For general questions on heating in your home.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

4
votes
2answers
6k 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
3answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
430 views

Understanding my radiator

I'm in my first apartment and it's a bit colder than I'd like it. Can I tweak the settings on my radiator so that it's warmer? I'm motivated to learn more about my radiator and it's hard to find ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

Replace two-wire thermostat

I'm replacing an old mercury thermostat with a digital one. The new unit has 7-8 connections (labeled w1,wh,r1,rh,y,c, etc.) and a bunch of instructions about how to connect similarly labeled ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Can I have multiple heating zones with a combination boiler?

I bought my first house in December and one thing I've noticed over the winter is higher than expected gas usage which I'd like to try and get down if at all possible. The house is a three bedroom ...
4
votes
3answers
113 views

What options are there for converting from a wood stove to another type of heating system?

My folks are into their 80's now and live in rural Maine. Their ONLY way of heating their home is with a wood stove - just a single wood stove. Up to this point, my folks have been able to tend the ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does my furnace turn off when the thermostat's LCD dims?

Recently I replaced an old mercury thermostat with a programmable digital model (a PRO1 T955W). It is set to operate in Heating mode. The desired temperature is set to 70 and the in-home temperature ...
4
votes
3answers
11k views

How can I prevent my HVAC condensate drain line from freezing?

Last night, my heat (forced air) suddenly stopped. Today, a plumber figured out that my heater is 90% efficient, produces lots of condensate, and the drain line had frozen. We went outside and saw ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

How can I insulate a shed floor?

I am currently planning on insulating my shed this summer to allow year round usage. My first step is to insulate the whole shed. - The walls and Ceiling are straight forward, I will be ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

Why isn't water coming out of a radiator in my freshly pressurized system?

I live in an old Victorian with three stories, plus a basement and an attic. I tried to bleed the radiators in preparation for turning the heat on, but was unable to get any water out of the radiators ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it possible to buy just the fins or the copper pipe with fins for baseboard radiator?

I have a project to build and I want to use finned tubing (like in baseboard radiators) but I am unable to find the tubing without buying the enclosure as well. (This is for a hobby project - I want ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does my boiler keep shutting down and reigniting after a minute?

My central heating comes on via the timer and runs for about 30 minutes, then it shuts down for a minute, runs for 2 minutes, shuts down for a minute, runs for 2 minutes. This is a constant thing ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I change the time on a Potterton EP 3000 clock?

I turned the power off and when I turned it back on again, the clock of my Potterton EP3000 was reset, and now the heating comes on at the wrong time. I dont have a manual for it, so I was wondering ...
4
votes
2answers
855 views

Where should I install a Pellet Stove to supplement my boiler?

We are purchasing a pellet stove insert for our single floor 1200 sq. ft. home. We are doing this to reduce our dependency on oil (hot water boiler), which we use to heat the house with baseboard hot ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do my downstairs radiators run colder than upstairs?

Our combi boiler in the loft (less than 3 years old Vaillant EcoTec) is heating the upstairs radiators nicely, but the downstairs ones are lukewarm to cold. I have opened all the radiator valves ...
3
votes
2answers
162 views

What to do about furnace that's drawing gas odors into the room instead of heat?

I have a gas furnace. It was heating up the place fine and worked for years until the other day. All of a sudden it started drawing air that smelled like strong gas odors into the room rather than ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is there green stuff on my heater pipe?

No, really the baseboard heat is made of copper and is constructed of a series of pipes with fins. they look like heat sinks, or dissipation helpers. Well, was cleaning the carpet by the baseboard ...
3
votes
5answers
15k views

Why does my furnace need frequent power resets?

I have a NOMA Programmable thermostat attached to my furnace. The set point is usually around 21 degrees, and the room temperature is reading around 17 degrees. The furnace is not coming on. ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Can I use a stairwell ceiling fan to save energy?

We have a two story house, with a small ceiling fan mounted above the main stairway. The house has separate thermostats for heating/cooling the upstairs and downstairs. During the day, we spend 90% ...
3
votes
3answers
8k views

Cheapest way to heat and cool a converted garage?

I'm converting my two car garage into a home theater and was seeking some advice on the cheapest way to heat, cool, and dehumidify the room. Here are some details: Garage was once a model home ...
3
votes
3answers
880 views

Do home radiators waste water?

I received my second quarterly water bill and cannot believe it says I'm using 49,000 gallons of water each quarter. That's over 500 gals per day! So I started thinking about average water usage per ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

Convert line voltage heating system to use low voltage thermostats

I currently have two line voltage ceiling radiant heating systems in my condo each with their own DPST thermostat. I'd like to use low voltage thermostats such as the nest. I found this ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Can I connect an outdoor wood stove to my current HVAC system?

How to install a wood stove as an auxiliary heat source? (Main is electric furnace with forced air) I've read this question, it doesn't really answer what I need to know. What I would like to do is ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Can bio fuel ethanol used as a main heating source?

I recently discovered some heaters based on "bio fuel" (ethanol). Many products seem to be decorative and often present a modern design. Some ethanol burners can be used in empty fireplaces and can ...
3
votes
3answers
7k views

Why does the gas furnace blow cold air at the start of the heating cycle?

What does this problem sound like? There is a 25 year old gas furnace in the house we rent. (The guy that owns the place claims there is NO problem at all. He said the igniter is brand new and ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is a single walled pipe not used for wood stove exhaust pipe on upper floors?

