Hot Water Baseboard System

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Peacock, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. Peacock

    Peacock writing some wrongs Supporter

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    While I'm in a heating frame of mind...another question.

    Our home's heating system is an oil furnace with a boiler and baseboard hot water radiators. I'd never heard of this till we were house shopping, and people told me it was great for efficiency, comfortable humidity levels, allergies, etc. We don't have a problem with it either, except that sometimes I wonder if it's possible to adjust how much heat goes where, and how.

    But my real question is about the oil furnace. It's old and will probably need to be replaced soon. I don't particularly want another oil furnace - it's such a hassle getting the tanker truck out to fill it, you worry about leaks, it smells, and if you run out, hey, no heat. Electric? Can be expensive, and if the grid goes down, hey, no heat. We don't have natural gas lines. I'm seriously thinking about a wood stove to heat the boiler. Anybody used a wood stove made for this particular type of system? I'm told they do exist.
     
  2. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yup.

    The common way is to plumb in your current oil burner & an indoor wood boiler & let the oil unit take over when you aren't home.

    Works well.

    These days you need seperate chimneys for the 2 boilers - only big hitch in the plan.

    Some will suggest an outdoor wood unit. That is ok, but those are less efficient, can make smoke if notbuilt/ operated right, and they most all run at atmospheric pressure, so you will need a heat transfer point. I think the outdoor units are cool if you are heating 2-3 buildings & need a big unit, but I'm not a fan of them for just heating the house. Personal preference. :)

    --->Paul
     

  3. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    Hot water baseboard heating has been around for many years now... and even on This old house they are still putting in the Same units just with newer and more efficient boilers~!. But we had it put in my grandparents house gosh back in the very late 60's or very early 70's and is Still working fine to this day with having only to replace the pump a few times and one boiler. But these are most Even Heating system around. BUT the draw but IMO is NO FORCED AIR No standing in front of a register and having the Warm air Blow on a person.. That is only thing I missed.
    And my Dad's house has Hot water Baseboard heating also.
    And has different valves he can control to maybe shut off one or 2 bedrooms if they do not need to heat those rooms, things like that are nice also with those systems.
     
  4. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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  5. Peacock

    Peacock writing some wrongs Supporter

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    Yes, I do miss the comfort factor of standing over a nice warm heating vent. Our previous home had a heat pump, and while it also worked very well and efficiently, it lacked the warm air from the vents too -- you'd swear the thing wasn't working because the air coming out was cool, but the house got warm anyway. Very weird concept, a heat pump. Both heat and cooling from an outside unit.

    All the more reason to get that insert fired up...you want warm air, go stand in front of the fireplace. :)
     
  6. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    AHS is right up near the top for quality. As well as Tarm. You pay for it tho! Harmon & a few others make good mid-level boilers, there are some cheapies out there as well but you get what you pay for....

    This old farmhouse has radiators, built in 1926. On it's 3rd wood boiler, 2nd oil burner. First oil burner was installed in 1972 I believe, prior it was wood/coal boiler as only heat source.

    --->Paul
     
  7. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    very similar here. the house was built then or maybe a bit earlier. my family moved in in 1970. it had coal but was converted to oil burner. that unit was replaced once. in the mid 1980's, i forget when, my brother helped my mom install an eshland oil/wood burning boiler. that is the unit i use now. i love the wood fired hot water heat.

    i am limping along with an open firebox and no (whatever you call the recirculating plate). it is open to the pipe and makes the stove not so very efficient. the top slider plate had the asbestos knocked off by my brother who jammed too much wood against it. it warped. the rear angled plate got slightly warped and knocked out. the grooves are filled with creosote etc. and it is hard to put it back. i would like to replace that angled piece at the very least. maybe i will have it tack welded in place before the season gets on. i don't know what to do about the top slider. it would be nice to replace it. maybe i could find cast iron to replace it.
     
  8. Tiffin

    Tiffin Well-Known Member

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    We have propane gas hot water boiler. Very quiet, even heat. The only thing I was upset about when DH chose this for our new home is no central air. We have to have window air conditioner units which I hate the looks of. At least here in central NY air conditioners really aren't used but maybe two months out of the year. I put them in at the last minute and take them out as soon as I can.
     
  9. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    So it's an oil fired boiler? They do rust out but "old" has a different meanign to boilers. Old is 40-60 years for steel (if it was treated correctly) , 50- 60+ for cast iron versions. All oil fired appliances (and gas) need annual servicing but it's more important in boilers. The one very nice thing about oil heat is you can always dump in diesel if you run out, if the Nat gas system fails you're cold if the power grid fails you at least have a hope of powering up the oil heating system with a generator. There are lots of wood /oil boilers. I wouldn't rush out and replace a boiler without a serviceman checking it out, they were built for the long haul. (BTW no oil fired appliance should smell) You could add on an air handler (think a radiator in a fan box) to provide a warm ducted air supply to cold rooms, but if it's not practical then at least radiators are the easiest to service hard to get to rooms.
     
  10. jross

    jross swamper

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    I put this on another thread, I feel it is something important.
    I steam cleaned our baseboard heat exchangers and the crud that came off was something to see. We vacuumed them every year, but I decided to get some use out of the Shark steamer besides cleainng the crud out of the microwave after the chili beans explode. The people we bought the house from smoked, and of course the nicotine gets everywhere. After the cleaning, our oil consumption dropped, we did not get that smell that comes from the baseboard heaters the first time they are used in the fall. The oil company came out a couple of times to "check our tank for water intrusion", but I think they thought we had bought oil on the spot market. I figure we saved at least two hundred gallons of heating oil. Plus I do not mind screwing the Arabs or Venezualans out of oil money.