My husband and I just bought a home built in 1931. This house was kept well over the years. Not too many upgrades have occur (everything thing on the out side has been overhauled, windows, siding, roof and new garage) but the house has retained it's charm with original plaster walls, beautiful oak hardwood floors, large moldings and pretty fireplace with a wood burner in the basement.

Now as you can imagine there are some quarks such as some slanting floors, hairline plaster cracks, etc. But the biggest thing is the steam heat... The boiler is new (less than 5 years old) but we have all the original radiators. We finally turned the heat on since the inspection and yes hiss, hiss spit, spit. Reading about the one pipe system I have decided to replace the steam vents. Downstairs we have the automatic steam values that are looking pretty old and in need of replacing. Upstairs we have the Hoffman 1A air valves which adjust and look in much better shape but still need replaced. What the advantage to adjustable air vents? Are they more quiet? Is there a reason they are on the second floor in every bedroom (the bathroom on the second floor does not have the adjustable air vent)?

When I went to the hardware store they just kind of looked at me with the expression "you still have steam heat." They really couldn't answer my questions and directed me to a store that still carried them. I still got the same look from them and even though they carried the product they couldn't answer my questions either... I really don't want to have a HVAC guy come over just for some steam valves.. Any suggestions?