double pole breaker, each marked 20A (it's a small condo). I wonder how I can determine the maximum wattage I can hook up to that breaker.
8
votes
2answers
14k views

What's the best way to keep my garage from freezing?

I live in Colorado. My 1950s house has a one-car attached garage that was built in the 2000s. The walls that are not shared with the house are not insulated: the studs and sheathing are visible from ...
7
votes
2answers
521 views

How can I protect my kids' toes from this evil grating in the floor?

The cold air return in this house is in the floor, in the most-trafficked part of the house. It has a heavy grating over it. My kids' toes are small enough to fit in the gaps, which is very painful ...
7
votes
3answers
410 views

How to heat my workshop?

I want something that can warm it up fairly quickly. I may only be out there an hour or 2, but when I decide to work on a project I don't want to wait an hour or 2 for it to heat up. Right now I have ...
7
votes
4answers
8k views

Is it an easy task to replace a wall thermostat?

As above, is it an easy DIY job to do this safely? In my research into the above it has become apparant that I should consider replacing the old thermostat with a programmable one for energy savings. ...
7
votes
1answer
902 views

Why does a single radiator need regular bleeding?

Almost all of the radiators (forced water) in my house heat up fine. However, a single radiator needs regular bleeding (~1/day) in order to heat. Note, this radiator is not at the highest point in the ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Why aren't Geothermal heat pumps more common?

Air conditioning and heating are major energy consumers in American buildings - commercial, residential, and industrial. I have been curious for a while as to why it isn't more common to use the ...
6
votes
5answers
6k views

Is it possible to use a dryer vent as a heat source in the winter?

Is it possible to attach a diverter to an electric clothes dryer vent so it can help heat my house in the winter? Seems like such a waste to blow it all outside. I imagine you'd need some sort of ...
6
votes
2answers
210 views

How do I add in-floor heating to a small area?

I get extremely cold feet, and have radiant heating in some rooms of my house, and I love it. I spend a few hours a day in a room without radiant heat. Is there a way to heat about two square feet ...
6
votes
2answers
20k views

What is difference between BTU and MBH for house furnaces?

When selecting a new house furnace most calculators display results as BTUs (based on the square footage, number of levels, estimated temperature, etc). What's interesting is that most new furnaces ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Heating/cooling system recommendations for this small house?

I will soon build my first house and I need to choose what type of heating/cooling system I'll have installed. I know very little about this and I'm seeking recommendations, ideas, suggestions, etc. ...
6
votes
1answer
22k views

How do I calculate the size of electric baseboard heater needed?

I'm working on finishing our basement which does not have any duct work to tie into for heating, so we're planning on using electric baseboard heaters. How do I calculate the needed size of heater ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Environmental protection for computer equipment in unheated garage

I live in Minnesota, and I have an unheated, detached garage. I would like to place an "offsite" data backup device (possibly a NAS) in the garage, which I should be easily able to connect to the ...
5
votes
7answers
14k views

How can I efficiently heat a pool?

Continuously heating a pool can be expensive and the best ways to lower the cost are to have a cumbersome pool cover in addition to the equipment needed (solar or an AC-like heat pump). There must be ...
5
votes
3answers
447 views

Should the fill line be removed when decommissioning an old oil tank?

So, I have a contractor decommissioning my old 650-gallon oil tank. There is a 3" metal tube coming out of the ground from the tank that is what I believe to be the receptacle used to fill the tank ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Can I close the garage vent on my furnace?

My furnace duct system has a vent in the garage, right over the furnace. Is it necessary for the proper operation of the furnace to keep that open? I'd hate to waste the money heating up my garage, ...
5
votes
5answers
9k views

What type of electric heating system is the most energy efficient?

I am about to buy a flat that hasn't got any central heating system. There's no way to use gas heating. The only way to produce heat is by converting Electricity. The flat at the moment has some ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Should a circulator pump be installed on the supply or return of a forced hot water heating system?

I currently have a forced hot water heating system with 3 zones, all of which have the circulator pump on the supply side of the line. I need to install a 4th zone and am being told that putting the ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Does a humidifier cool the air?

I'm considering getting an evaporative humidifier for my super-dry Northeast house, but I'm wondering if the evaporation cools off the room and is going to add to my heating bill. It seems like ...
5
votes
2answers
214 views

Can I have underfloor heating with solid oak floor?

I've seen that many underfloor heating mats (the electric ones) specify the need for tile or stone floor and I'm wondering if it will work as efficiently under a solid oak floor? (or any wood floor ...
5
votes
1answer
255 views

What precautions should I take when burning pine firewood?

