After having a contractor replace the single steam system with three separate hot water systems in my 3-family three years ago, this is the first winter where the third floor apartment is actually empty. The tenants since then have been the young, twenty-somethings with tight budgets, and therefore, most of them have kept the thermostat set very low, usually high 50's to low 60's.
Now that it's empty (thank goodness) and I'm the one responsible for the gas bill this winter, I decided to seal the 5 year old double-glazed windows and six skylights with plastic film. Might as well, right? The house was built in 1948, and is located in RI. Most of the exterior walls are uninsulated, and the cathedral ceilings (70% of the apartment) are insulated.
Well, with the temperature hovering around the low 40's, I've noticed the heating of the small apartment (only 650-ish square feet) is VERY uneven, as the bedroom, bath and den (on on side of the house) get very warm, and the other side of the house, the kitchen and living room stay very cool.
The living room and kitchen are open to each other, and have a 10' cathedral ceiling with four skylights over them. The kitchen and living room are the last rooms on the heating loop. There is 4 feet of baseboard in front of one of the windows in the kitchen (which is 97 square feet total), and 14 feet of baseboard in the living room (which is below the two windows. There is one 11' wall (an uninsulated knee wall against attic space) without any baseboard at all.
The bedroom, which is 10x11 and has 7' ceilings, gets extremely warm with it's 20 feet of baseboard and hot water fresh from the boiler.
My questions are, should I add another 11' of baseboard to the knee wall in the living room? Also, should I reverse the flow (as in swap the supply and return pipes at the boiler) so that the warmest water will be supplied to the living room & kitchen, and then on to the bedroom (which has the most baseboard?).
Should the contractor be doing these modifications, or is three years too late for any corrections to his work?
I've attached some pictures of the piping arrangement.
<img src="http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a212/NTL1991/heating%20help/3rdfloorplan.jpg" width="618" height="686" alt="" />
<img src="http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a212/NTL1991/heating%20help/livingroompano.jpg" width="1022" height="411" alt="" />
<img src="http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a212/NTL1991/heating%20help/DSC08001.jpg" width="519" height="692" alt="" />
<img src="http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a212/NTL1991/heating%20help/kitchenpano.jpg" width="863" height="400" alt="" />
<img src="http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a212/NTL1991/heating%20help/bedroompano.jpg" width="1022" height="402" alt="" />
<img src="http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a212/NTL1991/heating%20help/spareroompano.jpg" width="1023" height="459" alt="" />
Nick Lester, Cranston, RI
Just a homeowner who loves to learn from others.
1948 3-Family Colonial - 2650sq ft - Originally 1-pipe steam - Removed in 2008 for 3 separate hot water baseboard systems. Wish I had known what I know now!