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Potentially the dumbest question ever asked

jim lockard
jim lockard Member Posts: 1,059
Questions have been asked. I would leave the T-stat up around 55 or so. Look up at the brown pipe at heat loss cal. and perform a heat loss on your space. That will give you some idea as to what your up against. You may need to add some more heat to the space. Best Wishes J.Lockard


  • Casey_3
    Casey_3 Member Posts: 2

    I've got what is likely to be the dumbest question ever asked on this site.

    I have a house built in the 50s with steam heat and a small extension built in the 80s that uses electric heat. The old part of the house is great temperature-wise but the extension is freezing. Unfortunately, the MBR is in the extended part of the house.

    I've got 3 electric baseboard heaters in the MBR, attached MBA, and a rec room area on the floor below both. We're not currently using the rec area as living space. Typically, we don't put the thermostat on at all in the rec area or MBA and put the one in the MBR on in the evening and turn it off in the AM before going to work. Without the heaters on, the 2 mostly unused areas are around 40-45F and sometimes dip into the 30s and the MBR will go down to around 50, 55 (and lower if it's really cold out). The question is whether it would be more economical to keep the heat on at say 50-55 in the unused areas (and maybe higher in the MBR?) so that the MBR stays somewhat warmer, on the theory that heat rises (from the rec area below) and that there'd be less heat transfer from warm to cool areas if there weren't as large a temperature differential.

    Obviously we have some insulation issues because the heat doesn't stay on in the original part of the house and it stays closer to 60 (currently) even still. I've poked a few holes in the walls in the MBR and there's insulation behind them, but that's as far as I've gotten to date. So in the short-term, I just wonder if there would be less overall energy use if we tried to keep things at a somewhat higher nominal temperature overall and not have to overcome a 15 degree (or more) drop.

    Thanks in advance,
  • dana_3
    dana_3 Member Posts: 57
    electric heat

    with heat always going to cold, and by only turning on the MBR tstat,sporaticly. that heat is going to go to the other areas. you would be better off by maintaining 50-60 in the other rooms. its easier to maintain a certain temp. than to off and on, or up and down with the tstats.
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    First tighten up the addition

    to reduce the needed heat input as much as you can.

    Second, consider running steam into the addition to replace those electric baseboards.

    With your current setup and increasing energy costs, you may be paying 3 or 4 times as much to heat that little addition as you should. This is especially true if you live in a deregulated-utility area where they can jack up rates at will.

    Instead of tinkering with an inherently poor setup, I'd focus on a permanent solution.

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  • Casey_3
    Casey_3 Member Posts: 2

    Thanks to everyone for your responses. I guess it wasn't as hair-brained an idea as I first thought (though I guess the next electric bill will be the ultimate proof!).

    I definitely need to look at why it's so drastically different than the rest of the house. As far as the steam suggestion, I have considered moving or somehow sharing the steam heater that's in an adjoining room but the way that the extension was built would make it a little difficult. Some of the preliminary research I've done on expanding a steam system left me with the impression that it would be a lot of $$ and effort and might not make the most sense - maybe I need to rethink that.

    Thanks again for all of your help. I hope I can help someone else at some point too
  • Jerome_3
    Jerome_3 Member Posts: 3

    maybe you could use the steam boiler to heat a hot water baseboard system for the addition
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