For general questions on heating in your home.

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3
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
161 views

Listed electric baseboard heaters that permit installation below outlets

Are there UL-listed electric baseboard heaters that do permit being installed below outlets? The FPN in 210.52: Informational Note: Listed baseboard heaters include instructions that may not ...
3
votes
2answers
4k 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
9k 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
2k 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
776 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
207 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
76 views

What is the impact of a backwards connected hot water radiator?

When building a hot water heating system the plumber has connected one of the hot water radiators backwards, i.e., the loop comes in at the bottom of the radiator and leaves the radiator on the other ...
3
votes
0answers
452 views

How do I install a WiFi thermostat with a Well-McLain steam boiler?

I have a Weil-Mclain 150000 BTU steam boiler, and have only 2 wires connected to my thermostat, but would like to add a new Honeywell WiFi thermostat. I have no C wire, no A/C, or any other type of ...
2
votes
3answers
694 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
3k 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
2answers
472 views

How can I use bulk electrical wire to make a subfloor heating system?

Electrical floor heating kits run US$10 to $15 per square foot, but bulk wire only costs $2.50. With the controller, you're still running under $4 a square foot. I have a construction background, but ...
2
votes
5answers
8k views

Can a gas fireplace insert heat an entire house?

I have a single-story 1400 sq/ft house (4 bedroom). Here's a VERY rough sketch of the layout: The house has blown-in insulation on the exterior walls but no insulation on the interior walls. ...
2
votes
5answers
64k views

Why does my pilot light keep going out?

My furnace pilot light keeps going out so I changed the thermocouple. Now the furnace will come on and heat up to the degree set on my thermostat, then the pilot light will go out and the furnace will ...
2
votes
1answer
125 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
359 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
2k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

What is a good way to attach vent covers to ceiling vents in my basement?

I recently bought a house and the basement was newly renovated. The furnace and air exchangers have vents all along the ceiling of the basement suite. However the vent covers have a tendency to fall ...
2
votes
1answer
318 views

Why does my house feel colder in one area after installing blown cellulose insulation?

I recently insulated my flat roof with blown cellulose insulation. I installed two vents on the roof as well. The house used to warm up well at 72°F. In order for our bedroom to be warm we have to ...
2
votes
1answer
995 views

Cheaper to run central heating sporadically high or constantly low?

My central heating has a thermostat dial ranging from 10 to 30 degrees Celcius. I'm wondering whether it's likely to be cheaper to crank it up to 30, and turn it on for, say, an hour, 3/4 times per ...
2
votes
2answers
930 views

Using a solar system with a condensing boiler for the central heating instead of tap-water?

According to the manual of my AWB ThermoMaster 2HR 28.02WT Condensing boiler, it is compatible with a pre-heating solar system for tap-water only. It even has extra facilities to ensure that the ...
2
votes
4answers
20k views

What to do about different rooms in the house being a completely different temperature?

I moved into a 30 year old home last December. There is a problem with the HVAC. I have included a very crude drawing of the floor plan The problem is that I can't maintain a comfortable ...
2
votes
2answers
653 views

Can I make an improvised heating system that uses calcium carbide and water?

Its winter in Australia at the moment and i'm cold. Today i found a few kilo's of Calcium Carbide (CaC2) which, if you react it with water, produces a sizable quantity of acetylene gas. I use it with ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I stop heat loss due to an uninsulated porch?

I have an enclosed porch with very little insulation, it is typically very cold in the winter. However, there is a radiator in the enclosed porch. I have a gas boiler heating system in the house. ...
2
votes
4answers
4k views

How can I measure the r-value of a wall?

What is a reproducible test to measure the r-value of an exterior wall? Or even a specific spot on a specific wall? It needn't produce an absolutely certain result, but a good estimate with known ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Does adding metal plate/foil behind radiators increases their heat distribution?

There is this theory that if you put a metallic foil behind radiators, will make them distribute heat better in the house rather than heating the wall next to them. Is this true, are there any ...
2
votes
2answers
939 views

Alternative to electric heaters in bedrooms?

I would like this system serviceable, cost effective & relatively maintenance free. I just don't know the best way to go about it. I am sick of using a oil filled heater over winter. My original ...
2
votes
1answer
7k views

What tape should I use to seal leaks in forced air heating system?

I have some of this duct tape Nashua 557 Premium Grade Flex Duct Tape. Is this the correct stuff to use to seal leaks in a forced air heating system, or is there something else I should be using? ...
2
votes
2answers
288 views

Check heating pipes for thermal leaks

I would like to check basic thermal leaks of the house heating system (and perhaps the house thermal insulation as well). As the professional services or equipment (thermocamera) are very expensive, I ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

What does “8(3)A” mean on a relay spec sheet?

