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14

The US has a mixture of systems. I'm not sure what the prevalence is, but I've lived in homes with both steam and hot water heating. Steam offers the following advantages: One-pipe systems More heat transfer for a given radiator surface No distribution pumps Steam offers the following drawbacks: Furnace needs to be a low point Corrosion Finicky ...


11

It's not necessary, they probably just put it in because it was easy to do and gives you the option of heating the garage if you want. I would keep the vent closed, and if you want an even better seal, the make magnetic pads that you can put over the vent as well


11

This is quite possibly an emergency. Call your gas utility company and have them come check it out immediately. Also, open some windows to draw fresh air into your home, if you have a gas or exhaust leak it can be a fire and suffocation hazard.


10

Replacing a thermostat is trivial, and similar to changing a light switch. Disconnect the two wires coming from the furnace/boiler, then reconnect them to the new thermostat. Turn off power to the furnace/boiler first. A programmable thermostat saves fuel and money because it can be programmed to lower the temperature when you sleep or are at work. It ...


10

Yes, placing registers (or other heat sources such as radiators) near exterior windows and doors is the usual practice. This is done in order to combat cold drafts and ensure a more even temperature throughout the room. Here's a Q&A on the subject from Ask This Old House: Window glass is the coldest part of a wall. When warm room air hits it, the ...


10

That pipe looks like an air intake. All "direct vent" style appliances (high efficiency on-demand water heater, gas fireplace, etc.) have an isolated air intake and it is common to have it suck in air from outside the building so as not to force air infiltration through doors, windows, etc. Indeed, that is ugly. Our fireplace and tankless water heater ...


9

Remove the 6 tabs (at 6am, 9am, etc.) and it should stop any automated on/off actions. It's hard to be sure from this vantage, but it appears that 3 of the tabs are light colored, and 3 are darker. The light ones are used to set "on" times, and the dark ones for "off" times.


9

A thermostat basically just energizes the individual circuits (G (fan), W (heat), Y(cool) ) which in turn (via the furnace controller) powers a relay which provides line voltage to the actual units (like the fan or A/C. In the case of heat, it instructs your furnace to open the valve supplying gas). R (or Rh and Rc) provides the 24VAC power. To turn on ...


8

Bleeding radiators is quite simple, and can usually be done by homeowners. All that's required is a radiator key, a towel and/or bowl, and a bit of time. Why Bleed Radiators Even with closed systems, air can still find its way into the system. When it does, it will collect at the highest points available (the top of radiators). Trapped air can cause ...


7

Yes. I have heard of that. I believe the main issue with asbestos is when it becomes dust and floats in the air and is inhaled into the lungs. Painting over that seals it in and prevents that from happening. It probably should be repainted whenever it starts to show wear. You will probably need to use a government certified painter who will use special ...


7

The manifold is used to distribute fluid evenly throughout the system, as well as allowing you to turn on/off zones (for maintenance and whatnot). Without one you may find that some zones get more heat than others, since the flow could vary from zone to zone (depending on the plumbing).


6

To answer the first question: Replacing the thermostat is equivalent to changing a light switch. You need to turn the power to the central heating off before you start work. Unscrew the old thermostat, disconnect and then reconnect the new one. What you will need to make sure before you do this is that the new thermostat has the same terminals as the old. ...


6

I had this issue too. Bled the system once myself, twice with professional plumbers who kept telling me that i didn't do it correctly. Cost me an arm and a leg. The worst part was when i asked a "plumber with 25 years of experience" where the air is coming from he couldn't explain it. Some people were saying it's because i have an old type of expansion tank ...


5

This may be as simple as the "start" or "run" capacitor going south (because the motor starts but dies afterwards, I suspect that the run capacitor is blown). If you are comfortable digging around in the control box for the furnace, then you should be able to find 1 or 2 large-ish capacitors. If you have a multimeter, you can test them against the specs ...


5

They make Internet Controlled Thermostats already. I would start with one of those, and then just build an interface for your phone that will interact with the device through the web.


5

There should be zero difference in the safety between the least and most expensive furnace. The major differences will feature related. Any modern furnace purchased in the US meets the appropriate ASTM, NFPA, et al, specifications. More expensive furnaces will features like: Humidifers, multi zone heating ability, economizer, multiple heat exchangers for ...


5

The most obvious thing that springs to mind is that you have air in your system. Do the pipes between the radiators get hot, or the bottoms of the radiators but not the top? If so then you need to bleed your radiators. You should have a little key with a square hole. Carefully open the valve at the top of the radiator a very small amount - you should hear ...


5

The type of plan refers ultimately to the arrangement of the pipes and thus the type and number of valves you have in your system. This page has explanations of all types (Y, S, W and G (not C)). Y Plan is based on a single three way valve that either allows the hot water from the boiler to the heating circuit, hot water circuit or both. With S-Plan: ...


5

I called a number of Central Heating contractors and also Uponor, the company that makes the controller. I was told that the clicking noise comes from the soft-fuses inside the controller trying to reset. They said box has failed and needs to be replaced by an electrician. Since the controller is the simplest model in their range, there are no diagnostic ...


5

You may be able to use the existing radiator piping to some extent, but a number of other changes will be required: Lower water temperature. Because the radiant heating runs under your entire floor, it is typically run at a temperature similar to a hot summer day (around 85 degrees Fahrenheit). Cast iron radiators are usually run at around 150 degrees F, ...


5

I tend to think of questions like this about heating and cooling efficiency from a thermodynamic perspective, where its primarily a question of energy loss. The energy loss to the surrounding environment goes up when the temperature difference between the inside temp and the ambient temp goes up; the energy loss goes down when this temp difference goes down. ...


4

There must be a cable going to the pump from the controller, so you may be able to find it using a cable tracer.


4

Sounds like your blower may be done but I am not really sure. One thing to try is to call your Gas or Electric company and see if you have a service plan. Some utility companies include a service plan charge on your monthly bill (and you might not even know about it) and it includes 24 hour service.


4

I think you need to balance the system; as water will always take the easier option. So when the system first comes on most of the water will go to the radiator with the shortest pipe run, once the thermostat rad valves on that radiator shut down, then the water will find the next easier option. So by turning down the “lockshield“ values (the value ...


4

Panning seems to be allowed for return ducts only. I'm not sure if it is code compliant for all states, but it is allowed in the northeastern US. My house has one area that is "panned" in such a maner on the return duct. It is not lined inside, just normal 2x construction. The outside is panned with sheet metal. This is an alternative to the sheet metal.


3

I really hate to say this, but your suspected problem is probably way beyond the capabilities of a DIYer. If you are still having problems, it may be time to call in a pro. I have not seen any good answers to this kind of question here on the Stack. I don't think we really have a HVAC expert here. Bite the bullet, find a really competent tech with the right ...


3

You may have a air lock in your pipes. Turn of all other radiator, and see if your pump is powerful enough to get water into the cold radiator. If this works, then you need to bleed it again.


3

From my experience with German systems: The whole system should be filled with water, with no air at all. The system pressure should be 2 bar or so. If it is not all filled with water, and the pressure is low, the air will collect at one point. When a healthy pressurized system has air, you will hear the bubbles moving about. When you bleed a ...


3

To get your landlady interested, point out that the radiators are filled with moist, warm air, and that the system is corroding from the inside, shortening the life of the radiators and clogging the boiler with rust. That means the boiler's life is being drastically shortened and may soon cause a massive expense. Fixing it now would be much cheaper than ...



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