Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Hydronic Baseboard Heat Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Hydronic Baseboard Heat

    Any experience with hydronic baseboard heating? Someone asked me about it a year or so ago. I'm not a HVAC contractor of any sort. So I told them to call someone more knowledgeable.

    I did look into it. Some say you need a boiler's temps, others I've read say a hot water heater will do it. I'm interested for myself now. Thanks for the input.

    J.C.

  • #2
    Re: Hydronic Baseboard Heat

    i have experience, but it's up here.

    is it a repair? installation?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Hydronic Baseboard Heat

      Installation. Here, the majority (probably 99%) is forced air. I like the idea of the baseboard system but am not familiar with downsides.

      Thanks. Trust me, go ahead and tell me everything 'til I go crosseyed.

      J.C.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Hydronic Baseboard Heat

        No, a water heater wont provide the water hot enough for baseboard unless it's cast iron (160 degrees). Even then it would be pushing it. Maybe OK as supplemental heat source. Fintube BB needs at least 180 to be effective and you just won't get that from any domestic water heater.

        The problem with baseboard is you need a lot of linear feet to heat a room properly. 4 and 6 foot sections just won't cut it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Hydronic Baseboard Heat

          A boiler is the only way to go for baseboard heat.

          I have seen others try this with a WH and it did not work. We installed a new boiler for them and gave them the price of the water heater off to get the job.

          We later installed the 2 day old WH at another home. Both customers were pleased as the WH install was slightly discounted do to being installed previously.

          A water heater will work for in-floor heat in a small shop or building but that's the only time I would ever suggest a WH on a hydronics system.

          Boilers are fairly low maintenance, far more efficient, quieter and keep the home cleaner by not having dust flying around from the vents.

          Many customers I have installed boilers for have done their homework and know what they want. Several of them have had children with allergies. I wish I had a boiler. The next home I build for myself will have one, as well as the in-floor heat.
          www.firstresponsedrain.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Hydronic Baseboard Heat

            we use both forced air and hw heating.

            moving parts
            hot water or hydronic systems have alot of moving parts; a burner, pump, zone valve(s), thermostat(s), heating cabinet, heating fin, transformer(s), high limit/operating control, low water cut-off, air vents, relief valve, temp/press. gauge, expansion tank, pet cocks, gaskets (and probably more things i just can't remember them all), all of which could break and/or leak. the more moving parts, the greater the chances of something breaking.

            a forced air system has very little moving parts; burner, fan with motor, thermostat, limit control. oh yeah, and the heat registers.

            installation
            big money for hot water heating.
            not so big for forced air.

            repairs/maintanence
            hwh is messy. its simular to poop. no matter how careful you try to be, something always gets flicked.
            not funny on expensive carpet in a well-to-do's livingroom let alone your own.

            if you only use water in the system, it stinks. black water is best because it devoid of air. air causes untimely airlocks and corrosion. you want the black water, but it stinks like poo.

            if you use a mixture of glycol and water like we do, the mixture still stinks. it still smells like poo, except sweet.

            given the technology we have today regarding air filters and heatduct cleaning, i feel forced air can be cleaner than hwh. i say this because i've tried to clean heat fin and the only way i could effectively clean the fin was with compressed air and a vaccum. talk about dusty. in really dusty locations, the fin must be cleaned more frequently as is the hot air furnace, however, moving the furniture away from the heating cabinet so you can get to it, remove the cover without damaging it or scratching the wall. then create a bunch of dust and claiming to the customer that your cleaning. then reversing all the steps.

            hot/forced air furnaces have holders in place for filters. there's cheap filters, expensive filters, HEPA filters and so on.

            cleaning the duct work that conveys the hot air is relatively easy to do. 1 huge vaccum, jetter hose with backward facing jets or holes, and a roll of string. a couple of hours and it's done. no dust, no mess.

            please don't get me wrong, hwh is excellent for commercial buildings. it alows for a more controlled application of the heat. i love putting them in and repairing the previous guys screw-ups. it's just that i don't feel they're worth it for the average home owner.
            if your a plumber and know what your doing, i say go for it. i only say that because your a plumber and not the average home owner.

            as for myself, i prefer the KIS method. keep it simple.

            hope that helps.

            cheers

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Hydronic Baseboard Heat

              Thanks Vince. Everything helps. Simpler usually is better. Good luck working on the "Sweet Poo Water."

              J.C.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Hydronic Baseboard Heat

                Something else to think about is that if you have a forced air heating system even if there aren't upper supply registers and returns (as there should be) you can still have some use for air conditioning. In a new installation be sure to install ducting, registers and return grills with dampers both near the floor and near the ceiling. If you have hydronic baseboard heat you'll need to figure on another way besides use of existing ducting and air handler for AC as you won't have them.

                Also, as PC stated you do need long runs of baseboards. Just putting a baseboard heater under a window or two won't do. You could pull that off with a fan forced cabinet heater unit but now you're getting into commercial and ugly.

                As for stirring up air, the baseboards do it some, otherwise the room would not get heated and you would have hot zones near the baseboard heaters and the rest of the room would be cold.

                Good air filters and a good humidifier on a forced air heating system make them much nicer than without.


