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Second floor heating by gravity.

dpsmith67 Member Posts: 6
I rarely(if ever) need to turn up my thermostat upstairs as the registers are supplied by gravity in my forced hot water system. Could this be taking away from my heat when called for the downstairs? Would shutting off the return valve for my upstairs fix this problem or would doing so cause issues? Thermostat upstairs is set at 60 and never calls.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,527
    I'm not sure what the problem is you are trying to fix. Yes, undoubtedly if the upstairs radiators are getting some heat from gravity flow, there is less heat going to downstairs, but is this a problem? Or is, it perhaps, no bad thing and keeping the upstairs a bit warmer?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,385
    If you shut off flow to the upstairs, you’re likely to have frozen and busted heat pipes if they’re in or near an unconditioned space.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • dpsmith67
    dpsmith67 Member Posts: 6
    Good point about shutting off the flow upstairs. This has been the first year we have heated with the furnace only. We usually rely on the wood stove for heat but the cost for a cord in the northeast is 35% higher than heating oil. I currently have my aquastat at 180 for the hi. I may just have to increase to 190 to offset the below zero cold as I am having a hard time getting it up to 68 degrees in the downstairs.