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Want to use existing home hydronic system to heat house to ~ 125 deg, bed bugs.

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Leonard
Leonard Member Posts: 903
edited March 2017 in THE MAIN WALL
Would like your opinion on:

Using my existing heating system I want to heat the house to ~ 125 deg to kill bed bugs dad brought home from a sleep study. ( bugs and eggs supposed to die at ~ 115-117 deg respectively)

Making some rough observations, my boiler can heat the house to a comfortable about 76 deg on a 0 or -5 deg day. That's a temp difference of ~ 80 degs between inside and outside temps. So do you think I can achieve that same temp difference when it averges 45 deg or higher outside, to make house temp of 125 deg .

Based on time it took house to come up 10degs once I'm assuming it'll take at least a day for house temp to rise from 75 to 125degs. (~ 1.25 inch thick plastered drywall walls.)

I have a one zone oil fired forced hot water system that feeds ~ 1 foot high x 2 inch thick x long cast iron baseboards. Back side of of baseboard has fins. Heated area is 1500 SF on 1 floor, uninsulated floor, cellar heated by heat leakage.

I suspect my weak point will be how many BTU/hr the base boards can release based on lower temp difference between them and room air temp.

I can raise my boiler auqastat 20-30 deg to ~ 210, and change nossle to increase it's firing rate if have to. Currently with room temp of ~ 75 deg circulator seems to stop a lot while burner rises water temp.

59 year old oil fired boiler , National Sunray IV , boiler # 5-19A/O/OP , rated 128k BTU/hr 1.6 gal/hr
Original oil burner National -US model NB2-K2, firing rate .85-2.0 gal/hr , nossle is either ~1.26 or 1.35 gal/hr
It also makes domestic hot water via tankless coil.

Len
MSME
«1

Comments

  • Kahooli
    Kahooli Member Posts: 112
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    Speaking from experience (apartment in college was infested)
    You might be able to get the living space to that temperature, but not fast enough. They are smart little **** and they will retreat into any and every crack in the wall, ceiling, baseboards, etc and get to a place that they will not be in danger. Eggs cant run, sure, but you are going to want more lines of defense in addition to heat. Chemicals, diatomaceus earth, etc so that when they run, they get poisoned or cut up on their way. Tackling bed bugs without a GOOD profeessional just ends up in months of ineffective treatments.
    LeonardMilanD
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,806
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    Wait a few months and throw the mattress up in the attic .. Most systems are designed to heat the home at seventy degrees for the area design temp or coldest day of the year .Wait until outside temp rises , leave boiler alone and jump out thermostats ...I am giving here an guess this question is an first ..

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited March 2017
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    Bugs running away....That's a good point. A year ago I've spread the rooms with diatomaceus earth (DE) especially the beds. I think I've got them but occasionally I get a bite, not sure if it's them or a spider though. Dad's bedroom has been empty for a year (he went to nursing home , he's 99)

    The DE dust has spread everywhere, even on ceiling lamps, so it's in the air. It's effected my breathing, so I'm done with DE.

    I think they were only in 2 rooms ( bedrooms) effected. I was planning on filling those rooms with CO2, supposed to kill at least the live ones. Rough estimate 3 tanks 5ft high tanks will fill the ~ 10 x 12 x 8.5 ft room with CO2. About $50 each tank. Maybe that, then immediately start the heat soak.

    Figure opening tanks in room then closing off door to room with styrofoam, except for couple inch gap at top to let the air out. Co2 is heavier than air. Then close door when tanks run out.
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,427
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    Or, you could call an exterminator?
    happydaveCharlie from wmass
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited March 2017
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    Hate to use poisons. Besides I have a LOT of stuff in the way.

    So far I've been prety successfull putting DE on sheet at foot of bed when I change sheets, folding top sheet under my legs, and soaking all clothes and bedding in 120+ degree washing machine for 1 hour before doing laundry.

    Haven't been bitten for ~ 1 month, and it's been one small bite at that.

    They say bug can live 1 year, don't know how long eggs can live.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,652
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    I guess there are companies around that do something like that, green exterminators. They did my neighbor's house a few years back, pro bono. SHMBO said that you could feel the heat coming off the place.

