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  Heating Strategy - HELP!!!
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posted
Hi! I was hoping to get some thoughts from HGTV viewers about what to do with my heating situation. I was just told by my heating service company that I have a crack in my steam heat boiler and it needs to be replaced. Friends/family have thrown a number of options at me to fix my problem and I am really struggling with what to do. I am thinking initially about resale and secondly about efficiency/comfort in the home. I have hated my steam heat because it is expensive, clangs all the time when it's running, and does not heat the house evenly despite having had heating experts adjust the valves, etc. So, my options...
1. Convert to baseboard, forced hot water on both my main floor and second floor.
2. Just replace the boiler and continue to live with steam.
3. Convert to baseboard, forced hot water on the main floor and install electric heat with their own thermostats in each of the bedrooms on the 2nd floor.

There seem to be pros and cons about all options. Does anyone have any thoughts or comments?
 
Posts: 2 | Registered: Apr 12, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Sparky
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Location would help, fuel available would help.

With steam I'm assuming your house is fairly old and located in the northeast.

If gas is available a new gas fired boiler would be the least expensive option and natural gas prices in the USA should be stable for the foreseeable future given all the gas they are finding these days.

If you have access from below, hydronic heat in the floor would give you a very quiet and efficient system that puts the heat where you want it.


General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

 
Posts: 6856 | Location: Cary, North Carolina | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That's a great idea and yes you are right - Massachusetts and natural gas. My house is about 100 years old. I just had another contractor out and he suggested that I consider a forced air solution in the basement to service the 1st floor and then the attic to service the 2nd floor. That way I could have heat and air conditioning. Thoughts?
 
Posts: 2 | Registered: Apr 12, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Sparky
posted Hide Post
If you want central air it is a good solution. Watching This Old House people in your part of the country really like baseboard hotwater... very uncommon here in NC. I really like the in-floor heat concept from a comfort perspective.

With force hot air you do get swings in temperatures as the heat cycles on and off. With the exception of an apartment I had in suburban Philly with steam heat back in the early 80's I've had forced hot air all my life.


General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

 
Posts: 6856 | Location: Cary, North Carolina | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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