In the specs for this heating controller (http://www.ecr-nederland.nl/files/lae_bediening_ac1-2w_en_de.pdf) the relays have a capacity of 8(3)A (top-right). What does this mean? 8A/3A?
2
votes
1answer
114 views

Should the cold water supply be constantly open for hot water heating system?

I just flushed out my baseboard heating system and refilled it with new water. I am wondering, should the cold water supply to the system stay open or should it be a closed loop until flushed again at ...
2
votes
2answers
34k views

DIY pool heater - best methods? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can I efficiently heat a pool? I have an in-ground pool at around 20,000 gallons and I live in the northeast (Maine). My pool gets direct sunlight for about half ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Is a space heater or my window heating unit more energy efficient?

My roommate and I have noticed that, since our apartment faces south and we live right by the Hudson, our apartment is starting to be quite chilly in the evenings, and oftentimes is cooler inside than ...
2
votes
1answer
170 views

What is the optimal duty cycle for a furnace?

A heat load calculation of my home says it requires ~36K BTU/hr of heat at a normal winter temperature (40°F), and ~52K BTU/hr at the design temperature (24°F). An HVAC contractor has proposed ...
2
votes
2answers
68 views

Underfloor solar heating

My family has a property in Portugal with a broken old solar water heater mounted on the roof. We've been using the immersion heater instead of the solar panel for a while now, but rising energy costs ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Does our main air intake need an electrostatic filter if our furnace already has one?

We have an electrostatic filter on our furnace right where in main air intake connects. We recently had our ducts cleaned and they told us we also needed to have our main air intake cleaned (an extra ...
2
votes
1answer
477 views

What is a quieter alternative to gas forced air heating?

My small 1BR apartment has an old gas furnace that works great, but costs my landlord too much to insure. He plans to install gas forced air, an in-unit upright furnace. I'd love to suggest a ...
2
votes
1answer
787 views

How can house hot water pressure be kept stable if more than one hot tap is open?

We have a Vaillant Ecotec combi boiler in the loft. When showering, hot water pressure is fine. But if someone opens any other hot tap in the house, it massively reduces the hot water coming into the ...
2
votes
1answer
180 views

Is there a way to make a thermostat based heating system more accurate through either adding probes or hacking?

In my Brooklyn apartment, heated via steam radiator, my thermostat is in the unheated hallway between all the rooms. The temperature it reads is often different, than both the rooms with heaters and ...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

What is a condensate pump on a boiler heating system?

I have searched all the online glossaries and dictionaries related to home systems and cannot find it anywhere.
2
votes
1answer
196 views

What to look for in a new water radiator?

The water radiators I have under each window are 50 years old, and I would like some new ones. They measure HxLxD 50x100x20 cm. The new ones I would like should be as thin as possible. I live in an ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

How can I prevent heat loss through heater/air conditioner wall units?

HVAC experts out there... I live in Wisconsin and it gets mighty cold here! I have a condo with 2 wall units that are used for both air conditioning and heat. My heat bill in the cold winter months ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

Potterton EP3000 -> Horstmann C27 boiler programmer wiring

I'm in the UK, using an ancient tempermental Potterton EP3000 boiler programmer, but I have a brand new Horstmann C27 which I'd like to replace it with. Apart from the mains supply, there are three ...
2
votes
2answers
977 views

How often do I need to drain Boiler Expansion Tank?

I have an old style (without a bladder) expansion tank installed on my heating system. Recently i noticed that the water pressure fluctuates a lot in the system and wonder if that maybe because the ...
2
votes
2answers
14k views

Why does my gas furnace heat up and then blow cold air?

My 8 yr. old Comfortmaker will turn on, burner will light, then will occasionally shut down 10 minutes later, even tho the temp is not up to the correct temp. Burner goes out, fan stays on, blows cold ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it OK to turn off power to a fuel furnace?

Is it OK to turn off the power to a fuel furnace to replace the thermostat? Will the furnace start back up once power is restored? This is on a new furnace with an old thermostat and fuse panel.
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Are hydronic systems set up as loops or ladders, and how can I tell the difference?

My hydronic system has a loop (or ladder) that visits baseboard radiators on four floors. All piping is hidden in the walls. On the attached diagram, squares are windows, red is baseboard ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

How can I improve the directional flow of my furnace exhaust pipe?

This one's for the creative folks. I'm in a condo on the top floor and I have a side neighbor. Both our furnaces exhaust out the back, under a four-foot roof section overhang (sticks out about a foot ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

De-airing / venting central heating

(Bear with me, I'm a non-native English speaker from a non-English speaking country, so my terms may be a bit off. If anything is unclear, please inform me of this and I'll attempt to clarify.) I've ...
2
votes
2answers
101 views

Can I replace a high limit switch myself?

Thank you for the answer, can I change this myself or do I need to get the HVAC company to do this? I have turned off the breaker in the panel box so that it does not come back on. What is the purpose ...