Home>Discussions>INSULATION & HVAC>Boiler heat distribution problem
4 posts / 0 new
Last post
Patti S.
Boiler heat distribution problem
Patti S.

Hello all.

I have a 24 year old Utica hot water furnace that for some reason does not want to heat our downstairs when it is very cold outside. There are 2 zones, with Taco valves on each. It was fine up until last year, and we had a furnace guy in who said that there wasn't any difference in the temperature coming back into the furnace and said it was because our baseboards needed to be cleaned. We cleaned them all, and it seemed to help some. But, with the cold snap today, we are running into the same problem. Upstairs is fine. Both sets of pipes are hot - so we are at a loss as to what could be causing the problem.

Thanks for any suggestions that can help us figure this out!


Re: Boiler heat distribution problem

what type of base boards are they?. is there any air in the rads? is furniture or curtains impeding the air flow?


Re: Boiler heat distribution problem


I strongly feel that you should consult the Yellow Pages under "Heating Contractors" to get another service person that specializes in hot water heating systems (hydronic heating) in there----any qualified experienced service person should be able to quickly diagnose & pinpoint the problem-----if the system has been performing adequately in recent years, it is probably a relatively minor problem that can be quickly rectified----the components that you mention (Utica/Taco/baseboard) are generally extremely reliable----the right dedicated service person will TRY A FEW THINGS within minutes of arrival at your house that usually restore sufficient heat within a short time to get the 1st floor comfortable again----one simple technique for example is to raise the operating HW temperature to 190-200 degrees to see if this makes a difference; also an experienced tech will be able to do a quick HEAT LOSS CALCULATION to multiply the square footage of the 1st floor times 35 btu/hr/sq.ft. to get the total BTU/hr heat the 1st floor needs then divide by the BTU/hr of each ft. of baseboard to get how many feet of baseboard should be lining that room (500 btu/hr heat output per linear ft of baseboard).

One could speculate on a whole host of possibilities, like there is not enough baseboard footage on the 1st floor, or that the zone valve is not opening properly, or there is an internal blockage inside the baseboard, or there is inadequate blown in insulation in the exterior 1st floor walls, or the internal rotors on the circulating pump are worn, etc.,etc.,etc.-----do your best to find the right tech!

Also Google "best hot water heating repairman/technician in (your city),(your state).


Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.