    IDK how exactly they did it. I'd be scared to death of it. AFAIK there's all kinds of things in a house that wouldn't deal with 125°F; but maybe I'm just outside my comfort zone.

  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
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    Will an ozone generator do the job? If memory serves, it kills all living things when it's used in rooms.
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited March 2017
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    I figure on shutting off power to everything but boiler ( in unheated cellar), so electronics don't overheat and catch fire in the higher than normal ambient temp. Same with refrigerator ( freon) . Web says Lithium bats can take 130-140 deg. Figure on removing all soda, beer, spray cans, solvents, aftershave, ect. so they don't burst and make a mess.

    I assume walls won't crack ,and wood floor won't swell.
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,239
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    Be very careful with the co2. It would be far better if you set it up to control the tank valve in an area where you don't run the risk of suffocating yourself. And don't point the discharge at anything that you don't want frozen.

    Guess I'm not qualified to give advice on bedbugs. You might let a professional exterminater deal with them.

    As far heating the house to 125F, your heating system could probably do it. But depending on the interior facade, you could cause yourself a world of grief with materials expanding and buckling and trim cracking and so forth.
    RomanGK_26986764589Gordy
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited March 2017
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    Even ~ 20% Co2 is ~ lethal. I figure on staying with friend and leaving the house for 3 days. Check in on things by looking thru windows.
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,239
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    What are you going to see through the windows?

    I seriously would advise you to call an exterminater and let them do what they need to.
    Charlie from wmass
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,427
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    Seriously just call an exterminator and discuss options with a professional.
    Charlie from wmass
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,076
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    FWIW, in the TLASH, page 16, talking about being able to heat the house on 2PSI or less of steam pressure.
    Contractor had to bring the room temp up to 139.5* if outdoor was 100*. Not sure how long he had to maintain the temp. But if it was 0* outside he needed to maintain 70* for 8 hours.

    What is maybe not acceptable today is if OAT was -20 then room temp needed to be only 56.1*......try that with todays snowflakes. :o .....back then they were glad to just not freeze to death in their beds.

    This was the standard about 100 years ago. No plastics in the house, only wood, plaster, linoleum, and cotton and wool.
    So if you do this be sure to put the butter and candles in the fridge.
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
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    You will spend more time, money and effort trying to do it a different way than simply paying an exterminator, having him deal with it, and on top of that you'll have a guarantee that the bedbugs will be gone.
    JUGHNEGordy
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited March 2017
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    I'm not green, just hate chemical poisons in living space. I worry cost of killing a few bugs now may be cancer in 20 years. Would like to avoid the whole issue.

    I figure on putting temp gauges high and low in rooms within sight of window to check on room temp. Maybe mirror and telescope to check on boiler temp thru window, or maybe I'll bring breathing air either from a hose or a garbage bag for a 1 minute trip to check on furnace. In past I made up breathing air hose for painting car with 2 part paint.
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,864
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    I would 1st get rid of the conventional burner and install a retention head burner. That annoys me more than bed bugs. 2nd, I would get an experienced exterminator.
    Hey, where's Rosco?
    Maybe that's just a Long Island thing.
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,864
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    BTW. I want to cook hard boiled eggs but don't want to use my stove...
    RomanGK_26986764589
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,441
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    Ah... @Harvey Ramer 's right. Call a professional exterminator. They know how to handle the problem and they guarantee results. The pesticides they use are not hazardous to humans, if handled properly -- which they know how to do.

    You mention fear of cancer. Allow me to point out that the scientific guidance on that is rather clear, and there are a number of substances -- including pesticides, but a whole raft of others -- which are "known to the State of Kalifornia" to be a problem. A problem is defined rather simply: one additional case of cancer in one billion (one thousand million) persons exposed to the threshold level. Bluntly, if you are worried about that, there are many other, much more effective, ways to have a problem (a week in Denver will do it, because of the altitude).

