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Need fun, interesting facts about heating for newsletter. Rocky

Rocky Member Posts: 121
Hey Wallies,
Need fun, interesting facts about heating to put in my newletter. Want to start a segment to educate customers about their heating systems in a fun and interesting way. That way, they learn without knowing it. An educated customer is a good customer as far as I'm concerned. The more they know about their heating system, the more likely I am able to talk them through it over the phone, and the less likely I am to get out of my bed at 3:00 am and leave "The Lucious Catherine" (apologies to Dan). Plus, I think people always like reading tidbits and fun facts about things they are peripherally associated with. How about guys (and gals), any cool, interesting, fun facts and tidbits I could put in my newsletter about heating? And, as Dan says in his "Travelling Wet Head" video show (a GREAT) tool by the way), "Let's keep the customer in mind." In this case, its the homeowner, so not too technical please.
Thanks from me and my customers in advance,


  • Alan R. Mercurio
    Alan R. Mercurio Member Posts: 588
    Try this

    Rocky, I know the pro's here will offer some of the best information and ideas the industry has to offer. But here's another source you may want to check out also?

    Your friend in the industry,
    Alan R. Mercurio
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,368
    Hot Tech Topics

    Here's part of one of the tales over there:

    There was once a time when a square foot of radiation meant, literally, one square foot of surface area on the radiator. When they filled the radiator with 1-psi steam, each square foot of surface would pump out 240 BTUH - as long as the air surrounding the radiator was 70 degrees. Make the air cooler, and the radiator would put out more heat. The opposite also was true. Still is.

    Toward the end of the 19th Century, foundries began to elevate radiator-making to an art form. To increase the surface area, while decreasing the overall size of the radiators, manufacturers began to give their units more nooks and crannies than a beehive. The challenge was how to measure the surface area of these old beauties.

    The Dead Men solved the problem in a most ingenious way (and ask yourself if you would have been able to figure this one out.)

    Now, remember what they were trying to do was just measure the outside surface area of the radiator. Not the inside, not how much space it took up - just the outside.

    So here’s how they did it: They got themselves a big vat filled with paint, which they put on a scale. Next, they plugged all the holes in the radiator, hung it from a thick chain, and then slowly lowered it into the paint.

    They let the radiator sit in the vat for a while - long enough for the paint to find its way into every cast-iron angle, twist and turn. Then they raised the radiator from the vat, letting the excess paint drip off. They weighed the vat again, knowing that the paint that was no longer inside the vat would now be clinging to the outside surface of the radiator! Finally, they’d put that much paint in a can . . . and then they painted the floor with it. The amount of floor surface they could cover with the paint became the square foot EDR rating of the radiator. Pretty cool, eh?

    As time went by, they figured out how to measure a radiator’s output by weighing the condensate that came out of it. After they had this more-modern method worked out, one nostalgic engineer went back and checked it out against the Paint Method. To his delight, the measurements were remarkable similar!

    It’s just that with the Paint Method, they needed really big testing laboratories.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928
    Try this book

    117 House Designs of the Twenties (still in print).

    These are kit homes from the Gordon VanTine Company. Full price list is included including four types of heating; pipeless furnace, gravity air, one-pipe steam, gravity hot water.

    The comparative cost of steam and water systems back then makes radiant seem a current bargain now.

    The specifications list lets you understand why these old homes endure despite decades of abuse and neglect.
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