Hot Water Heat, Cutting Fuel Costs.
My son moved into my inlaws house last fall. The house is about 1000 square feet main floor with a full basement. The basement is not insulated. It has ho<!—-> <!—->t w<!—->ater heat by LP gas. Las<!—->t w<!—->inter it cost my son & his wife more to heat the house than it cost my wife & I to heat our 2000 sf house with electric baseboard heat & my 2700 sf shop with oil heat combined.
The house was built in the 40Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s. Insulation was blown in the wall in the 70,s. I am sure there are several missed spaces & the attic need more insulation.
The boiler was replaced in the early 90Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s. The original boiler was oil. The raditors are recessed in the walls. We decided to remove siding behind the raditors to see if there was insulation behind them. The raditor cases are against the sheathing. The sheathing is Ã‚½Ã¢â‚¬ thick.
We talked about removing the recesed raditors & installing baseboard raditors. We went to the basement to check on wha<!—->t w<!—->ould be involved in changing them. I have not seen a system plumbed the way this one is. There is a 1 1/2Ã¢â‚¬ steel pipe running from the boiler, around the perimeter of the basement & back to the boiler. There is a circulation pump on the line. At the locations of the raditiors above, there are 2 tees with pipes coming off of the single 1 Ã‚½Ã¢â‚¬ pipe running up to the heaters. How does this system work? Could we convert this to a loop system? What I mean by a loop system is were the pipe would run from the boiler to a heater, then from that heater to the next heater & so on.
Am I correct in thinking that getting the heaters out of the walls would save a lot of heat?
Yes, you are losing heat out the back of the enclosures to the sheathing.
The 1 1/2" loop with those closely spaced Tee's has a name - somebody-or-other Divertor system. I cannot remember right now. I had that same thing in my house. I changed over to 3/4" copper series loop. And saved a bunch of money on my heating bills. I was losing all kinds of heat out of the 1 1/2" steel/iron pipe.
I would get the baseboard heat out of that recessed area. Get some foam boards and cut strips to fill in the space flush with the finished wall. Then re-install the baseboard as a loop system. Look into PEX-al-PEX as an aid to get this done quickly.
Moving the heaters out and insulating behind is necessary, yes.
Beyond that, if the radiators having housings for Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs), you might be able to do an outdoor-reset constant circ loop below, with those valves controlling each radiator.. each radiator becomes a zone... *very* comfortable and very efficient. Need to insulate the main pipe well though. Such a system would also include outdoor reset for the boiler, unless the boiler has a DHW coil built in.
Other than that, you are probably right that the insulation needs to be upgraded, badly.
Radiant Design, Consultation, Parts Supply
Make sure the boiler scale is removed ad it is serviced properly.
1/2" of scale decreases efficiency by 75%