+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: baseboard heat

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default baseboard heat

    i have an existing baseboard system using an oil furnace that does both baseboard and potable water, with the cost of oil cant really afford to use it for heat. i was looking into using an electric hot water heater either tank or tankless to supply hot water for the baseboards only, and was wondering how easy it would be to do it and make it a closed system. exactly what kind of hardware would it need (expansion tank, refill valve, pumps, air purger) and how to pick the size of either a tank or tankless heater

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: baseboard heat

    As a rule using a electric boiler (which is what you would need) will cost you far more then a oil fired boiler. A standard tank type electric water heater would not have the capacity to heat even a small home unless you lived in a warm climate.

    John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: baseboard heat

    I agree with John---there are almost always a number of things you can do to reduce the amount of oil usage without going to electric appliances, which are almost always more expensive when used for heating and hot water purposes.

    Could you provide more info as to the age of your boiler & the BTU/hr output rating, your general location & lowest temps experienced in winter, the amount (if any) of exterior wall and attic insulation; if avaialble, the total square footage of the space heated.

    Often, an efficient remedy is to have cellulose insulation blown into all exterior walls to top off or fill the wall cavities (which should be R19) and into the attic (which should be R40)------depending on how much or little insulation you have there now, this can have a dramatic effect of fuel savings; another worthwhile project is to install double-pane vinyl windows if you lack double-pane windows now or don't have storm windows---both measures would also realize great AC savings on summer cooling expenses.

    If the boiler is more than 15 years old, & especially if natural gas pipelines are available in your area, this would be another thing to explore for conversion to natural gas & a more efficient boiler; often, the present oil boiler is over-fired (too large for the size of the house), in such a case, the fuel nozzle can often be down-rated (a smaller sized nozzle used) to burn less oil per hour & maintain the same amount of heat; ask your heating service tech to check this out; the tech can also determine how efficiently the boiler is burning fuel by adjusting air-fuel mixture, adequate air in boiler room, correct oil pressure, the presence of exhaust blockage due to dirty heat exchanger/chimney flue, amount of soot in burner flame (should be 0 or 1 on spot gauge); etc.

    The boiler must be regularly serviced, especially for a Fall cleaning & tune-up; you should also ask your service person to evaluate the heating system (perhaps do a combustion analysis of boiler) & evaluate the house structure & advise you of any ways you can save money on oil usage, etc.
    Last edited by Pelton; 01-23-2012 at 06:33 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: baseboard heat

    its 5 yrs old its an energy star 1 i think, its not how much or how fast it burns the oil its the cost. 400 bucks for 100 gallons which would last a month max if used for both potable and heating. the house was built in 1900 single pane windows no insulation what so ever in the house it was built as a 2 family house poorly wired so no point doing blown in when the electrically needs to be redone and we dont have the money to weatherize the house the electric water heater was the only affordable option that could b done once we got a tax return

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: baseboard heat

    Quote Originally Posted by kdm3170 View Post
    its 5 yrs old its an energy star 1 i think, its not how much or how fast it burns the oil its the cost. 400 bucks for 100 gallons which would last a month max if used for both potable and heating. the house was built in 1900 single pane windows no insulation what so ever in the house it was built as a 2 family house poorly wired so no point doing blown in when the electrically needs to be redone and we dont have the money to weatherize the house the electric water heater was the only affordable option that could b done once we got a tax return
    The problem is it wouldn't save you anything plus it wouldn't do the job. The electric heater if used for potable water only in the summer months would allow you to turn off the boiler.

    John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: baseboard heat

    I would forget about the electric heater all together. What you have is called a tankless coil. It's a potable water coil made of pleated copper tubing that is inserted into the boiler sections. The flame from the burner heats the boiler water, and can also heat potable water. Horribly inefficient. Popular in 1970's through 1980's, but now not much of a good idea. You can have the tankless removed and install an indirect fired water tank. This is a separate free standing water tank that resembles a normal water heater, But does not have it's own heat source. Your boiler's heating water is zoned for different parts of your home, and an indirect fired tank would require an additional zone. No trouble at all. that zone would provide boiler water to a coil in the indirect tank. that coil would heat the domestic/potable water in the tank. You'd be going off of one burner with the luxury of using a storage tank. Try googling indirect fired water tanks.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •