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Old December 13th, 2008, 06:56 PM   #1
Rainbird1099
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Default Base Board heat; better or worse...?

We're looking for a new house closer to both of our jobs, and saw one today we liked. It has baseboard heat, I have no experience with baseboard heat.
The unit looks newer, and there is zone heating controls, at least thermostats in the house (on the walls), i do not see any controls ont he units.

How efficent are these systems, or are they not.
The house is a tri-level, 1,700 sq. feet.

Right now we have an 1,100 sq. ft. ranch with forced heat. full (unfinished) basement.

By the way soon you will see a house in waterford listed for sale or rent. 2+car garage.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 07:02 PM   #2
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my parents have it in their house...works good, but can be expensive to fix if the boiler goes out
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Old December 13th, 2008, 07:06 PM   #3
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Have had 2 houses with baseboard heat. Love it. Clean, no blowing air. Temp stays constant, Will need an AC unit separate form your furnace but we love it. Have 3 different zones in the house.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 07:10 PM   #4
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my grandfather just built a geothermal system to replace his baseboard boiler. he was burning 3 tanks of propane a winter to heat his house.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 08:18 PM   #5
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Baseboard in mine, better than a furnace. Constant without blowing dust and krapp all over.

On edit: cost $3200 to replace the boiler two years ago. The old one was 25 years old.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 08:25 PM   #6
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my grandfather just built a geothermal system to replace his baseboard boiler. he was burning 3 tanks of propane a winter to heat his house.
Not enough bean burritos. We keep warm here by farting under the blankets.

IMHO, I'd go with geothermal if I had the realestate to support it.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 09:23 PM   #7
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Depending on the boiler it can be alot more efficiant, alot of that has to do with how tight the house is built.

What year was it built? Does it have a 5 star rating?

Base board is alot more consistant heat, but is a little slower to raise the temp in a room.

If you really want a treat look for somthing with radient infloor
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Old December 13th, 2008, 09:31 PM   #8
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IMHO, I'd go with geothermal if I had the real estate to support it.
what do you mean?
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Old December 13th, 2008, 09:42 PM   #9
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Modern baseboard heat is very very comfortable, feels more constant, less drafty than forced air.

Downside is if you want central a/c, you don't have the ductwork.

regarding that price of $3200 for a boiler, sounds in line with what a modern high-e furnace with the gizmos cost. (Our bryant with dc blower, humidifier, uv lifts, electrostatic filter, etc cost much more than that... but, you also wouldn't have those add-ons on a non forced air system).

Old systems might need some maintenance & cleaning. Someones you get some noise with them too.

The only issue against thats really a go/no go thing, in my book, is if you want ducts for central a/c
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Old December 13th, 2008, 10:22 PM   #10
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i have it and love it. we dont have the ducts for the a/c, but i really dont miss my a/c as im at work all day anway
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Old December 14th, 2008, 07:31 AM   #11
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Thanks guys for all of the feedback, The unit isn't loud, I opened the doors so I could here it run, and see how fast it gets warm.
I was happy with how it worked. I did find it has a leak, slight drip coming from the relief valve, the padding under the carpet has gotten wet for 6 or 8 feet outside of the closet, so this should give me more negotiating power.
As far as A/C goes, we work all day too, i have 2 window units in my little house here, and they seam to do the trick. We'll bring those to the new place, and have to hope it is enough.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 07:43 AM   #12
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Thanks guys for all of the feedback, The unit isn't loud, I opened the doors so I could here it run, and see how fast it gets warm.
I was happy with how it worked. I did find it has a leak, slight drip coming from the relief valve, the padding under the carpet has gotten wet for 6 or 8 feet outside of the closet, so this should give me more negotiating power.
As far as A/C goes, we work all day too, i have 2 window units in my little house here, and they seam to do the trick. We'll bring those to the new place, and have to hope it is enough.
Pull the cover so you can visualize the burner and bottom of the tank. Look for signs of tank leakage from the fire side of the tank, deposits on/in the burner. Or even signs someones been working on it.

If you got a leaker, knock $5k off the price.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 08:23 AM   #13
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Zone is the only way to do a tri level or the upstairs will be a hot and the basement freezing cold. Get their last couple years winter gas bills. Tri Level homes are the most expensive homes to heat. Friends have a typical 70's tri-level (no doors at the stairs between the levels) had better insulation than us at the time, set their thermostats same as ours and they still had a higher bill with 1000+ less sq feet. Had a few friends that used to live in tri levels say that they were more expensive to heat & cool than any other place they owned. Good luck with the house hunt
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Old December 14th, 2008, 08:27 AM   #14
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what do you mean?
I'd like to do a system over a field (horizontal) instead of drilling down to do it (vertical).

The way my property is set up, there are either too many trees where it could run, or drilling rigs couldn't get to where they could put it.

Plus, right now, I'm way too lazy to do it. I'd like to do radiant in-floor heating if I went with geothermal and all my floors are finished. Hell, I'd love to drop the same amount of cash as I would spend on a devent used vehicle and be off of propane.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 08:30 AM   #15
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Have it, love it! I also have hi pressure A/C in the ceiling too. I replaced my boiler in 02 which at that time was 34 years old.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 08:46 AM   #16
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L:ike what was already said, Tri-Levels are a bitch to heat and cool evenly. Hydronic Heat zones properly will really help that out. If the boiler is one of a higher efficiency that is helpfull, is it propane or Natural gas? The heat is a more comfortable heat, but it needs to be constant, typically you don't want night set backs because it takes time to get the room andeverything in it back up to temp. It's more efficient to just leave all stats at the temp you desire.

What hasn't been meantioned is humidity. You will still want to run some sort of humidifier, but if your house is not that drafty you will go through MUCH LESS water than if you had a forced air heating system.

And if you have the property to allow it, you can still install and outdoor wood burning boiler to help supplement your fuel.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 09:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renegade II View Post
Zone is the only way to do a tri level or the upstairs will be a hot and the basement freezing cold. Get their last couple years winter gas bills. Tri Level homes are the most expensive homes to heat. Friends have a typical 70's tri-level (no doors at the stairs between the levels) had better insulation than us at the time, set their thermostats same as ours and they still had a higher bill with 1000+ less sq feet. Had a few friends that used to live in tri levels say that they were more expensive to heat & cool than any other place they owned. Good luck with the house hunt

I've got a quad level with single pane windows and most with missing storm windows. Forced air system
Plastic on all the windows inside (will most likely do the outsides this week also)
have the thermostat on 70* on the ground level.
Upstairs the temp has averaged 76*
down a half level has averaged 66*
basement stays at around 66* year round (all vents shut off down there)


i would love to be able to get the upstairs and lower living area closer.
I've thought of electric baseboard heat, but with the amount of furniture we have, and where it is, i'm leary of catching something on fire
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Old December 14th, 2008, 09:06 AM   #18
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Sandals,
by next winter, you'll be chasing around two terrors and will probably have to set the t-stat to 60* just not to overheat.
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Old December 14th, 2008, 09:12 AM   #19
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Sandals,
by next winter, you'll be chasing around two terrors and will probably have to set the t-stat to 60* just not to overheat.

it's normally at 66* all winter with the upstairs registers closed.
This year i was told i actually have to heat the house so the little ones dont freeze
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Old December 14th, 2008, 10:36 AM   #20
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make sure the pipes under the house are insulated. it will save you a lot of dough
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