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Author Topic: Does anyone else have baseboard heating in their homes?
Lyrhawn
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So I've written before about my delightfully weird new house. Our property manager has rushed out to fix problems as they arrive, which I'm very pleased about.

I'm hesitant to put in another maintenance request on my furnace until I see if it's actually broken or if I'm just not using it right.

There's one thermostat for the whole house, and a boiler/hot water baseboard heating system. I have the thermostat set for 60 degrees, but the actual temperature usually reads at around 75 degrees. Plus the downstairs, where the thermostat usually is, is usually pretty cold, while the upstairs is roiling hot, which (despite the fact that heat rises) is opposite to my experience in a bungalow. Usually upstairs in bungalows is hot in the summer and freezing in the winter.

I'm just not sure if I'm using it wrong, but it seems bizarre that the coldest room in the house is reading as 75, when regardless I have it set as 15 degrees lower.

Problem with the thermostat? Or I'm using it wrong? I've never lived in a house with baseboard heating before.

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Wingracer
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My old house was large with oil furnace heat and one thermostat. The trick was to adjust the individual vents for each room to get a balanced heating. Strangely enough, the upstairs bedroom farthest from the furnace was always the hottest and since that was my room and I like it cool, I usually left those vents completely closed unless it got really cold.

Unfortunately, I have no idea how to do that with a boiler/radiator heating system but I would think there would be someway to do it.

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Hobbes
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Baseboard heating should work just fine, there's nothing special about it that would cause this. It sounds like a thermostat problem, at least to start.

Hobbes [Smile]

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SenojRetep
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Just to clarify: are the cooler rooms downstairs registering at 75? Or just the upstairs room?

If your thermostat is set to 60 and the boiler regularly comes on when the temperature at the thermostat is well above that, there's probably some malfunction in your temperature control, either in the thermostat itself, or perhaps in the aquastat.

On the other hand, if the downstairs room with the thermostat is the right temperature, but other rooms in the house are much hotter, it could be because the circulation system is miscalibrated (i.e. the flow to your baseboards in the thermostat room is too low relative to the other rooms), or it could be due to other, non-HVAC factors (more windows, insulation differences, etc.)

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Kwea
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Yeah, you need to adjust the VENTS to allow or restrict airflow in order to control the temps in each room/floor.
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Lyrhawn
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There are no vents that can really be adjusted. It's not like forced air heating where I can block the air coming out.

It's radiant heating. There are long thin pipes that run the length of most of the walls in the rooms of the house that have water in them that get hot, radiate heat into the room, and can't really be covered.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
Just to clarify: are the cooler rooms downstairs registering at 75? Or just the upstairs room?

If your thermostat is set to 60 and the boiler regularly comes on when the temperature at the thermostat is well above that, there's probably some malfunction in your temperature control, either in the thermostat itself, or perhaps in the aquastat.

On the other hand, if the downstairs room with the thermostat is the right temperature, but other rooms in the house are much hotter, it could be because the circulation system is miscalibrated (i.e. the flow to your baseboards in the thermostat room is too low relative to the other rooms), or it could be due to other, non-HVAC factors (more windows, insulation differences, etc.)

The downstairs cold rooms are registering at 75. There's only one thermostat in the house. It's in the dining room, which is just as cold as most of the other rooms downstairs. The upstairs rooms don't have thermostats, but the huge temperature disparity is pretty clear most of the time.
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theCrowsWife
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I think you have two issues here. One, there does seem to be something wrong with the thermostat, but the good news is they're pretty easy to replace. Until it can be replaced, have you tried setting it lower and lower until you actually get the temperature you want? The other issue is that the house is all one heating zone, and it's just the nature of the beast that single-zone radiant heat will overheat the upstairs. That's probably not something that can be fixed without major overhauls to the system. Your basic choice is to make the downstairs comfortable and open windows upstairs, or make the upstairs comfortable and run supplemental heat downstairs as necessary.

--Mel

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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
The downstairs cold rooms are registering at 75. There's only one thermostat in the house. It's in the dining room, which is just as cold as most of the other rooms downstairs. The upstairs rooms don't have thermostats, but the huge temperature disparity is pretty clear most of the time.

Then, both. Your landlord and/or boiler guy should be able to fix the first problem so the downstairs rooms come in at the temperature you set on the thermostat. Depending on what the issue is, it'll probably cost $200-400 (not that you should pay any of that if you're renting).

It may be that, as theCrowsWife says, there's no fix for the disparity between upstairs and downstairs. But if the differential is consistent you could at least ask the boiler guy whether there's someway to throttle back the forced hot water circulating to the baseboards upstairs. In our last place, which had radiators, each one had a valve that could be adjusted; so even though it was all one heating zone, you could adjust the differential between rooms. I don't immediately see any valves for our baseboards, but I figure they're probably there under the covers somewhere.

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