                Vince, Ever do a total drain of a commercial heating boiler? Talking about stinky gloppy water. Get that on your clothes and you end up burning them.
                Last edited by Woussko; 09-21-2008, 05:22 PM. Reason: error corrections

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Hydronic Baseboard Heat

                  I have hydronic baseboard, and one thing that it does do is limit where you can put furniture, because you don't want to block the base boards. Also, for the first month I lived in my house I managed to knock my alarm clock off my night stand (because of the gap between the nightstand and the wall for the baseboard heater).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Hydronic Baseboard Heat

                    thanks for reminding me cpw. ultimately furniture gets pushed up againest the cabinet and damages it. looks like crap after a decade or so.

                    lets not forget the expansion and contraction noises that tend to freak little kids out late at night.

                    one last thing i forgot, if you lose heat and the house freezes, big $$ to repair if you use water only. don't forget to repair the broken dom. water lines, traps, faucets, wcs, etc.

                    if your using a glycol mixture, it can be difficult to get the heavy liquid moving again due to it's density. i have a trick for that, but that's another story.

                    hwh tends to melt my igloo, then i have no where to poo.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Hydronic Baseboard Heat

                      Compared to radiant floors, forced air heating is garbage.

                      Europe has already gone through the high priced energy crisis. That's why virtually every house in Europe has a boiler and water based heating. One of my hydronics instructors said that he knows a few guys who moved over here from Europe who were boiler/heating technicians and they were baffled when they saw their first furnace. They couldn't understand what the heck it was and why someone would want to heat the air.

                      Yes cost wise radiant floors, the controls, pumps, etc, cost more money to install but the very nature of the system alone saves money - probably at least 25% just by the heating medium alone compared to forced air. Then you forget to factor in controls and the like which can reduce the bill even more.


                      The only reason furnaces will take hold here for a while longer is because of the sheer number of them already installed that are re & re'd and the public's attachment to the idea of furnaces, plus they're cheap up front which is nice for people installing cookie cutter houses with a "high efficiency furnace."

                      Think about forced air. You are blowing air into a room and then sucking it out. The very nature of the system creates small zones of pressurized air and areas of reduced pressure throughout the home. If you consider that every house, no matter how air tight you think it is, always has infiltration losses, especially with more windows, doors, etc.. These micro pressurized areas in your home due to forced air balance themselves out by pushing heat out of these various cracks and what not. And micro depressurized areas pull cool air in. It's a lose lose situation.
                      Last edited by Scott K; 09-20-2008, 11:24 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Hydronic Baseboard Heat

                        That entire post is so wrong on so many levels. You are assuming that all forced hot air systems are improperly sized and installed.

                        Forced hot air will always be more efficient because there is only one exchange of heat. Where as a hydronic system must exchange the heat of the fire twice before it makes it to the living space. Conversly radiant heat, while admittidly comfortable is by no means more efficient than baseboard is. Remember the goal of any heating system is to take the heat of the fire and transfer as much as possible to the living space. The reasons why Europe has a preponderance of hydronic heat has only to do with the reason New England does. It was a natural outgrowth of steam systems that were converted and became a regional choice.
                        sigpic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Hydronic Baseboard Heat

                          By the way, the pressurization argument is not valid either. Though there will be some infiltration loss, there will be a loss with either system as warming air expands air. A properly designed and installed FHA system does not pressureize the house or the room. That would be most uncomfortable.
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Hydronic Baseboard Heat

                            Originally posted by NHMaster3015 View Post
                            That entire post is so wrong on so many levels. You are assuming that all forced hot air systems are improperly sized and installed.

                            Forced hot air will always be more efficient because there is only one exchange of heat. Where as a hydronic system must exchange the heat of the fire twice before it makes it to the living space. Conversly radiant heat, while admittidly comfortable is by no means more efficient than baseboard is. Remember the goal of any heating system is to take the heat of the fire and transfer as much as possible to the living space. The reasons why Europe has a preponderance of hydronic heat has only to do with the reason New England does. It was a natural outgrowth of steam systems that were converted and became a regional choice.


                            I never said or assumed that all forced air systems are improperly sized and installed.

                            Radiant heated floors are more efficient than hydronic & electric baseboards AND forced air by a long shot.

                            You ever been in a forced air room that was "70 F" and still felt cold?

                            Or looked at the ideal heating curve and where most of the heat goes with forced air compared to radiant floors?

                            Chapter 1, page 2 of John Siegenthaler's "Modern Hydronic Heating," says the following as an example (and this is comparing baseboard heating to forced air heating).

                            "A study that compared several hundred homes, some with central-air systems, others with baseboard convectors, found air leakage rates averaged 26 percent higher and energy usage averared 40 percent higher in homes with forcied-air heating."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Hydronic Baseboard Heat

                              Originally posted by Scott K View Post
                              Chapter 1, page 2 of John Siegenthaler's "Modern Hydronic Heating," says the following as an example (and this is comparing baseboard heating to forced air heating).

                              "A study that compared several hundred homes, some with central-air systems, others with baseboard convectors, found air leakage rates averaged 26 percent higher and energy usage averared 40 percent higher in homes with forcied-air heating."
                              Sounds like a real "unbiased" study.

                              I think these thoughts are probably about 20 years old. I'd suggest a course in forced air technology.

                              I can, and do, maintain the temperature of every room of any house I do, to within a half a degree of the setpoint of the thermostat during the heating season. Plus, I can humidify, cool, dehumidify, constantly circulate the air and clean it to within a tenth of a micron, and yes, even efficiently control the air infiltration into the building. All with a simple forced air system that costs about one third the price of hot water.

                              Just because the Europeans dont get it doesnt mean its wrong. Arent AAV's standard over there too?

                              Andy

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X