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Too Much Humidity


I have a 1 pipe steam heating system and one room (my bedroom unfortunately) is damper than the others in my apartment. Last week my landlord replaced the valve closest to the floor because it was leaking steam/water so bad that it was leaving a puddle on the floor and water on my walls so its not that part. I've been reading a lot on this board and just wanted to double-check that I'm taking the right steps to correct this.

I bought a new air vent in case the old one was stuck open and I got some shims to make sure that the radiator is tilted properly. Is there anything else I can do/check to bring this humidity down? I think that if my room is damp then I am losing steam and therefore increasing my heating bill correct?

Also, is reflective insulation tacked onto the wall behind my radiator another good way to save money on my bill or is it not worth the time?



  • will smith_2
    will smith_2 Member Posts: 49

    Jenny-can you see or hear a leak at the radiator? It could be the radiator valve fitting or even the radiator's sections themselves leaking. If you don't have steam coming out where you did before (at the old valve) but see/hear/feel it in a new spot (below the valve under the floor, for example), you may have a leak in the steam line below the floor. Hope this helps!
  • John MacGregor
    John MacGregor Member Posts: 41
    no leak spotted

    Hi Will,
    I took a closer look at the radiator and I don't see steam coming out and there is no clanging/dripping/gurgleing that i can hear. I went ahead and replaced the air valve anyway but the pitch seems to be fine (slightly tilted back towards the valve). Unfortunately I rent this place and can't get someone in to take a look at it without involving my landlord (who thinks it is ok as long as there is no damage to the place, doesn't care about efficiency) so I'm trying to check out all the easy fixes myself...any other thoughts?
  • will smith_2
    will smith_2 Member Posts: 49

    Which floor do you live on? The only reason I ask is that last weekend I ran a service call for my brother-in-law at a six flat he owns. As soon as I walked into the basement, my glasses steamed up; the two dryers in the laundry room had holes in their venting, and the hot humid exhaust was spilling into the room. Just a thought. How about your windows-got your storms down? By the way- if there is a steam leak in the floor the you can't see now, you will eventually!
  • John MacGregor
    John MacGregor Member Posts: 41
    well, if we can't figure that out...

    I live in the second floor of a 2 story house. The people below me have forced air heat, i'm the lucky one with the cranky steam boiler...the windows could be the culprit and I'll definately be weather-proofing them. If its not too much trouble, could you answer a couple other random questions for me?

    - should I get some reflective insulation to put on the wall behind the radiator? i just saw it at home depot today and thought i'd ask.
    - should I replace an air vent in the piping down in the basement if I think its clogged? I don't know if its worth it to pry it off and get a new one.
    -my floors have many peaks and valleys...should i shim up one side of the radiator to make it level at least on the horizontal axis?

    I'll definately be buying Dan's book, but in the meantime, I'm on my own trying to figure out how to keep the heat in, I appreciate all your help!

  • Wild Bill
    Wild Bill Member Posts: 112
    Main air vent


    It certainly would make sense to replace the "main" vent in the basement at the near boiler piping. These can typically slam shut over time getting slammed by steam hammer. If they don't work well, you can burn excessive fuel. They can be pricey, try to get the landlord to spring for it.

    As far as the reflective material is concerned, it would proboably help direct the heat from the radiator out to the living space a bit better, especially if the walls are a bit light in terms of insulation....heat goes to cold.
    Good Luck,
  • will smith_2
    will smith_2 Member Posts: 49

    Jenny-You mentioned that your floors have many peaks and valleys. Is this the case in multiple spots? If so, there is a good possibilty that leaks exist in the steam piping beneath your flooring. Good luck!
  • John MacGregor
    John MacGregor Member Posts: 41
    Thanks guys...

    It was hard enough to get my landlord over here to check out the clogged water gauge so if I have a steam leak under my floor, its not looking likely that it will get fixed.

    in the meantime, I'm going to get some reflective insualtion (my walls feel like paper), see if I can get him to replace the air vent in the basement and order Dan's book! Thanks again, Jenny
  • ken D
    ken D Member Posts: 60

    Not a steam guy, but don't let the reflective insulation interfere with the air flow around radiator.

    Also, maybe just investing in a de-humidifier will help, won't have to pull on your landowners ears for service.

    Just a thought.
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