Hot water heat

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cc-rider, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    And before Moonpups yells at me.... yes, I checked the archives! :haha: It pulled up everything with "heat" in the title and things like "hot flashes". Not applicable. At least not to THIS question!

    I'm looking at a house with hot water heat (natural gas water heater, I believe) that runs through things that look like baseboard units. I've never seen one before so don't know how efficient these are. Supposedly, there is a separate line and thermostat that heats the basement running off the same "furnace"...whatever you call it... that runs the lines for the rest of the house. Sitting beside this "furnace" thing is a large hot water heater.

    My questions...

    Does this hot water heater work in conjunction with the furnace, or is it just coincidence that it sits there?

    If so, does the same water that runs through the lines, run through my sink, for instance?

    Is it an efficient way to heat? I currently have forced air, and I like being able to turn it up or down and have instant additional heat. It seems like it would take awhile to get any more heat if you wanted it warmer.

    Thanks for your help!!!!
    Chris
     
  2. featherbottom

    featherbottom Well-Known Member

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  3. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    My MIL has hotwater baseboard heat. It's easier to keep at a set temperature and leave it there. If you do turn it down, it does take a bit to heat up. We have air heat and although it's instant, it feels like it cools down faster and it's dusty. Hot air is easier to work with if you ever want ac put in.

    Not sure about the water part of it.
     
  4. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    This place has A/C already, but it is a unit in the attic and goes through the ceilings. Makes sense....doesn't cool air go down?
     
  5. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I have hot water heat, but it's with the old radiators. I like it. No dust blowing around from those vents!

    The boiler is what heats the water for the heater. Mine is about 50 years old and extremely inefficient, but newer ones are much better. If the boiler is efficient, then the system will be. I could probably cut my heating bills in half if I would break down and buy a new boiler.

    The hot water heater might be totally separate, but some new systems run tubing for hot water through the boiler so that it can heat your hot water when it is on (saves energy that way). The water from your tap is not mixed with the water in the heat system.

    Jena
     
  6. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    I never thought about that aspect of it. I have allergies TERRIBLY! No cats or dogs for me. Allergic to 40 some different things. I keep my house really clean, but there is still always dust. This type of heat would help that, right?

    When you say radiator.... that's one of those metal box things with the fins, rather than the baseboard-looking thing? I love the look of the radiators, though! I was in a house one time that had doilies draped on the radiators. Very pretty! At the time, I wondered how they could do that, but I guess it wouldn't interfere with anything or get too hot, would it?

    Can you buy new radiators? :)
     
  7. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    When I say radiator, i mean baseboard heat with a pipe going through it that carries water (sorry for confusion). I am very allergic to everything inside and out and food and my cats. One is really clean and she doesn't bother me, the other one that loves me and thinks shes a dog has fur like an afghan so she irritates me a bit if i pet her.

    Vaccum the grills to your return vents regularly and put in a better filter in the furnace (worth the $$ ~20 a piece here). That helps, but i still dust 3 x a week or itch like a made women on my arms. I also vacuum down stairs 2 x a week (should do 3) and upstairs every other week (should do weekly). Took

    I'm sure you could buy radiators, but might be expensive.
     
  8. tallpines

    tallpines Well-Known Member

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    We have in-floor hot water heat.
    Heated by outdoor wood furnace and circulated through out the house through pex tubing that was laid and covered with 1 1/2 inches of cement during the building process, 3 years ago.----

    Same hot water circulates out to our near-by cabin and heats by means of a baseboard radiator

    We love it------Except when the wood fire fails to burn well.

    We will be installing a gas fireplace for axillary heat and for the QUICK warm-up that's not availale with our hot water heat.
     
  9. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Pretty much what Jenna said. We have the old style radiators (big tall fin things) in our house. Have a wood boiler & heating fuel boiler hooked up to the system. It is nice even heat, not the peaks & valleys & dust storm of a forced air unit. My skin dries out badly, when in a forced air place it's much worse for me. The only downfall of a water system is that you can't easily add central air. Plus sometimes the radiators or baseboards are more intrusive into the floorplan...

    --->Paul
     
  10. CarlaWVgal

    CarlaWVgal Well-Known Member

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    I have water baseboard heat. Our water lines run through the furnace to heat up, there is no "true" boiler with it. Our oil furnace is about 30-35 years old. Obviously it isn't too efficient :eek: We installed an outdoor wood furnace this year and used the same plumbing in the basement as our oil furnace. The pipes heat up quickly, and it stays warm pretty well. The water in the heating pipes is seperate from all other plumbing, it should have a "feeder" line to automatically fill up the lines if they need water added.

    Maybe the hot water tank is beside it to draw off some of the heat from the furnace with a heat exchanger? This would allow you to have hot water w/o electric in the winter. My heat exchangers look like a 6x12x4 rectangle with 2 sets of pipes, is there anything like that attached? Just a guess :)

    HTH
    Carla
     
  11. bluetick

    bluetick Well-Known Member

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    I have a hot water heating system with a boiler fueled by oil. The radiators are large cast iron ones, and they do take up some space, but I don't find it a problem. The heat is even, as opposed to some hot air systems I've experienced that blow an initial blast of cool air before the hot air reaches the grill.

    My water is heated by the boiler and is stored in a tank near the boiler. The boiler comes on during the summer to only heat the water. As a bonus, my very old stone lined cellar is a bit drier year round due to the boiler cycling on and off.

    I really prefer hot water over hot air, and my cats like to nap on the radiators during the winter! Modern baseboard radiators are only a few inches high and close to the wall.

    My boiler was "tuned up" last month and is running at 85% efficiency, which I think is pretty good. My house is old and could use newer windows and more insulation. I kept the thermostats (2 zones) at no more than 65 degrees (cooler over night) last winter in cold, snowy upstate NY. My annual oil bill is about $1,200. (I get a fire going in my woodstove during the evenings since I like it warmer while basically just sitting around, and the woodstove provides heat when the power goes out.)
     
  12. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    The radiators get warm, but not hot. I keep blankets folded on them in the living room for the kids to use while watching tv. It makes them warm and snuggly. The cats sleep on them.

    When I first moved in here, I spray painted some of them gold. They are beautiful, but using spray paint in the house is NOT a good idea..hehehe. That was a mess!

    I have furniture right up against some of them, but I wouldn't put anything wood next to them. The temp change would warp it over time.

    I had a friend who pulled all the old radiators out of her house. She thought she could sell them, but had to pay to have them hauled as junk. If you find them for sale, I bet they range from extremely over-priced to free, depending on the source. I bet a guy who installs new heating systems comes across them from time to time, probably cheap or free.

    Jena
     
  13. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    I'll have to look closer. I only looked at the house, briefly, twice. Found out last night that it is now mine!

    :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:
    Me doing the new-home-owners-happy-dance

    Saw it at an Open House on Sunday, wrote a REALLY lowball offer on Monday, accepted it on Tuesday. :dance:

    I'm so excited! And nervous. Don't know what to do next!

    Thanks for everyone's help with all these questions!
     
  14. paulat333

    paulat333 Member

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    We have hot-water heat with baseboards in our house, same as my parents' house where I grew up. I find it to be efficient and much easier to keep at a level temperature. The biggest plus for me with it is that it doesn't make the house as dry as forced air heating. My in-laws have forced hot-air and I am always sooooo... dry when we visit. I wake up during the night and have to have a bottle of water in the room with me I'm so dry. We're thinking of putting an addition on our house and that was the one thing I told my husband was that I wanted to make sure we didn't do forced hot-air heat in the addition.
     
  15. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have in-floor warm water heat. Keeps your feet warm. Where we live, you wouldn't put in electric baseboard or water baseboard heat unless you were renovating a porch and didn't want to run ductwork to it. My inlaws have baseboard heat and find it to be expensive to run. I think it will depend on when the system was put in, and the brand. If you can find out the age of the system and it's name, you can then call up plumbers in the area and ask them what they know about that type of system. I'm sure they would know if it needed constant repairs and how energy efficient it is. I imagine that if this system is outdated, you could pull out the old ones and replace them.
     
  16. gmom

    gmom Well-Known Member

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  17. 3girls

    3girls Well-Known Member

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    Move in and enjoy. You'll like the hot water heat--very clean and seems more even. I wish you well in every way.

    Sandi