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  1. #1

    Question Warm UpStairs/ Cooler Down

    I have hot water heat. Around a 30 yr old unit but in pretty good shape. It seems like my upstairs units in the bedrooms seem to be warmer and pump out more heat than the ones downstairs on the main floor. Is this just a case of warm air rising up the stairs and it just seems like the heat registers are warmer. Sure seems like they are. thanks anthony

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    556

    Default Re: Warm UpStairs/ Cooler Down

    Anthony,

    More heat upstairs than downstairs could be caused by any one of several factors---try to check them all out as best you can.

    Do you have baseboard, or radiators???

    1) sometimes air is trapped in the registers on the 1st floor---this is more common with cast iron radiators than baseboard, but try to find any bleed valves at the side of the register & open it with a screwdriver until you get water coming out---sometimes there's a large air pocket somewhere in the piping that restricts hot water flow.

    2) try & feel the pipes on the 1st floor when they're heating up, especially the pipes that feed into the registers---if they're at proper temp, you won't be able to hold onto the pipe for more than a second or two (this is 180 degree hot water)---check the temp gauge at the boiler to verify the system is producing 180 degree hot water--compare the feel of the 1st floor pipes with the feel of the 2nd floor pipes.

    3) if this condition has been like this for some time, there may have been inadequate convectors installed on the 1st floor for the size of the rooms & height of ceilings, or amount of glass (windows) or insulation in the walls, etc.there is a rather easy way of measuring these factors.

    4) check the piping arrangement at the boiler to determine what type of piping you have---some systems have a separate zone for each floor---others run the hot water thru the 2nd floor pipes, then thru the 1st floor pipes, then back to the boiler to be reheated---the hot water is first pumped out of the boiler thru the MAIN SUPPLY PIPE, which is usually at the top of the boiler (this is the hottest water)---try to determine where it goes from there---usually there's a branch for 1/2 the hot water to go to the 2nd floor & 1/2 the hot water to go to the 1st floor---then after going thru all the registers, the pipes join up again (with cooled water) & RETURN (usually at the bottom of the boiler) to the boiler to be re-heated.

    5) if you have 2 separate pumps (circulators) for the 1st & 2nd floor, the 1st floor pump may be dead---if you have zone valves for the 2 separate floors, the 1st floor ZV may be only partially opening.

    Some piping schemes are listed below---click onto series loop, or diverter-tee piping to see the diagrams--try to determine the piping arrangement that comes closest to yours.

    Please post back with the info requested.

    http://www.heatinghelp.com/heating_qa.cfm
    Last edited by NashuaTech; 12-05-2008 at 05:19 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Warm UpStairs/ Cooler Down

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony La Monte View Post
    Is it worth the while to close off a bedroom heat register in a room I dont use and keep the door shut. I have Hot Water Heating. Approx 30 year old unit. It runs good. But is it worth turning the valve off to try and save a few bucks. Will this also effect the way the unit works. And how often should you go around and bleed the air out of each register. I dont have those big cast iron ones mine are like metal fins with a couple pipes running through the middle of them. Is anyone familiar with this kind. thank you anthony
    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony La Monte View Post
    I have hot water heat. Around a 30 yr old unit but in pretty good shape. It seems like my upstairs units in the bedrooms seem to be warmer and pump out more heat than the ones downstairs on the main floor. Is this just a case of warm air rising up the stairs and it just seems like the heat registers are warmer. Sure seems like they are. thanks anthony
    This type of heating (baseboard convection) usually has covers that protect the pipe(s) and fins. The covers usually have louves for adjusting the convection air flow.

    first it is worth it to clean them up vacuum or blown air they will work better. you can remove the cover and clean the fin area and clean underneath well. baseboard convector covers usually also have an adjustable louver you can adjust air flow this will effect how well they can heat the room. you also want to keep furniture out proud from them so they can promote air flow.

    part of it might be the warm air in the home rising part might be the adjustments to the water flow, part might be thermostat controls/sensors.

    is this your first heating season in the home?
    Last edited by Blue RidgeParkway; 12-05-2008 at 05:24 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Warm UpStairs/ Cooler Down

    Thank You. They do have covers and fins. There not baseborad so no louvers. This is my 3rd,. winter. I also clean them very well every year. I will have to check on the couple things you mentioned. Also when I moved in this house most of the original covers had been thrown out. Dont ask why. So I made new ones but I think because my new ones have an all perferated front that there not creating the proper air movement like the old ones would with just slat openings near the top. Does this make any sense. thanks anthony

  5. #5

    Default Re: Warm UpStairs/ Cooler Down

    Quote Originally Posted by NashuaTech View Post
    Anthony,

    More heat upstairs than downstairs could be caused by any one of several factors---try to check them all out as best you can.

    Do you have baseboard, or radiators???

    1) sometimes air is trapped in the registers on the 1st floor---this is more common with cast iron radiators than baseboard, but try to find any bleed valves at the side of the register & open it with a screwdriver until you get water coming out---sometimes there's a large air pocket somewhere in the piping that restricts hot water flow.

    2) try & feel the pipes on the 1st floor when they're heating up, especially the pipes that feed into the registers---if they're at proper temp, you won't be able to hold onto the pipe for more than a second or two (this is 180 degree hot water)---check the temp gauge at the boiler to verify the system is producing 180 degree hot water--compare the feel of the 1st floor pipes with the feel of the 2nd floor pipes.

    3) if this condition has been like this for some time, there may have been inadequate convectors installed on the 1st floor for the size of the rooms & height of ceilings, or amount of glass (windows) or insulation in the walls, etc.there is a rather easy way of measuring these factors.

    4) check the piping arrangement at the boiler to determine what type of piping you have---some systems have a separate zone for each floor---others run the hot water thru the 2nd floor pipes, then thru the 1st floor pipes, then back to the boiler to be reheated---the hot water is first pumped out of the boiler thru the MAIN SUPPLY PIPE, which is usually at the top of the boiler (this is the hottest water)---try to determine where it goes from there---usually there's a branch for 1/2 the hot water to go to the 2nd floor & 1/2 the hot water to go to the 1st floor---then after going thru all the registers, the pipes join up again (with cooled water) & RETURN (usually at the bottom of the boiler) to the boiler to be re-heated.

    5) if you have 2 separate pumps (circulators) for the 1st & 2nd floor, the 1st floor pump may be dead---if you have zone valves for the 2 separate floors, the 1st floor ZV may be only partially opening.

    Some piping schemes are listed below---click onto series loop, or diverter-tee piping to see the diagrams--try to determine the piping arrangement that comes closest to yours.

    Please post back with the info requested.

    http://www.heatinghelp.com/heating_qa.cfm
    Thank you for your information. That is alot to go thru so I will get back to you. I know very little about heating. I sure wish you lived near Buffalo NY. Thanks for everything. Talk to you soon. I think that your right with the not enough convectors on the first floor. There was some renovating in the past which added alot more window area and that was made up with these cheesey hw baseboards that put out very very little heat. The upstairs has less sq. ft. less windows individual rooms so each room heats up nice plus being upstairs. Main floor has huge rooms with minimum heaters and tons of windows. See you. Anthony

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