Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

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mr_breen
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Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by mr_breen »

I live in an old 2 story home that is heated by a hot-water radiator system. The problem I am having is that my master bedroom is consistently colder than the rest of my house. The differential ranges from between 2 and 6 degrees F. For example, right now my first floor is 70 deg. F and my bedroom is 65 deg. F. The colder it is outside the house, the greater the differential is between my bedroom and the rest of the house. I should add that it is winter where I live now.

My heating system (hot water radiator) is common in older homes in cold weather climates, but rare in modern homes. Basically, there is a boiler in the basement that heats up water and then a heat pump circulates that hot water through a series of pipes and cast iron radiators that sit in each room providing heat to the whole house. There is no duct work in this house and there is no central A/C.

The system is setup for one zone only and the thermostat is on the first floor. The rest of the house is comfortable. There is just something about my bedroom that makes it colder than the rest of the house. I have to tried to fix the problem by replacing all four windows in my bedroom with modern energy efficient windows, but that seems to have only helped a small amount. I tend to think that the real problem is that the radiator in my bedroom is undersized for the room.

So, the proper fix for this problem almost certainly involves plumbing work. My bedroom probably needs a bigger radiator and probably should be put on its own zone. I have a newer boiler and all of that plumbing work is very doable, but rather expensive. What is interesting is that the other bedrooms don't really have this problem, so I wouldn't say necessarily it has to do with the second floor. I just think the issue is that my bedroom is too big for its radiator.

So, I am looking for an easier and cheaper fix. What I was thinking was a new thermostat that would have a remote thermometer I could keep in my bedroom. So, I am thinking about a system where for most of the day, say from 8 AM to to 11 PM, the system is controlled by the thermostat on the first floor. Then, at 11 PM, the system switches control to the thermostat in my bedroom and heats the home according to my bedroom thermostat. It would be great if the bedroom thermostat was wireless.

Of course, during the night, the rest of my home would be too hot, but that seems to be the only option. Has anyone else had and solved this problem? Does anyone know if this type of system exists? Thanks
Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer »

how much insulation do you have above the second story? and its sides?

i wouldn't mess with another loop, i would just have a bigger radiator installed int he bedroom. (if it isn't an insulation problem).


-----
i have a hot water boiler system as well.. my radiators are like:

http://designlineonline.com/img/synergy ... -water.jpg

so most rooms have more radiators then they needs and you regulate the rest of the rooms with how open its heat damper is... and the whole loop is turned on and off by the thermostat in the main living room.
Last edited by Soon2BXProgrammer on Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
corysold
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by corysold »

We have a similar issue with forced air. We have a dual furnace and the upstairs is controlled by a thermostat in the master bedroom. 3 of the bedrooms stay comfortable and two are always colder, sometimes dramatically so.

We started turning on the furnace fan to circulate the air even when the heating wasn't on and that helped circulate the air better. Is there anything similar with a radiator system? Can you run warm water through constantly, even if it isn't being actively heated?
krannerd
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by krannerd »

What is the water pressure setting for your boiler? I have a 70's vintage boiler and the water pressure greatly affects upstairs temps.

If upstairs is cold, I add water. If it's hot, I wait for the pressure to drop.

Realize that you have a newer boiler....Any chance that a tune up would help?

Another option....If you have convection radiators...You can close off some of them on the main floor. It will decrease the amount of heat there.
neilpilot
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by neilpilot »

Two questions:

[1] is the colder bedroom suffering from a lack of insulation? Can you tell if the interior surface of either the ceiling or the outside walls are much colder to the touch than the ceiling and/or walls in other areas of the house?
[2] are there valves that can be used to restrict flow to the other radiators (or maybe just to the radiators nearer to the thermostat), to better balance the heat output?
sport
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by sport »

I am not trying to be disrespectful. However, perhaps the solution to your problem is an electric blanket. I find that a cool bedroom makes for better sleeping, as long as the blankets are sufficiently warm.
mhalley
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by mhalley »

I solved my cold bedroom problem with a portable electric heater.
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mr_breen
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by mr_breen »

Soon2BXProgrammer wrote:how much insulation do you have above the second story? and its sides?

i wouldn't mess with another loop, i would just have a bigger radiator installed int he bedroom. (if it isn't an insulation problem).
I was just checking the room for insulation. Believe it or not, there really is NO insulation. There is an attic above my bedroom. I went up there and found no insulation. There is also no insulation between the walls either. In the past, I have had to run electrical cables from the basement to the attic. I could go up to the attic and fish wire between the studs all the way down to the basement with no problem.