    If, however, you insist on being "green", first, you won't get all the bugs, never mind the eggs, either with heat or with carbon dioxide. And a few cautions. With carbon dioxide. You will have to seal the house. I don't mean close the windows. I mean seal the house. Tape on all doors and all windows. Be sure to seal all the cracks around the door and window trims as well. Make sure that the floor is sealed, especially at the edges. Also all electrical boxes and plumbing chases. Get an oxygen level meter and use it before you try to re-enter. You will almost certainly need forced ventilation to bring the oxygen level back up, particularly in areas (like closets, drawers, bookcases...) which have poor circulation. If you plan to use heat, it is not sufficient to just unplug things. Anything with plastic in it should be removed from the house. Anything with electronic circuits in it should be removed. Plan to hold for at least 72 hours at the peak temperatures. In either case, remove all bedding, clothes, upholstered furniture, etc. -- they won't get the treatment and will need separate care.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    Proffessional is the best way to go but, if you still have any colw weather coming, my understanding is they can't survive below 30 degrees or so. It might be easier to drain the boiler, water heater, plumbing and shut all heat sources down for a couple days. I don't know if the basement will get cold enough though. Also, you heard right, they can survive a full year after one feeding. I don't even like to travel anymore and stay in any hotels!
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,766
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    Save yourself alot of aggravation and nonsense . Get yourself some Diatomaceous Earth , research it and use it . You can thank me later .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited March 2017
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    Did use Diatomaceous Earth, it's been thrown all over flloors, on top of and between matresses for a year. It's a fine dust and has spread everywhere. It' s affected my breathing, dad (99) is in nursing home so while there I frequently tested my blood oxygen saturation with their optical finger tester. I was ~ 93-95%, before DE it was at ~ 97-98 % . So Diatomaceous Earth comes with a health cost.

    I read the bugs survive down to around 0 or -10 deg F. Read in Alaska they throw furnature outside for few days and that doesn't always work ( but I'm Guessing it was summer).
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    I don't know what Professional exterminators use but I know they recommend three treatments about a month apart. I remember my grand parents saying they use to take their mattresses out in the summer sun to kill them. That lends some credibility to your statement but the whole house must be treated and the longer you wait, the worse the infestation will get.
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,864
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    Is this really being discussed on HH?
    Bob Bona_4
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
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    The matter of getting the house to 125 degrees. I don't think it's doable, and I don't think one should. You'll never get every nook that hot. Also For the many reasons @Jamie Hall pointed out.

    Get a pro xterminator. Their results are their baby. All you do is pay them.
    TinmanCanucker
  • gschallert
    gschallert Member Posts: 170
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    Agree on the uselessness of bringing house temp up high enough long enough to kill them. If you don't want to pay an exterminator then rent a high end steamer to treat all the surfaces you can't throw in the dryer on high. Steam will get down into a mattress and into small cracks quite effectively. I had to wand steam a whole house about 8 years ago to eliminate a flea infestation courtesy of house guests who showed up with flea-ridden pets. Steam will work just as good on the bedbugs.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,623
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    This has to be a first!
  • bob_46
    bob_46 Member Posts: 813
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    Customer house Triad baseboard and boiler. Went on vacation over easter weekend. Dole zone valve stuck open. We always set limits to 220, baseboard design temp 210. The pictures in the house all fell off the walls they had used glue type hangers, fish jumped out of the aquarium , A large wax easter egg on the dining room table turned into a table cloth . I'm not sure how hot the house got.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

    CLamb
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited March 2017
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    For those that say house will not come up to 125 deg . PLEASE tell me WHY, so I can think up a way to compensate and make it achieve 125 deg.

    I suspect weak link is getting enough BTU/hr into air from the hot baseboards

  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
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    Good luck. Your going to need it. As delta t narrows output drops. You may do it, but it will take a long time.

    I liked the steam suggestion myself if chemicals are out of the question.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,441
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    I don't think anyone is saying you can't get your house up to 125. As @Gordy said, it may take a while, but you can get there.

    What I, at least, am saying -- and I guess I need to be a little bit blunt -- it's not a good idea.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
    edited March 2017
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    How will you know if everywhere a bedbug will hide will get that temp? Certainly the floor area will be the coolest. So floor area would need to be 125. What do tou think the ceiling temp will be by then? Plaster finishes? Fine furniture?
    Canucker
  • gschallert
    gschallert Member Posts: 170
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    @Leonard, you will not be able to get the temp up high enough fast enough to avoid driving them to safe spaces to chill until the house temps drops. Steam is cheaper, safer, easier and it actually works.
    Canucker
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
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    Honestly, with something like bed bugs I'd call an exterminator.