I've heard that burning pine in your fireplace can cause creosote to build up in the chimney. If I get my chimney swept at the beginning of the season should i be safe to burn pine for the rest of ...
5
votes
1answer
177 views

Are discount furnaces safe to use?

More newbie questions ;-) The house we're looking to buy has an older furnace that "may be manufactured by the Permier/Consolidated furnace company" according to general inspections. We're in the ...
5
votes
2answers
7k views

Why do the radiators in my home heating system get extremely hot?

I have a standard British heating configuration at home - there is one gas heater that provides hot water both for the boiler (and bathroom etc.) as well as for central heating. There is a small ...
5
votes
1answer
253 views

Is it possible to recover waste heat from a boiler?

I did a google search and came back with industrial products, but no residential prosucts. I have a System 2000 boiler and hot water tank. When the furnace is firing, the temp of the exhaust through ...
5
votes
1answer
132 views

What to use to funnel floor air vent in cabinent for proper air flow

I ripped the "floor" of the kitchen cabinet out to reveal that all along, my vent was funneling air like this, an open hole. The circular opening is about 6 inches across both ways. I need to funnel ...
5
votes
0answers
361 views

What type of rubber pipe is used for this particular installation of hydronic radiant in-floor heating, and is it reliable?

I'm looking at a home built in the 80's with hydronic radiant in-floor heating embedded in concrete slab. I've never seen this type of hydronic tubing before. I'm pretty sure that the attached photo ...
4
votes
4answers
205 views

Are new buildings warmer (when first built)?

My wife is a teacher in a new school that has just been built in the North East UK, and staff and pupils think it's too warm. They have been told that: "new buildings are warmer due to the curing ...
4
votes
6answers
5k views

Can I warm up a swimming pool by submerging black-painted milk jugs in it?

I know they make solar covers for pools, but I that is a bit of a pain to put on and take off all the time and my cover (from a well known manufacturer) from last year was easy to rip and became ...
4
votes
5answers
3k views

Should I open the top or bottom of double hung windows?

I'm a new home owner and was wondering if there is a "right" way to use the double hung windows in the house. Should I open the top or bottom? Is there a seasonality to it? Does it even matter at ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Where am I losing heat from my house?

My house is about 5 years old and our local building codes required a 5-star energy rating (Melbourne, Australia). This means there's solar hot water and both the walls and ceiling are insulated. But ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Apartment building's thermostat located in unheated common area is cooking the tenants

In my apartment building, we have a steam heat system with radiators in each of the six apartments. The thermostat is located in the stairway/common area, where there is no radiator or exposed heat ...
4
votes
3answers
10k views

Why do our baseboard heating pipes make a loud banging noise after a new furnace was installed?

We had a new furnace installed about a month ago. The heating in our house is hot water baseboards. Ever since the new furnace was installed, when the heat comes on or turns off, there is a loud ...
4
votes
3answers
118 views

Geothermal Resources

I am very interested in learning more about Geothermal solutions for my house. What are the best resources for learning about and planning a Geothermal systems for a residential house? Also, does ...
4
votes
3answers
6k views

Why is it taking so long for my house to heat up?

Firstly, I should probably mention that I'm in the UK... My wife and I bought a house new from a builder over 9 years ago and have had no problems whatsoever with our central heating system in that ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Can I substitute diesel for home heating oil?

I ran out of oil in my home, and a plumber friend said that I could add diesel from the gas station while I wait for my oil delivery. Is he right?
4
votes
2answers
5k views

What are some tips for soldering brass fittings to a copper pipe?

Over the years I've soldered several remodels worth of copper pipe (water and hydronic heat). I'm not great, but I get the job done, until I have to add a brass fitting. For some reason, I can't get ...
4
votes
4answers
184 views

What are the possible ways to prevent heating pipes in an entryway from freezing?

I live in Maine, and it can get cold in the winter. My house has baseboard hot water heating and three heating zones (basement, first floor, and second floor). We have a mudroom/entry room that I ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is my gas furnace vibrating when blowing hot air but not when blowing cold air?

I have a gas furnace. I recently replaced a bad blower motor. At that time I also cleaned out the blower housing and squirrel cage. The AC runs fine with no vibrations or any symptoms of an off ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What could cause a bad oil-like smell every time the heat is on?

The new gas system works great, heats quickly and seems very efficient. However, there is a strong smell that comes every time we turn up the heat. It smells like some kind of oil. Had the ...