In order to insulate this, would someone have to pump some sort of insulation between all the studs in the room? I guess it could be done. It would require some carpentry though as well because in the basement, the area between the studs is open. They would have to put some plate there to hold the insulation is.

This house was build prior to 1900. I'm actually surprised that no owner insulated it properly given the number of energy price shocks the house has lived through.
Last edited by mr_breen on Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
mr_breen
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by mr_breen »

krannerd wrote:What is the water pressure setting for your boiler? I have a 70's vintage boiler and the water pressure greatly affects upstairs temps.

If upstairs is cold, I add water. If it's hot, I wait for the pressure to drop.

Realize that you have a newer boiler....Any chance that a tune up would help?

Another option....If you have convection radiators...You can close off some of them on the main floor. It will decrease the amount of heat there.

I don't think that pressure is the issue. The boiler was actually bought new and installed less than 5 years ago. When it is cold, it is filled to 12 PSI. When it gets hot, the pressure gets very close to 30 PSI. The pressure really can't any higher than that or the pressure relief valve would open. I also bleed all the radiators every year.
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mr_breen
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by mr_breen »

neilpilot wrote:Two questions:

[1] is the colder bedroom suffering from a lack of insulation? Can you tell if the interior surface of either the ceiling or the outside walls are much colder to the touch than the ceiling and/or walls in other areas of the house?

[2] are there valves that can be used to restrict flow to the other radiators (or maybe just to the radiators nearer to the thermostat), to better balance the heat output?
[1] See my prior response about this question. The room (actually the whole house) is lacking insulation.

[2] This I actually should try. I think what your saying is that I should close the valve a little bit on the radiators near the thermostat on the first floor. This will restrict the flow of hot water to that radiator. That will make it take longer for that room to heat up, making the boiler and circ pump work longer to get that room to the set temperature. Then hopefully the radiator in the bedroom will have heat longer and whole house will be more balanced? Is that how you are saying it could work?

The only thing I am worried about is that the valves are very old and hard to turn. I'm worried if I start touching them that they will start to leak.
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mr_breen
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by mr_breen »

sport wrote:I am not trying to be disrespectful. However, perhaps the solution to your problem is an electric blanket. I find that a cool bedroom makes for better sleeping, as long as the blankets are sufficiently warm.
If nothing else I try works, I might go for this option. In this case, I would actually probably lower the thermostat for the whole house at night and then just rely on the electric blanket for heat. I would probably save money in the scenario
Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer »

mr_breen wrote:
Soon2BXProgrammer wrote:how much insulation do you have above the second story? and its sides?

i wouldn't mess with another loop, i would just have a bigger radiator installed int he bedroom. (if it isn't an insulation problem).
I was just checking the room for insulation. Believe it or not, there really is NO insulation. There is an attic above my bedroom. I went up there and found no insulation. There is also no insulation between the walls either. In the past, I have had to run electrical cables from the basement to the attic. I could go up to the attic and fish wire between the studs all the way down to the basement with no problem.

In order to insulate this, would someone have to pump some sort of insulation between all the studs in the room? I guess it could be done. It would require some carpentry though as well because in the basement, the area between the studs is open. They would have to put some plate there to hold the insulation is.

This house was build prior to 1900. I'm actually surprised that no owner insulated it properly given the number of increase price shocks the house has lived through.
if your heating bill isn't attrocious and you just want your room warmer, start with only the ceiling above your room and make sure you don't block the airflow from the eaves to the vents..

either you could pay someone... and get multiple quotes because they are going to think your a sucker for not having any... or you could get some Faced rolls (facing towards the living area) and roll them between the studs in your ceiling.... (in theory you should staples the facing in.. to hold it if someone ever takes the sheetrock down it will stay up) (a modern house has R49 insulation in the attic where i live minimum)

then if that still isn't enough. buy some unfaced rolls and run them the opposite direction across the insulation you just did... ceiling insulation is the most important... i'd start here.

