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Altering one pipe steam system

Vermonter Member Posts: 57
I installed a central air system in my 80 year old home and touching the single pipe stem heat was never even a consideration. The house now has a 21 SEER A/C and radiators in every room.

Best of both worlds as far as I'm concerned.

The only thing I regret is not installing a humidifier with the A/C system.


  • Jim Macdonald
    Jim Macdonald Member Posts: 4
    Altering one-pipe system

    Planning to start design for a/c in a 100+ year old house with a brand new oil-fired boiler on a one-pipe system. Client has never lived there and to my knowledge never lived in a free stander with steam.
    My inclination is not to touch the steam system as once we do all the problems (new or old) are ours; alternate would be rip it out and replace with HW coils on the AH's. One contractor suggests eliminating about 1/3 of the radiators and putting in HW coils on the just some AHs. Any thoughts?
  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
    A 100 year old

    steam system is truly a thing of beauty and efficiency, and comfortable as all get out.

    Ya need a real steam guy however to dial it in. Unless framing sags have whacked out the mains and returns (as well as each rad), you're taking a step backwards thinking about a AH HX system.

    Unless the room configuration has been substantially altered in the last 100 years, what you have is almost as good as it gets.

    Keep the A/C separate. Best of both worlds IMO
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 702
    Couldn't agree more --

    Ken is steering you in the right direction. If the steam system is not producing the desired even heating that you want, repairs are usually quite simple if done by someone who knows steam.

    To rip it out in whole or in part to replace with hot air would be severely diminishing the value of the property and the efficency and comfort of the heating system.

    Long Beach Ed
  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Keep the steam

    there is no way any kind of forced-air, even "hydro-air", will approach the comfort of a good radiator system.

    And unlike hot-water, steam is not nearly as prone to a freeze-up in an extended power or fuel failure.

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