For general questions on heating in your home.

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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, ...
1
vote
2answers
16k views

Why does my heating system only blow cold air?

My heating system only blows out cold air, not hot. I've left it on for a good 15 minutes to see if it will warm up, and I get nothing but cold air. I've even put it on Auto and waited some more, ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
367 views

Is there a thermostat-controlled corn heater sized for a shop/garage?

I'm looking for a way to heat my 4-car garage. Two bays are for cars, one is for the mower and other items, one is my workshop. I live in Minnesota, with very cold winters, so a heater is necessary ...
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
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. ...
0
votes
2answers
590 views

Is is possible to retrofit a wood-burning stove into an existing gas central heating system?

Our house has gas-fired central heating, but fuel costs in the winter are very high (it get's very cold here!). I've been toying with the idea of a wood burning stove. I'm wondering whether, rather ...
1
vote
1answer
301 views

When should I open a skylight vent?

I have a one-floor (plus basement) house with a large skylight in the living room. It has an openable vent. When is it proper to open the vent? Should I open it in midsummer with the AC on, on ...
3
votes
1answer
160 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
518 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
843 views

What types of flooring can be used with electric radiant heat?

I am considering converting an old enclosed sleeping porch into a usable room year round (in Ohio). Currently the floor is a big slope to allow for drainage when it was still open, obviously I want ...
2
votes
1answer
244 views

Forced air heating air inlet in crawl space

The air inlet for my electric forced air heating is a small vent on the duct in the crawl space. Although the crawl space is sealed with a concrete floor and heated (ie insulation is around the ...
4
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
773 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 ...
5
votes
7answers
12k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
156 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
319 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
18k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
739 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
121 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
471 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Combination boiler pressure zero after heating

I generally don't notice a performance problem with the boiler, but after I run the heat to the radiators and turn the boiler off, after cooling down the the pressure gauge shows zero. I can easily ...
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.
7
votes
2answers
435 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
996 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
9k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k 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.
1
vote
4answers
4k views

Will wrapping the stove pipes with copper pipes increase wood stove efficiency?

I've heard that wrapping my wood stove's chimney - the parts inside the house that go from the stove the the actual chimney - with copper pipes will increase the amount of heat generated. Has anyone ...
2
votes
1answer
3k 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? ...
3
votes
4answers
3k 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
1answer
188 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Why is my radiator not getting hot water or have air in it?

All except one radiator are working fine. The one that stays cold is in the room with the thermostat, so the system keeps running more than it should. I tried bleeding it and just water came out. I ...
1
vote
1answer
166 views

Ceiling / Wall mounted heaters recomendations?

My mom wants to get my step-dad a heater for his workshop in the garage, but there's very little floor space available that isn't taken up with tools, and she noticed that there's an electical plug up ...
2
votes
1answer
696 views

Why does my gravity vented wall Furnace keep turning off/

We have an Empire gravity vented wall furnace: That turns off. According to the instructions, this is because the vent safety switch. But when I open up the furnace, it appears to be vented just ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

Oil heater in a large room

I'm about to by an oil heater. One of the properties of a heater is the area of the room that the heater can heat. Say 15 m^2 or 20 m^2. The question is: what will be if I use the heater in a larger ...
3
votes
5answers
10k 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
1answer
2k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
401 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 ...
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, ...
1
vote
0answers
148 views

Heating system cost estimates

What is the order of magnitude cost estimate of the following heat system. The current one is forced hot air, 50 feet of duct work, 10 vents. Goes through a couple walls, but generally is hanging from ...
1
vote
1answer
282 views

Optimizing a heating system

I am seeking software I can use to better understand the thermal properties of my house. The main two consumptions of the house are water and heating. I'm interested in optimizing the heating. ...
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
15k 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 ...