I've recently been looking into wood burning stoves. Many installations use a stove pipe that goes straight up through the ceiling and out the roof. Most of these use a single walled pipe for the ...
3
votes
2answers
168 views

Do you have to have a thermostat for an electrical baseboard heater?

Ours didn't come with a wall mounted thermostat! So do we need to buy one?
3
votes
4answers
428 views

How does Underfloor Heating get the right temperature water via a Thermal Store?

I am considering my options for a renovation project which will require substantial changes to my central heating and domestic hot water system. I was considering going a thermal store with a biomass ...
3
votes
1answer
228 views

180º/gooseneck/u-shaped cold air return?

I am in the planning stages of moving a cold air return from an inconvenient spot in the floor to a nearby wall. The basic plan is to open up the wall on both sides (cutting one stud and framing in a ...
3
votes
1answer
966 views

Do coal stoves lead to creosote buildup/chimney fire risk?

One of the reasons we put in a coal stove as an alternative heat source was because several sources said coal stoves don't have creosote buildup, reducing the risk of chimney fire. The instructions ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Increase wood fireplace efficiency

We have a large fireplace and plenty of free or cheap wood and love having fires for warmth and entertainment. An open fireplace is not an ideal source of heat, but I wanted to know if there's a ...
3
votes
1answer
673 views

Steam Baseboard vs. Steam Radiator

We currently have a single pipe steam heat system. We've had a couple of plumbers in to give us estimates on recessing our exposed radiators. Neither of them seemed thrilled with the idea and one ...
3
votes
1answer
350 views

Is it bad/unusual for an oil burner to turn off then immediately back on?

We have an oil-fired hydronic heating system. The boiler is approximately 30-40 years old, and the system was checked and cleaned at the start of this winter. When the burner is running, you can hear ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

How come the temperature is sometimes not maintained?

First let me come right out and say that I am a software guy and this seems like a hardware problem, so I already feel out of my league. That said, here's the deal: Background: I have two-zone "hot ...
3
votes
3answers
576 views

Can I shut off the cold water supply to an oil furnace while away on vacation?

I have a hot water baseboard oil fired system. I am going away for a while and would like to shut off the cold supply to all the house in case of a water leak. If I leave the furnace on to heat the ...
3
votes
1answer
652 views

Hissing vent on a steam heating pipe

In the kitchen of an apartment I've just moved in there's a vertical pipe running floor to ceiling, not connected to any radiator nearby. It gets hot, so I assume it is a part of steam heating system. ...
3
votes
1answer
163 views

What is a propane burner with multiple torches called?

If you watch Mythbusters, you'll notice they have a propane burner with a bunch of nozzles at different angles. What is this called? I would like to make or purchase one for melting metal (in a ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Why would my Goodman gas furnace start but not stay on for more than 2-3 minutes?

I've got a problem with my 15 year old Goodman furnace. It starts w/o problem, inductor begins working, hot surface ignitor lights up and ignites the gas. Then the main blower starts working and the ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How to remove a tile with floor heating mat

Two weeks ago I laid 1 X 2 ft ceramic tiles in my bathroom using premix tile adhesive. After reading some reviews, I should have mixed my own - lesson learned. This weekend I added grout and all went ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

What could be causing my bedroom to be so cold, and how can I make it warmer?

I live in a two story townhouse with a basement. This summer, they replaced the furnace and air conditioning unit. Last winter I put 3M film over the windows to help with drafts and it worked great, I ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How long does radiant heat in a concrete floor last?

I am looking to purchase a home built in 1950 that has radiant heat with copper pipes inside the concrete slab foundation. The home has been vacant for a little while now too, not sure if that ...
3
votes
3answers
588 views

How many “zones” should my underfloor heating system have?

We're putting underfloor heating in our new apartment. On top will be a wooden floor for most of the apartment, stone/tiles in bathrooms and probably also in part of kitchen. The constructor said ...
3
votes
1answer
195 views

Where can I find resources on Gas Furnace manufacturers

We are going to replace a 30 year old residential gas furnace. We have estimates for furnaces from Rheem, Trane and Bryant. This is a rental, so we aren't going for the 95% with tax rebate but ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Should the sight glass of a steam boiler always be within the recommended range? Or only when firing?

We just had a new steam boiler installed and it is working great; all radiators are hot when the heat turns on etc. One thing I noticed though is that the site glass for the water level reads too ...
2
votes
3answers
276 views

How to measure heat in a Manhattan apartment?

Our 47-year old Mid-Manhattan hi-rise building is generally well maintained but whenever we complain to the super that we don't get enough heat, he sends a handyman with a "mercury" thermometer to ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are my radiators not heating up?

The boiler is on; the pipe near the boiler is hot, but the pipes furthest away are cold. What does that mean, and how can I fix it?
2
votes
1answer
109 views

What is the cost of one percent efficiency on an oil heater?

We've now had about 7 contractors come to our house and give us estimates for replacing a) our oil heater (system from the early 1980's, estimated at around 65% effeciency), and b) our central air ...
2
votes
3answers
208 views

Why can't I measure 240V on this wall heater wiring?

I am replacing a 240V wall heater. I get 120V from black to ground but 0V from black to white and 0V from ground to white. Is this correct? The old heater worked but not really well. There was a ...
2
votes
2answers
832 views

Why do I run out of hot water after 5 min?

I have a gas water heater and recently found that I do not get more than 5min of hot water. Previously I would be able to take a half hour shower. I see no leaks around water heater. It also seems ...