---- pumping insulation into the wall cavities... is sometimes risky because if there is any moisture problem it will compound it... focus just on the attic
Last edited by Soon2BXProgrammer on Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.
awval999
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by awval999 »

I think you're really overthinking this. Spending thousands to fix a heating issue in one room?

Get a silent electric radiator heater. They are safe. No forced air fan that keeps you up while you sleep.
GoldenFinch
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by GoldenFinch »

We have the same problem in our old house with a boiler and cast iron radiators. One possible problem is that rust has built up in the radiator in the bedroom.
cheesepep
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by cheesepep »

Echoing at least two other people here, buy an electric blanket or one of those portable electric heaters. Much cheaper solution than even trying to fix the real source of the problem and probably much more effective.
Globalviewer58
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by Globalviewer58 »

What I read from your description of studs open from the attic to the basement is that the building is a balloon framed structure. The solution typically requires special blower door equipment to evaluate air leaks. Once the leaks are identified and sealed you need an insulation contractor experienced with retrofits of balloon framed structures. The special knowledge for applying insulation to these structures avoids moisture buildup that is a known issue when adding insulation improperly.

You might try a search for " insulate balloon framed home" to find professional trade articles regarding the problem and solution.
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by Epsilon Delta »

Since no ones mentioned it: try bleeding the radiator in the master bedroom. If a radiator is half full of air it is not working at maximum output.
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mr_breen
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by mr_breen »

awval999 wrote:I think you're really overthinking this. Spending thousands to fix a heating issue in one room?

Get a silent electric radiator heater. They are safe. No forced air fan that keeps you up while you sleep.
Well, actually the solution I'm really looking for shouldn't cost that much. I'm looking to solve this solve this solely by upgrading my thermostats. That should cost no more than a couple hundred dollars.

I just need a somewhat sophisticated thermostat system that allows a remote thermometer. I would mount the main unit downstairs and have it control the temp during the day. I would mount the remote thermometer in my bedroom. At night, the remote would take over and control the temp based on the bedroom's heating needs.

I've been looking through catalogs of thermostats and I can find systems that allow remote units, but none that do exactly what I need.
Last edited by mr_breen on Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
chw
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by chw »

mhalley wrote:I solved my cold bedroom problem with a portable electric heater.
We have same issue with a FHA system. We bought a standing plug in oil filled electric radiator. It operates on a timer, and shuts off when the set temp is received. We've used one for about 10 years. Original cost about $60 at Walmart. Use it only at night, and set it to shut off as we get up in the morning.
newbie_Mo
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by newbie_Mo »

mr_breen wrote:
awval999 wrote:I think you're really overthinking this. Spending thousands to fix a heating issue in one room?

Get a silent electric radiator heater. They are safe. No forced air fan that keeps you up while you sleep.
Well, actually the solution I'm really looking for shouldn't cost that much. I'm looking to solve this solve this solely by upgrading my thermostats. That should cost no more than a couple hundred dollars.

I just need a somewhat sophisticated thermostat system that allows a remote thermometer. I would mount the main unit downstairs and have it control the temp during the day. I would mount the remote thermometer in my bedroom. At night, the remote would take over and control the temp based on the bedroom's heating needs.

I've been looking through catalogs of thermostats and I can find systems that allow remote units, but none that do exactly what I need.
Wouldn't that make the other area of your house still 5 degrees higher than your bedroom? Now your bedroom is 70 but the other are will be 75. Your boiler just work harder to meet your bedroom's heating need.
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mr_breen
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by mr_breen »

newbie_Mo wrote:
mr_breen wrote:
awval999 wrote:I think you're really overthinking this. Spending thousands to fix a heating issue in one room?

Get a silent electric radiator heater. They are safe. No forced air fan that keeps you up while you sleep.
Well, actually the solution I'm really looking for shouldn't cost that much. I'm looking to solve this solve this solely by upgrading my thermostats. That should cost no more than a couple hundred dollars.

