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Even heating definition?

Looking for some thoughts on the definition of even heating with steam heat.

I get the technical steam delivery part. Deliver steam to all radiators at roughly the same time and then vents to even out how fast each gets hot.

Technically if EDRs are sized correctly for each room and you were heating the house from an equilibrium state (e.g. every room was the same temperature to start) - then this is easy.

What I am seeing is that my rooms dont start at the same temp. Likely do to the number of exterior walls and insulation differences (older 100+ year old home). So with uneven start points - even if you somehow balanced to heat nearly even temp in each room - the rooms will subsequently experience uneven heat loss.

So I assume when this forum uses even heating for balancing - they mean roughly the same not exactly. FWIW I am seeing about a 6 degree difference between my coldest room and warmest. Still have some tweaking to go (skimming today).


  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,094
    Temperature room by room in older homes can be sometimes be close to impossible not only due to outside wall exposure ,windows and lack of insulation but sometimes due to what the room is used for and if the doors are left open or closed . Remembering that ions ago no one lived w the bed room doors closed they were open or at least ajar . If your getting large temp drops in a few room s then you should look at tighten up the building envelope . Like increasing attic insulation ,sealing attic stairs or pull downs to slow down thermal migration and chimney effect of heated air rising up into the attic causing a chimney effect . If there central air condition ducts in those rooms you should manually shut the register .
    Wondering have you looked into getting a blower door test and seeing what insulation upgrades are possible . Older homes are tough ,cracks ,settling and air infiltration then never seem to get less as time advances .
    To myself a balanced steam system the mains are heated quickly and steam should arrive at all radiators supply valves within a few minutes but a lot depends on proper boiler piping ,insulation of steam piping minimizing heat lose and formation of excess condensate and that the boiler is clean sized correctly and producing dry steam . Without the above mentioned balance is usually poor at best .
    Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,798
    I'll try to define it.

    A uniform distribution of heat.

    I have found that in our line of work, buildings being what they are do not allow for this.
    Trying to make the dwelling comfortable is the goal.
    But then you would have to have a uniform distribution of heat or how a person feels the heat.

    Keeping this in mind, there is no such thing as even heating in any type of a buildings heating system.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,704
    On a room with greater heat loss there should be a radiator with greater output, this is how things should be balanced, but with floor plan changes to the house, insulation upgrades, air sealing etc. things can become out of balance. That's when careful venting comes into play.

    I keep some rooms 5 degrees cooler on purpose as that's how the family likes it, cooler in bedrooms. If I wanted I could easily keep those rooms 5 warmer given how much of the radiation in those rooms is actually being utilized.

    For me balance/even heating is about making the house comfortable for the occupants currently living there. If I sell my house the next occupants may want it different and will have to rebalance the system to their liking.

    My mother gets cold, on the beach, in the sun, when it's 85 degrees out. So we are all different.

    As far as keeping the same temperature everywhere, I could see maybe a degree of variation, but 6 would not be acceptable to me and I'd be working on things.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 21,862
    A classic example of the importance of balancing valves:
    A valve or device to direct flow in a system so that desired comfort levels are achieved and maintained in all areas served by the system
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • holograham
    holograham Member Posts: 73
    Thanks all - I guess consensus is around comfort per individual and per room.

    I have a balancing adventure ahead of me so just trying to learn the lingo.
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,329
    And the sun could be shining on one side of the building and the wind blowing on the other side.

    or the stove is on in the kitchen. etc etc etc