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Old 10-21-2008, 08:47 PM   #16
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What should I do? Replacing heating system


Before you get a price get a heat loss. Oversizing costs more upfront for bigger units and more everytime you write a check to pay the heat bill.

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Old 10-21-2008, 10:16 PM   #17
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What should I do? Replacing heating system


Work a lot of over time.

You haven't even mentioned if its a single pipe, or 2 pipe system.
Either one can be a lot of work to seperate the floors from each other.

Those vented wall mounted heaters are ok. But, they may limit the type of tenant you can get.
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:35 AM   #18
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What should I do? Replacing heating system


That is an interesting point. I guess it wouldn't limit me since I understand what they are. But many people do not and might think they are weird. You do not have that issue in Vermont (where apartments with Rinnai's are advertised as such and it is considered a plus). In this economy if you advertised that they are very high efficiency and their heating bill would be lower as a result, it may offset the question about it

To the OP, the 21.5k BTU unit will heat our 800 sq ft leaky uninsulated house but either the larger (37k BTU unit), or 1 additional unit might be better. You definitely need to situate it in the correct place. Most likely the living room, or the largest central room where the bedrooms stem off from. The kitchen inherently gets warm. Bedrooms do not need to be as warm (at least for me and I think most people do not mind or even like sleeping a little cooler) and living or family room is where you really want to be cozy and warm while relaxing.

Last edited by pcampbell; 10-22-2008 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:17 AM   #19
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What should I do? Replacing heating system


Quote:
Originally Posted by pcampbell View Post
That is an interesting point. I guess it wouldn't limit me since I understand what they are. But many people do not and might think they are weird. You do not have that issue in Vermont (where apartments with Rinnai's are advertised as such and it is considered a plus). In this economy if you advertised that they are very high efficiency and their heating bill would be lower as a result, it may offset the question about it

To the OP, the 21.5k BTU unit will heat our 800 sq ft leaky uninsulated house but either the larger (37k BTU unit), or 1 additional unit would be better. You definitely need to situate it in the correct place. Most likely the living room, or larger room where the bedrooms stem off from. The kitchen inherently gets warm. Bedrooms do not need to be as warm (at least for me and I think most people do not mind or even like sleeping a little cooler) and living or family room is where you really want to be cozy and warm while relaxing.
Energy efficiency in light of the high energy bills is something to consider for sure.

I heat a 2500 sq ft home with gas. It has an 80k btu 95% furnace and a Rinnai tankless water heater. There are LOTS of high efficiency windows facing south that gets me some solar heating.

My thermostat is set to 50 at 8PM and won't come on till 7AM and then it only goes up to 66. At 10AM it cuts back to 64.

The bedrooms are not heated much and generally run 60 most of the time.

We are used to these temperatures and I wear T shirts most of the time. It it gets up to 68 my wife complains it is too hot. If we get cold we put on a sweater or pull up a blanket if we are sitting down. We have blankets everywhere.

Our gas bill averages about $600 per year. In comparison the house across the street has single pane windows, no insulation in the walls, and is half the size of my house and they pay $200 a month in the winter.

When I hear people in much smaller places that have heating bills of $300 a month I just cringe. That is a huge cost and I would be making some changes to get that down as much as possible.

A well insulated home with a good heating system is worth a lot of money these days.

Some friends just bought a house and the first thing they did was find out what it costs to heat the place before they made an offer. Then they called me to come and look at the heating system to see if it was a good one and was going to last.

My solar hot water system in my vacation home cost me about 2k to put in. But with it heating my water and home and energy bills of about $300 per year my guess is that the system is worth 15k to anyone interested in buying it. Average heating bills there in the winter run about $300 per month. Mine is $20.

With energy doing nothing but going up because Congress can't seem to get it together and do something about it, energy efficiency is a huge issue to most people.

When I was growing up it was no big deal. We used to have the heat set to 74 and have the front door open at -20 while loading groceries and didn't think anything of it.

