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The secret to heating old churches

HeatingHelp Administrator Posts: 650
edited April 2018 in THE MAIN WALL


  • Jackmartin
    Jackmartin Member Posts: 196
    Excellent advise if it aint broke do not reinvent the wheel it will only wind up rolling over you. All the best Jack
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,453
    The great cathedral of Durham, England (well worth a visit, if you are ever in those parts) has hot air heated floors which were installed by the monks when it was built -- starting around 1093 or so. Which really works and is really needed, the climate in Durham being English Lamentable at its worst...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 998
    The other secret is NOT to use thermostat setback. Once the mass is heated, you only heat your heat loss. In some large churches they have to start to reheat 6 hours before mass with the boiler or boilers running non stop.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,654
    Ha! It takes a week to bring the floor up to temp at my church, and another week for it to cool down. <–Ask me how I know that.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,289
    What about people heat? Early on people don't like to come into a freezing hall. But then when it's full cooling can be the problem.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,654
    We economize with the air handlers. They're capable of 100% outside air. Originally, it was discharge air control via Series 90 controlled diverting valve on the water coil & a manual pot on the outside air damper (no A/C!), but over the years air conditioning was added & a diverting valve was replaced with straight pipe. :anguished:

    I'm still working on it, but kneeling during Mass is a joy.

  • HotanCool
    HotanCool Member Posts: 55
    Good Read. Thanks!
  • TAG
    TAG Member Posts: 755
    My first wacky project was converting an old firehouse in Philadelphia. It had been used for storage ..no heat. This was back in the early 90's ... 35 foot ceilings. I found an old guy who worked on the main line who told me to do radiant. Dan's book came out about the time I was ready for heat ... radiant and panel heaters went in. You don't have to live in a large space very long to understand you want low constant heat .... most my bids had 200k boilers. One was 250K ... the old guy helped me and we did a 115k Buderus.

    I'm currently converting a church into my home .... the upper level is mostly 228' with one part 38' .