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Radiator Air Vents

Jay_11 Member Posts: 50
I have asked the steam boiler contractor to replace all the airvents on my radiators. He says he plans to use Hoffman air vents. Are these good vents? I have heard of Danforth and Gortons but not Hoffman. Is one better than the others?


  • Al Letellier
    Al Letellier Member Posts: 781
    air vents

    Most radiator vents have a built-in cycle rate and usually will give 3-5 years of service. Prices are all over the place and vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Hoffman is a well known and respected manufacturer in the steam industry. If that is the bradn your contractor is happy with and you trust him, go for it.

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  • Jay_11
    Jay_11 Member Posts: 50

    Thanks for the info.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,988
    Jay, also make sure

    your steam man installs properly-sized air vents on the steam mains. If there are no vents there now, have him put them in. This will save you a lot of fuel, and increase the life of the radiator vants.

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    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • Jay_11
    Jay_11 Member Posts: 50

    Unfortunately, it's a completely finished basement and so there's no way to tell where the existing main vents are, if they are plugged up, if they still work etc. I asked him if it would be worthwhile to dig a couple of holes in the walls and ceilings to locate the dry returns and add a main vent without locating the existing ones, but he didn't think that was a good idea.
  • Dean_7
    Dean_7 Member Posts: 192
    main vents

    As a homeowner who replaced the main vents on my system last year and saved quite a bit in fuel costs I would suggest finding those vents and putting an access panel in.
  • Jay_11
    Jay_11 Member Posts: 50
    Yeah but...

    I'd love to be able to do that but how do I find the main vents without ripping out all the walls of my basement?
  • Dean_7
    Dean_7 Member Posts: 192

    OK think about this, the pipes have to leave the boiler don't they? Usually they go up (mine do) and into a header. The steam mains take off from the header unless the boiler is totally enclosed by drywall you should be able to determine the directions of the header and the mains. Some measuring should give you a rough idea. Also you are probably going to have to cut some holes to look through
  • Sean_5
    Sean_5 Member Posts: 3
    Radiator Air Vents

    Thanks for your good information. I'm searching for replacement air vents myself and not working with a contractor (not a lot in my area versed in old houses). I've found Hoffman 1A adjustable vents, a Varivalve adjustable, Dole types and an Armstrong SV-12. I'm probably going to order on-line and would appreciate any guidance before I spend the $$$. Also, I don't know if my system needs "proportional venting" or not. Thank you.
  • Thad English
    Thad English Member Posts: 152
    steam vents for your rads

    I am a homeowner like you who had did not know what to get for my radiator steam vents. Last season I was fortunate enough to be guided (by folks on this website) to gorton-valves.com. Go there. All the info that I needed to make the right choice was on the website. I was told that if I needed more help to call Ken Kunz at Gorton. I did and he helped me out immensely. AND got me the steam vents in 2 days.
  • Good advice

    Gorton can take care of you.

This discussion has been closed.