I just need a somewhat sophisticated thermostat system that allows a remote thermometer. I would mount the main unit downstairs and have it control the temp during the day. I would mount the remote thermometer in my bedroom. At night, the remote would take over and control the temp based on the bedroom's heating needs.

I've been looking through catalogs of thermostats and I can find systems that allow remote units, but none that do exactly what I need.
Wouldn't that make the other area of your house still 5 degrees higher than your bedroom? Now your bedroom is 70 but the other are will be 75. Your boiler just work harder to meet your bedroom's heating need.
Yes that would overheat the rest of the house. But the amount it overheats it would vary. The differential is largest on the very coldest days. On average days, the differential may only be a couple of degrees.

I tried a simple solution of just programming my existing thermostat to jump up in temperature 5 degrees at night. The works fine on the coldest nights, but it makes my bedroom too hot on most other nights. The best solution would be a thermostat in my bedroom that works only at night.
tenkuky
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by tenkuky »

Epsilon Delta wrote:Since no ones mentioned it: try bleeding the radiator in the master bedroom. If a radiator is half full of air it is not working at maximum output.
+1
This would be my first thought, do you have the little key to do this?
When we moved in, almost threw it away, not knowing it's function.
It is so handy; now I bleed all the radiators every winter. Makes a big difference, the air locks at the top prevent a good heat.
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mr_breen
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by mr_breen »

tenkuky wrote:
Epsilon Delta wrote:Since no ones mentioned it: try bleeding the radiator in the master bedroom. If a radiator is half full of air it is not working at maximum output.
+1
This would be my first thought, do you have the little key to do this?
When we moved in, almost threw it away, not knowing it's function.
It is so handy; now I bleed all the radiators every winter. Makes a big difference, the air locks at the top prevent a good heat.
Oh yeah. That was one of the first things I checked. I bleed all the radiators in the house at the start of winter season.
mortfree
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by mortfree »

Electric infrared fireplace for the bedroom.



.
harmony
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by harmony »

Is one of the walls of your master bedroom on the north side of your house? If so, does that north wall have closets along it? If both answers are yes, then you probably don't have a radiator on the north wall. You could try putting some storage boxes filled with insulating materials such as blankets along the north baseboard. Then make sure to keep those closet doors closed to keep the cold air out of the bedroom. This reduces the area that the radiator is expected to heat. (This may only be a partial answer.)
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tainted-meat
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by tainted-meat »

mhalley wrote:I solved my cold bedroom problem with a portable electric heater.
I do the same with eden pure type heaters. I have a two story with a basement. One goes in the basement and one on the second floor where the bedrooms are. Works great in winter months.
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mr_breen
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by mr_breen »

harmony wrote:Is one of the walls of your master bedroom on the north side of your house? If so, does that north wall have closets along it? If both answers are yes, then you probably don't have a radiator on the north wall. You could try putting some storage boxes filled with insulating materials such as blankets along the north baseboard. Then make sure to keep those closet doors closed to keep the cold air out of the bedroom. This reduces the area that the radiator is expected to heat. (This may only be a partial answer.)
One of the walls is on the north side of the side. This north wall does have baseboard radiators on it. There are no closets on the north wall. The closets are on the east wall.
lazydavid
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by lazydavid »

If the problem is worse on colder nights, that's almost definitely an insulation problem moreso than a heat supply one. You just lose more heat in your bedroom than you do in the other rooms of the house. The "correct" solution is to install insulation in the walls and attic. This may or may not be relatively easy and cheap in the attic (depending on how much space there is to work up there), but is almost certainly expensive and invasive in the walls. So at least consider the possibility of insulating the attic, as on a per-square-foot basis, that's where you lose the most heat.