    Believe me, I understand not wanting to use poisons, but they will likely use something like Tempo dust. It's not terrible to humans and pets, but it will get rid of bugs.


    Tempo dust is used with a small bellows like device to blow into crevices etc.



    I use it to get rid of Yellowjackets.
    The problem is not just what to use, but how to use and where.

    I'm all for DIY, even Yellowjackets or mice but when it comes to bedbugs or roaches, forget it. Nip that in the butt NOW.

    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
    Gordykcopp
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
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    No opinion on ozone generator? It will get the eggs as well if left on long enough.
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,864
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    THE ROOF, THE ROOF, THE ROOF IS ON FIRE!
    WE DONT NEED NO WATER...
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited March 2017
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    Don't think I have much temp difference between floor and ceiling. I'm taking measurements now.

    I can't easily do anything about floor being slower to heat.
    But I'm hoping to kill or stun them with CO2 to keep them from getting to shelter until heat can kill them. Co2 is heavier than air so even with room leakage floor should maintain a layer of co2 the longest. Problem is I don't know how long co2 takes to kill them. Might get luck and it's 30 minutes???

    I thought about the baseboard delta T issue. Suspect I can compensate without electricity by increasing air velocity thru baseboard fins. Adding ~ 2-3 foot plywood or cardboard chimney over baseboard. "Chimney" would be a ~ 4inch gap between room wall and the added plywood, of course roughly sealed to middle of baseboard with ~ 2 inch gap to allow air to exit top of baseboard. Would be the width of baseboard .

    House is 60 years old , so little plastics. But I do have a nice clear plastic cover in an old curio cabinet. Maybe that needs to be kept cool. I am very interested in hearing of building damage from high heat. I have nice hardwood floors
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited March 2017
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    Temp difference between floor and ceiling is ~ 6 deg F in kitchen, expected same or less in bedroom. I put a thin termocouple wire 1 inch from floor then same distance from ceiling.
    This was done near corner with windows and no baseboard, baseboard was on opposite wall of room. In past we added ~ 8 inches of pink fiberglass to existing ~ 3.5 inches in ceiling.


    Floor reading was 71.6 , ceiling reading was 78. Outdoor temp was ~ 22 deg , ~ 2 MPH wind. TC wires were given ~ 4 minutes to stabilize, and did so much faster than that.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,441
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    Depending on what furniture you have in the house, you may have a problem. Most older furniture -- and almost all musical instruments -- are put together with hide glues. They soften at around 105 to 110. A piano, for instance, will be destroyed; so will things like harps and guitars and stringed instruments, if they are left strung (unstrung they might or might not survive, but I wouldn't count on it). Woodwinds might survive. Brass will be OK, but will need to be relubricated. Furniture -- if it is solid wood and not touched until it is cool -- should be OK, but I won't guarantee it, especially anything with bent wood (Windsor chairs, for instance). Veneers (like that curio cabinet you mention) may or may not survive; most likely not. Photographs may or may not be happy; if the emulsion is not touching anything they should be OK, but may curl or crack. Oil paintings will probably be OK, as will watercolours and prints.

    If the hardwood floor is solid wood, it will probably manage, though I'd take up any rugs in case the finish softens (depends on the finish) and they get stuck down.

    And may I assure you that my primary business these days is, as my signature suggests, caring for older, museum quality properties. I do know whereof I speak.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Bob Bona_4Leonard
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited March 2017
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    60 year old floor is solid hardwood.
    Bent wood makes me remember a small table I sanded down and was going to refinsh when I was young, lost interest and left in it in attic ~ 100-105 deg since ~ 1993. Even flat panels curved a little.
    Makes me start to worry about about other old stuff decorating tv room. Do have some old JBLs, they're partical board, but wonder about the speaker driver materials itself.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
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    If your attic only hits 100-105 degrees that's impressive.

    The ones I've measured were 130-140F.
    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