Cold Little House

5.HVAC-Calc Residential 4.0.45c 262012 55624 PM

This was a wee small house with a big problem. Someone very bad had taken advantage of the house’s owners when their steam boiler died on a winter weekend, but there were other problems with the heat as well.

The house had six steam radiators, poorly sized and poorly located. Some rooms were too hot and others, always cold. This was our favorite, though.

Here’s the boiler the crooks put in, a six section Burnham Independence steam boiler. It’s at least four sections too big! The boiler was so over sized compared to the small amount of piping and few radiators connected to it that it would shut itself off on high pressure before the steam could reach the radiators. The house was cold, but the boiler couldn’t run for more than a minute before it had to shut down again.

On, off, on, off. The fuel bills were high because the burner had to try to run forever. If you look carefully, you can see a clear sign of the boiler’s distress- there is big rust stain on the ceiling six feet above the boiler where the main vents kept projectile-vomiting the water and iron slurry being forced through them by high pressure.

Here’s how we figure out what size the hot water boiler, piping and radiators really need to be. This program crunches the measurements of all elements of the house which affect its heat loss. Without doing this, an installer don’t know nuthin’. It’s called a heat loss calculation, and if your installer can’t show you one, don’t let him have your job.

Bye bye, steam boiler. Off you go to your new, bigger home where you’ll have more room for your steam to spread out and you can run more efficiently.

Bye bye, weird kitchen radiator. We’ll reuse you in the utility room, refurbished as a hot water radiator. Your feet can now rest on the ground, the way the Founders intended.

Bye bye, intrusive steam pipes. Joe and Arthur, the Men of Steel, will send you on your way to Korea to become Hyundais.

Hello properly sized Buderus panel radiator! You sure are good looking and you’ll be warm, too. We chose you and your friends so the new system could run on a low water temperature. That low temperature will allow Mr. Condensing Boiler to operate at peak efficiency and will really lower the fuel bills. (Every 3 degree drop in water temperature is about a 1% fuel saving).

Here’s one of the new upstairs radiators. Look at those cute little pipes. The operating head on your valve will allow whoever sleeps in this bedroom to lower your temperature if they wish.

The living room has a sleek, low profile Runtal radiator to allow for optimal furniture arrangement. Can you spot the radiator?

And the former freezing bathroom will be warm as toast. Who says there’s no room for a radiator in here?

Here’s the new combi boiler (does space heating and acts as an on-demand water heater too) in its tidy, vertical location in the utility room. The old water tank is gone as is the nest of big steam pipes overhead, so the house has gained storage space as well.