Times have changed and insulation and energy efficiency is everything these days.
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:01 PM   #20
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What should I do? Replacing heating system


wow great posts with alot of good information. Thanks

Quote:
You haven't even mentioned if its a single pipe, or 2 pipe system.
... its a single pipe steam system


Quote:
Energy efficiency in light of the high energy bills is something to consider for sure.
Good way to keep the bill down I like that. Do you have some sort of digital thermostat? Is that how you get the heat to change temps at different points in the day? What kind of heaters do you have as in radiators or hotwater baseboard? Thanks for the info.


My first estimate was for two new gas boilers and new lines to hotwater baseboards separating the upstairs from downstairs. $14,500.
Second estimate was for two new gas boilers and splitting the lines separating upstairs from downstairs while keeping the existing radiators. $14,500

I didnt think it would be so much.
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:48 PM   #21
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What should I do? Replacing heating system


Its a lot of work getting the new lines up to the second floor.

So you have a lot of material and labor involved.
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:50 PM   #22
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What should I do? Replacing heating system


Don't know if you guys remember helping me out here but I was looking at my "topics" and here I am a year later. So heres an update.

Soon after I bought this house I remember sitting on the steps just inside the front entrance to the second floor trying to figure out where this "drip" was coming from. After I took part of the ceiling out I found some old nasty cast iron drain pipes that had been cracked and falling apart. But that didn't explain the drip. After searching, pulling my hair out, swearing up and down I pretty much narrowed it down to inside the tile wall (shower body) in the bathroom directly above this abortion of pipes. Long story short(er) I had ripped out all of the plumbing to the upstairs bath from the ground up, me and my buddy had redone all of the plumbing, new bathtub (the existing one was pitched away from the drain and tiled in + no trap!) new sink/vanity and tiled 25% of the walls and all of the floor. Looks beautiful now. What I learned during that project: PVC, I had not ever done that before. Copper, I really improved my soldering skills. Drainage, I learned all about venting for the most part. Tile...etc

Back to the heat... I had to make a decision based on all of the information I had and it was OUT with the radiators/1975 Sears Robuck and Co furnace and IN with the direct vent boiler and baseboard heat. My friend who had helped me with the plumbing is a few years younger than I and had been working for a plumber for about a year so had a basic understanding of things. With his help we knocked out the heating system for the second floor. Through this site and you guys I had figured out how to go about all of the complicated stuff.

I had a heat loss done for every room then compared it to a few sites that had a heatloss program. I learned that with 3/4" baseboard I cannot exceed 67' of element. Turns out I purchaced a Utica 50k btu boiler and installed 55' of element which was more than each room called for. I didn't have room to put element in the kitchen so I proportionally added to every room.

The inspector came checked my new gas line for its ability to hold pressure and he looked at the boiler and new hot water heater we put in and said he was impressed by how neat everything was done. Then had a second gas meter installed.

For a while I had a noise problem which turned out to be a loose bolt on the circulator which was allowing air into the system.

After having quite a few people check the place out my new tenants turned out to be the nicest couple I could ask for... good credit, non smokers, clean and most importantly pays on time!

That was all done about 7 months ago and since then I have ripped out the kitchen, bath and part of the living room on the first floor where I will eventually occupy. After relocating some walls and doors I have a bigger kitchen now due partly to an old stand up shower that was for some reason boxed in. It was like an optical illusion, I didn't know it was there for months!

I had recently bought another Utica 50Kbtu boiler in which I am in the process of hooking up and running baseboard. Second time around is not as bad. I improved on the way the boiler and its components are hooked up also. Once again through this site and you guys as well as the literature on the Bell and Gossett website I have found the means to get the job done. I screw stuff up all the time but its never really too bad. I still have 900 questions just can't think of any right now.

I'll have some pics up soon and thanks again. -Ray
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Old 11-17-2009, 04:30 AM   #23
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What should I do? Replacing heating system



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