For general questions on heating in your home.

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2answers
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What materials are fake coals for gas fireplaces made of?

My new gas fireplace looks remarkably realistic! I'm curious what the "glowing embers" are made of. I have found replacement sets, but I've been having a hard time figuring out what materials ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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
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1answer
187 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 ...
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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
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1answer
37 views

How much work is involved to change a conventional boiler to a combi boiler?

We live in a circa 8 year old detached house in the UK. We've been having some problems with our heating system, mainly the hot water tank and we're wondering how much work is involved to change to ...
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1answer
172 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 ...
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2answers
5k 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
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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 ...
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3answers
840 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
61 views

Fill heat tank with glycol in off-grid system?

EDIT: I'm settling for a simpler system: no solar thermal panels; just a small 50 liter water heater, AC powered, run through the inverter. (So, practically no hot water in the winter time.) I'm ...
3
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1answer
107 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 ...
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0answers
476 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 ...
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3answers
768 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 ...
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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?
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2answers
517 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 ...
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5answers
9k 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. ...
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5answers
73k 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 ...
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3answers
3k views

How can I heat up my apartment to kill bedbugs in Southeast Asia?

I have a bedbug problem in my apartment and I want to fix it myself with heat. (I do not want chemicals sprayed around.) Apparently, getting a room to 140 degrees for two hours is sufficient to kill ...
2
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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
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3answers
383 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
4k 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 ...
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1answer
349 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 ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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2answers
953 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 ...
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4answers
24k 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 ...
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3answers
14k views

Why does my central heating unit continue to run after reaching its set temperature?

Why will the central heating unit continue to run after reaching the set temperature? It does not read that it is reaching a higher temperature, it just continues to run at the reached temperature ...
2
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2answers
696 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 ...
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4answers
5k 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
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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 ...
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2answers
961 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 ...
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1answer
8k 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? ...
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2answers
295 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
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1answer
41 views

Heater air intake blows out the flame

The problem I have is the air heater shutting down in windy days and I'd like to figure out how to fix this issue. Here's the setup: The back of the house faces North to an open field which gets very ...
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2answers
19 views

Zoned heating system very warm even without heat on upstairs?

I know heat rises, but our 1st story floorplan house gets pretty darn warm during the winter months. Other than turning on the AC or opening windows in the upper story zone, anything else that could ...
2
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1answer
51 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?
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1answer
122 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
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2answers
37k 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
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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
233 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
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2answers
69 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 ...
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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
504 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
825 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
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1answer
182 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 ...
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1answer
142 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.
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1answer
197 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
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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
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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 ...