Ok, so I'm in the last mile of getting upstairs and downstairs balanced, to the degree, in my one-pipe steam system.
After super-venting the one problem radiator (which you can read about here: https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/169569/vent-suggestion-replace-varivalve#latest
), the under-radiated upstairs is one degree cooler than the well-radiated downstairs.
After the first couple heating bills of the season (yikes!), I removed all of the radiator covers in the house to unleash the full efficiency of my system. I've also increased to 3CPH because of the new responsiveness of the system.
It seems to have worked, as I am now using fewer therms per "heating degree day" based on my obsessive calculations (more on that in another post someday).
My first floor radiators have MoM #4s, across the board.
My upstairs radiators have MoM C or D, depending on the room and style of radiator.
INCREASING the venting upstairs isn't really an option, due to the one problem radiator that has post-renovation-longer-runout-than-designed-its-a-long-story-dont-talk-about-it-in-front-of-the-kids issues. (see link above).
So, I'm thinking about how to trim back a degree from the downstairs rads. But I don't want to lose any of the efficiency I've gained.
I'm thinking of two options:
1. Replace some of the radiator covers to stifle the heat slightly.
2. Downvent even further by getting VentRite #1s for the downstairs, setting them as low as possible.
The Ventrites are a pricey proposition... not in the long run, if I keep the efficiency, but all you steam tinkerers out there know what I mean... it all adds up when you're "hobbying" like this.
The rad covers would be easy, but it a weird way I'd be admitting defeat. :-)... and also spending gas to generate heat that I then trap in a box.
Also, if I end up balancing with those existing covers in place, I negate my next obsessive project of "designing the most efficient, yet visually pleasing, radiator cover based on that old diagram that we've all seen on this site and stared at wondering how it's possible to get 110% efficiency out of a radiator".
But if I downvent, am I then running the boiler longer to fill the same rads?... thus using more gas anyway?
Anyway, I know I may be splitting hairs... but this is fun, so I'm taking opinions... Re-cover, or re-vent? Which is most energy-efficient?