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  1. #1
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    Default Regional Standards for Furnaces - March 2013

    I have a one pipe steam radiator system with a gas boiler. When we moved in the house last year we found the upstairs to be really hot and the downstairs to be cold. I replaced the radiator valves but the problem persisted. After some research I realized the furnace might be underpowered for the radiators. After going through the calculations I found the furnace is about half of what it should be. So far our solution has been to turn off the upstairs radiators and let the heat from downstairs rise up. This seems to work pretty well, but we would like to eventually get the whole system working.

    Then I came by the regional standards for furnaces and I am left feeling confused. First, our plumber and the large company he works for has never heard of the standards and someone else told me they didn't think the standards applied to me. Second, I looked on the Burnham website (this is the brand of our current boiler) and I can't even find a steam boiler that has 90% AFUE, which is what the regulation says we need, so I am wondering if this regulation is going to eventually mean the end of our steam system. Third, we don't really have a good place for direct venting so I am wondering if I can get a 90% AFUE boiler and use our existing chimney (not to mention we just spent about $1200 to install a chimney liner less than a year ago)? I would love to get a high efficiency boiler but I am wondering if I would be better off just getting a new one with 83% AFUE installed before March 2013.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Regional Standards for Furnaces - March 2013

    This will solve your problem with uneven heat. You need to install adjustable steam vents.

    http://www.pexsupply.com/Hoffman-401...alve-3516000-p

    John

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Regional Standards for Furnaces - March 2013

    Thanks for the reply, but the radiator valves I installed are adjustable. The problem is that half my radiators are cold because my boiler can't produce steam fast enough to makeup for the steam being used by the other half. I assume the upstairs radiators are getting the steam since steam rises and gets there first. My research says that a steam furnace needs to be sized to the radiators, not to the house, since a steam radiator not filled with steam doesn't do anything.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Regional Standards for Furnaces - March 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by cjchretien View Post
    Thanks for the reply, but the radiator valves I installed are adjustable. The problem is that half my radiators are cold because my boiler can't produce steam fast enough to makeup for the steam being used by the other half. I assume the upstairs radiators are getting the steam since steam rises and gets there first. My research says that a steam furnace needs to be sized to the radiators, not to the house, since a steam radiator not filled with steam doesn't do anything.
    That's what the adjustable vents are for. You need to turn the vents down on the radiators that are getting the heat first. This will allow the others to heat. It's all about balancing the system. And from your description your system is unbalanced.

    John

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