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stupid question

petetrap
petetrap Member Posts: 2
All things being equal as far as space to be heated, being identical ....maybe same building with all three heating systems, with all systems installed correctly and properly insulated per industry standards, manufacturers recommendations, etc. Which is most economical; uses least btu input, say in a steady state temp, steam, hot water or forced air? Probably widely known by all of you but i need a LEARNIN.

Comments

  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Assuming we are talking about fossil fuel heating here:

    For maintaining a steady state temp, ODR-controlled hot water with the lowest possible distribution temperature would be the winner.

    For intermittent occupancy, especially in an older building (think church) I'd say steam for sure.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,863
    As far as we know, no such comparison test has been done.

    And the most important thing- there is no such thing as a stupid question. Ask away.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,217
    High efficiency hot water. Steam is a close second. Forced air is for the birds. They have a gluttenous distribution system and the comfort is subpar.
  • petetrap
    petetrap Member Posts: 2
    Thank you all. I didn't expect any answer at all .... and so quickly! I have and hate scorched air! Merry christmas and happy new year to you all !!!!
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,863
    edited December 2014
    Guys, let's not lose sight of the OP's question:

    "same building with all three heating systems, with all systems installed correctly and properly insulated per industry standards, manufacturers recommendations, etc"

    Do any of you know of this being done? I sure don't, and I've looked and looked.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,980
    edited December 2014
    Steamhead said:

    Guys, let's not lose sight of the OP's question:

    "same building with all three heating systems, with all systems installed correctly and properly insulated per industry standards, manufacturers recommendations, etc"

    Do any of you know of this being done? I sure don't, and I've looked and looked.

    Steamhead said:



    Do any of you know of this being done? I sure don't, and I've looked and looked.

    There's a guy down near Baltimore who does it. He and his partner are very good at exceeding the manufacturer's requirements.


    :)

    I'd like to see some tests done which compare all energy used. Electric, gas, and maintenance costs, the whole thing over a period of 5 or 10 years.

    Something tells me the gap between hot water and steam would close some and forced hot dust wouldn't even be on the chart.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    edited December 2014
    petetrap said:

    All things being equal as far as space to be heated, being identical ....maybe same building with all three heating systems, with all systems installed correctly and properly insulated per industry standards, manufacturers recommendations, etc. Which is most economical; uses least btu input, say in a steady state temp, steam, hot water or forced air? Probably widely known by all of you but i need a LEARNIN.


    Uses least btu input with steady state temps is with out a doubt hot water with an electric boiler. Just most don't care for electric rates. So it has to be NG.......right now. Radiation plays a key role so let's look at same radiation, and over radiation in all three systems. Benefits, and negatives. Throwing in hot water is over radiating drives down system delivery temps, but drives up initial cost.

    A btu needed is a btu used.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,863

    Steamhead said:



    Do any of you know of this being done? I sure don't, and I've looked and looked.

    There's a guy down near Baltimore who does it. He and his partner are very good at exceeding the manufacturer's requirements.


    :)
    I WISH I were able to do a scientific comparison like Petetrap described! Until such a comparison is done, the only thing we have is our opinions.

    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,010
    Mini tube steam would win hands down.
    gwgillplumbingandheating.com
    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    I'm just a homeowner, but I've experienced both modulating and none-modulating HW, as well as my own Trane vaporvacuum system, and prefer the vaporvacuum with staged boilers (SF Intrepid TR50s) for a number of reasons: it's fast, silent, efficient, doesn't freeze, can come back fairly quickly from a large set-back,requires little maintenance as it's a pretty simple system, and has very moderate temp swings both at the Tstat and rads. It continues to produce steam with no gas and thus the rads stay warm after even two hours . I think Gerry Gill's mini-tube system with vacuum would win when considering all factors, but I may be a bit biased. :) C
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF