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Joined on September 12, 2013

Last Post on September 19, 2013

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high ceiling ... BB - Rads matter?

@ September 19, 2013 9:47 AM in high ceiling ... BB - Rads matter?

So I’ve seen many posts on here on hot water baseboard vs. radiators.  For the most part radiators win hands down as the way to go.  A lot of folks state the comfort level from radiators is the reasoning.  My question(s) is when is baseboard better for a room than radiators?
Also, how does the height of the room affect the determination of using baseboard or radiators?  For this house the basement has a ceiling height of approx. 7 ft.  The first floor has ceiling height of approx. 13 ft.  The basement has an open floor concept with two bedrooms.  The first floor has the same with the inclusion of bathroom and kitchen.  The dining room and living room measures approx. 22 ft. long by approx. 14 ft. across.
This house is over 50 years old and appears there were previous renovations to achieve the concept.  Heat source: Gas boiler hot water.  It appears at one point there were radiators but now two eight foot long baseboard (one in the dining room and one in the living room) is installed.  I can’t imagine much comfort from this especially here in north Jersey.  
My buddy just got the house 4 months ago so we have no idea about the heating situation at this time.  He like the comfort of radiators (from his previous apartment of two bedrooms with about 9 ft ceiling).  I suggest he runs additional base board along the entire wall instead of the two – eight ft. he has.  Was I wrong or does anyone have a better solution to this.  **He is not interested in running air ducts in his house so that out of the questions…not to mention he’s on a budget since he spent quite a bit on this fixer-up project.  There is this huge window in the living room (like 7 ft long by 6ft high)...i suggested he run a baseboard under there as well.
Out of curiosity, if budget was not an issue what are some options but such a situation?  I’ve seen a post that mention ceiling based radiators (???).  Any info on those?


@ September 16, 2013 3:29 PM in steam heat, disable 1st floor and leave 2nd floor

Thanks everyone for your input on this topic.  Because we wanted to separate the heating system from 1st floor and 2nd floor we have considered keeping the whole house on steam heat.  We’re in the process of getting an estimate on re-piping the steam pipes and placing two steam boiler in the boiler room.  We were trying to avoid doing any demo in the basement but it appears we’re going to demo the ceiling and some walls for access.  Oh well, at least we can stuff some insulation to sound proof the basement a little.  Everyone seems against the idea of tin-fin baseboards and understanding their shortfalls I would totally agree.
I appreciate everyone view on comfort and economic value on this.  The suggestions were great but we need a permanent fix that works in the long run and having two units with each floor controlling their own is the best choice.  Asking to split the bill is out of the question with tenants especially around here.  I don’t want to end up in the position to argue about how much they used and we used (even with data).  That’s a waste of time with some people.  If they want to run their system 24/7 then they are more than welcome..its going to be their gas line.
As always if you have a better suggestion on how to go about this or have comments please share.  By the way, does anyone have suggestions on where to get CI radiations around the metro area? I would call and find out the cost.  And for your experts, do you see any issues with using (reused) re-claimed CI rads (baseboard) from older homes?  If not, I would def. check out some places as it should be less expensive than new ones.

and zoning ...

@ September 13, 2013 5:39 PM in steam heat, disable 1st floor and leave 2nd floor

that puts me back at square one. my ultimate goal is to have the second floor tenant have their own system to control when ever they want and pay for their own usage.  since the steam system is up there I didn't want to touch the piping.
i'm still lost after the first contractor said that I just can't remove and cap the first floor rads and install a new furnace to supply steam for the second floor only.  any idea as to why this is a bad idea?
Its looking like I may have to demo the basement ceiling to remove/run piping.  I failed to mention that the system for the first floor and basement will need to be zoned. I did not mention this to the contractor after he made his statement. I plan on zoning living room, bedrooms, and basement.
With this idea, please let me know your thoughts.

follow up

@ September 13, 2013 2:45 PM in steam heat, disable 1st floor and leave 2nd floor

Thank you all for you views and comments on this.  Straight to the point; the Oil Furnace is well over 35 years old.  The oil furnace technician indicated the blowers were changed twice within the last 15 years when he started maintaining the furnace.  We are converting from Oil to Gas for obvious reasons…oil is getting expensive.  Aside from that we spent over $1K on service calls on the furnace alone last winter.
We have one thermostat controlling the furnace for the whole house.  When the second floor tenant calls/complain for heat we activate the thermostat.  The first floor gets really hot if the radiators valves are open so this is why most if not all the time the valves are kept closed.  FYI…the thermostat is located in the basement level.  Also, I totally agree that CI radiators are better for heating compare to baseboards.
The separation is being done so the Second floor tenant will have their own furnace and will therefore have their own thermostat to control as they please.  They will also be paying for their own usage as their gas line will be connected to the furnace.
As we occupy the first floor and the basement we needed our own furnace.  Since the steam pipes run throughout the house and we want to leave the second floor on steam we opted for using baseboards on a water driven furnace.  We were told we could not convert or reuse the radiators on the first floor because they have only one input/output pipe.  Plus, it’s easier to run the baseboards from the first floor to the basement boiler room.
I’m still wondering if removing and capping the radiations on the first floor and leaving the second floor with the existing steam pipes would work with a new steam furnace.  Are there any issues I’d be facing (pipe size / locations) when connecting to a new steam furnace?

I realize the issues with heat loss that might be experienced but…not having your tenant call you at 10 pm, 1 am, or 6 am for heat is a trade off (some what).  I’ve take the liberty for doing some research on CI baseboards including the typical cost since there is a lot of talk about their efficiency.  On the first floor (approx. size) three bedrooms (11x11), living room (14x14), dining area (12x10), office (9x7) … with these space the CI would be too much $$.
Your thoughts and suggestion are welcome…

steam heat, disable 1st floor and leave 2nd floor

@ September 12, 2013 2:04 PM in steam heat, disable 1st floor and leave 2nd floor

Our two family home was built in the 1920’s. We have one single oil furnace to heat the whole house via steam heat. We want to change to gas and add two new furnaces.  Our plan is to leave the second floor radiators and install a new steam furnace for that floor to be controlled by the second floor tenant.  On the first floor we want to remove and cap the radiators then install baseboards which would be heated by the second installed furnace (water).  Also our basement is finish and would prefer not to remove any steam piping other than removing the radiators on first floor and capping off within the floors.
We live in northern New Jersey.  My question is can this be done. I have been told by one company that we cannot because of the steam piping and size of furnace would not be compatible. I'm not sure why the steam pipe size and pacement(s) would matter, after-all we are using what was already there.  Then another contractor said it can be done since the first floor apartment was always closing the radiator valves off and the furnace still functioned with heat to the second floor.

I would appreciate your feedbacks, comments, questions on this topic. Thanks.