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Heat Loss Analysis - Is it Necessary?

how could you possibly size a job without one? if we get the job the cost of the heatloss is included in the final price, only an hours labour usually. i've done hundreds that we didn't get the job on, hence did not get paid for, just the cost of doing business.


  • Tara
    Tara Member Posts: 21
    Heat Loss Analysis - Is it Necessary?

    hi there,
    So I've made the plunge and called about 3 heating contractors. One of them said that they won't do a heat loss analysis because there are only a few levels available - namely 40,000/70-80,000/100,000 BTU for houses in my area. Otherwise, they charge a fee to do a heat loss analysis. I was a little surprised because I read somewhere that a heat loss analysis before determining an install. This same company also said that they will not give referrals of previous customers due to the privacy act. Should I be worried about considering this contractor?
    Thank you,
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    Sure it is

    keep in mind every room has a different load. To size the emitters be they baseboard or radiant, you need that room by room load info.

    hot rod

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  • Wayco Wayne_2
    Wayco Wayne_2 Member Posts: 2,479
    I know I would be wary.

    Not to seem too self confident but my customers love to have an opportunity to support me with referals. I always do a heat loss too. If you don't you're cutting corners and doing a half vast job. Where else will they cut corners on your job???? WW

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    STEVE PAUL_3 Member Posts: 126

    We do heat loss calculations whenever we are estimating a new install for a boiler and heat emitters. Without this information you are only guessing. That being said, when we estimate a boiler replacement in a home model that we are familiar with we usually know what the heat loss is from past experience. If we are looking at a model of a home we are not familiar with we always do a heat loss calculation.
    I don't know of ANY legitimate contractors that won't give out refferals. We love to brag and pat ourselfs on the back. Besides we will only give out the names of people who we know are satisfied with our work. There is an old saying
    "NO ONE SELLS ROTTEN FISH" My advise is to keep on looking for a legitimate contractor.
  • singh
    singh Member Posts: 866

    If the contractor can give you an estimate based on experience that would be good. If price is accepted before heating system goes in then a room by room heat loss should be done and presented at time proposal is accepted and signed .

    If you asked for a referral then they should be given.

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  • Nick S
    Nick S Member Posts: 62
    heat loss calcs

    Hey guys, just out of curiosity how do you do your heat loss calcs? Laptop, by hand, or back at the office? Currently I measure the structure and do the calcs back at the office. It's kind of a pain and I've been contemplating getting a laptop and doing the calculations at the customers house.
    Thanks, Nick S.
  • realolman
    realolman Member Posts: 513

    that privacy act / no referral business sounds like a crock to me. I'd get someone else.

    For an average residence how many different sized boilers are there?
  • Brad White_119
    Brad White_119 Member Posts: 11

    You have to know...

    IF we accept the premise that there are only wide increments of heating appliances, suppose it is on the edge of one? Could be too small or way to large. You have to know.

    The other part is, are you installing a forced air furnace or a boiler? Hot water? There are far more "increments" available especially if the equipment is modulating.

    Double Flag:

    1) No references ("Privacy Act"? New one on me in this regard for references are voluntary, not given without an Owner's permission).

    2) No Heat Loss- Not just a, "will calculate upon deposit" but an, "I do not believe in them and you will get what I give you".

    Another contractor would be the one I would pick.

    My $0.02

  • We usually use laptops

    except on steam systems where we go by the radiation. But occasionally we need to bring some sanity to a "landlorded" steam system, and if this involves rearranging rads we'll heat-loss these too. If we don't have a laptop along we'll take the measurements and input them at the shop or my house.

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  • Tara
    Tara Member Posts: 21
    Heat Loss Analysis

    Hopefully, we would just need to replace the steam boiler unit itself. We aren't looking to replace our old-style heavy iron radiators.

    Also, the rads don't have those vents on the top so I'm assuming the system is heated by steam and not hot water. It's an atmospheric boiler that is powered by natural gas.

    I decided to cancel the appointment for that contractor and will call another one who will provide referrals and a heat loss analysis.

    Thanks to all of you for confirming my concerns.
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    Good to see you *~/:)

    46 Viesmann this year and still going :)

    sorry i superimosed my friend Chris Pauls identity on you for a momment :)
  • Tara, if you have a steam system

    which it sounds like you do, measuring the existing radiation is the proper way. The boiler has to fill those radiators with steam. See my earlier post for an exception to this rule.

    Post some pics of the boiler and some radiators if you're not sure what system you have.

    And where are you located?

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  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    The privacy act

    Sounds like it is used to protect the heating company :)

    " We don't give out referrals since it could be used to find out how bad we are ".

    Move on Tara.

    Steamhead is correct, if you can take pictures of the job, we can help alot more.


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  • Tony_23
    Tony_23 Member Posts: 1,033
    Privacy Act

    That's the best one I've heard in a LOOOOONG time :)

    Who's privacy is the question. Don't waste your time on that guy.

    The last line I heard like that was a competitor who told a prospect that ceiling radiant on the 2nd floor would cause roof problems and the attic to overheat.

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  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    Your competitor was right, Tony...

    The way he would have done it would have caused roof problems and the attic to overheat!

    Give him credit for being honest. A boob, but an honest boob.
  • Uni R_2
    Uni R_2 Member Posts: 589
    Privacy Act? LOL

    Tara, before anyone comes, you might want to ask them 3 quick questions.

    1. What's thier TSSA#? You can confirm this with the TSSA at 416-734-3300 - there are a lot of unregistered so-called "heating contractors" in the GTA. Avoid them.

    2. Ask them which combustion analyzer they use? If they can't tell you right away then they don't own one. That's a bad sign.

    3. Ask them who insures them and for how much? If they are good and never blow things up you won't need it and they'll definiteley have it, but if they are bad you will need it and they probably won't have it! ;-)


    Could you email me the name of this outfit that doesn't do heatlosses and can't give references? I'm curious.
  • Tara
    Tara Member Posts: 21
    Photos of boiler and radiator

    hi there,

    I already called a few people but will have to ask them those questions. Thanks for all your comments. I am posting some photos of one of the radiators in our bedrooms as well as the boiler itself.

    Thanks again,
  • Tara
    Tara Member Posts: 21
    Located in Toronto

    Sorry forgot to include that I am located in Toronto, Canada. Toronto is known for cold winters and hot summers -with the added humidity in all seasons due to being close to Lake Ontario.
  • It's hot water

    an old system that used to circulate by gravity. The circulator pump is probably way oversized. Try the Find a Professional page of this site.

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This discussion has been closed.