That said, I definitely echo the recommendations for an in-room heater--portable radiators are great because they're totally silent. But if you can stand a very gentle fan noise, infrared heaters are worth a look. The advantage of those is that they heat the objects in the room, not the air in the room. So you feel warm before the air gets stuffy. Either should be able to maintain a consistent temperature in your bedroom, regardless of where the main thermostat is set.

heated bedclothes are also a great option. I actually now prefer the heated mattress pad over the heated blanket, as I feel it does a little better job of making a consistent warm temperature in the entire envelope between the mattress and the top sheet. Pair that with a nice Duvet, and you're comfy cozy, with some slightly chill air in the room to help you breathe. :D
ByThePond
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by ByThePond »

Similar to the thought of turning off/restricting some radiators, if your baseboard units have louvered housings, try closing down some louvers on the lower floor. We have the opposite problem, and simply close most louvers on the second floor. We too have a single zone system.

Also, we found that a simple, programmable thermostat is both cheap and quite good at reducing the general temps when nobody is present.
yosh99
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by yosh99 »

Does your system have a circulation pump? You might try rewiring the system so the pump runs all the time, not just when the boiler is heating. This circulates the water all the time which tends to transfer heat from hotter areas to colder areas so the overall temperature is more uniform.
dbr
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by dbr »

yosh99 wrote:Does your system have a circulation pump? You might try rewiring the system so the pump runs all the time, not just when the boiler is heating. This circulates the water all the time which tends to transfer heat from hotter areas to colder areas so the overall temperature is more uniform.
That is an intriguing idea.

Otherwise, rather than portable heaters an electric baseboard heater wired in on its own circuit might be a solution. Running cords around rooms on a permanent basis is not the best idea though it might be necessary in such a case. We have four rooms in our 1900's construction that are all electric. One advantage is not heating them at all when not in use. The rest is hot water heat exactly as the OP.
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dm200
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by dm200 »

Epsilon Delta wrote:Since no ones mentioned it: try bleeding the radiator in the master bedroom. If a radiator is half full of air it is not working at maximum output.
Yes, that could very well be the problem. Radiators must be regularly "bled" to get excess air out of the radiator.

I grew up in a house with radiators and our current house has radiators as well.

Questions: 1. How old is the boiler and system? 2. Are you sure that the heated water from the boiler is actually "pumped" (this would be an electric pump) to the radiators in the house?

Older systems (ours is still this way) - that have not been "upgraded" with actual pumps - are based on "gravity". They are one zone. The pipes from the boiler are carefully installed (horizontal piles rise slightly) in a way that when the boiler heats the water, it rises moving (without being pumped) through all of the radiators in the house. Our boiler is in the basement and (without a pump) the heated water goes to radiators on both the first and second floor. Then after flowing through the radiators, the cooler water flows down back to the boiler. If there is no pump and the "bleeding" does not work, then (maybe) having a pump installed might solve the problem. I have no idea what such an upgrade might cost.

As mentioned in some other posts, depending on how warm you want the room and how much the room is occupied, an electric heater to supplement the radiator a small amount might be the least expensive way to have a warm room.
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dm200
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by dm200 »

dbr wrote:
yosh99 wrote:Does your system have a circulation pump? You might try rewiring the system so the pump runs all the time, not just when the boiler is heating. This circulates the water all the time which tends to transfer heat from hotter areas to colder areas so the overall temperature is more uniform.
That is an intriguing idea.
Otherwise, rather than portable heaters an electric baseboard heater wired in on its own circuit might be a solution. Running cords around rooms on a permanent basis is not the best idea though it might be necessary in such a case. We have four rooms in our 1900's construction that are all electric. One advantage is not heating them at all when not in use. The rest is hot water heat exactly as the OP.
These are also possibilities as well.
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ClevrChico
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by ClevrChico »

cheesepep wrote:Echoing at least two other people here, buy an electric blanket or one of those portable electric heaters. Much cheaper solution than even trying to fix the real source of the problem and probably much more effective.
I agree with the electric blanket. Electric heaters seem to always wear and be a fire hazard though, so not sure I'd want one in a room where I'd be sleeping.

I've been in several early 1900's houses with NO heat in some bedrooms. It was comfortable with multiple blankets and a snow hat. :shock:
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mr_breen
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by mr_breen »

yosh99 wrote:Does your system have a circulation pump? You might try rewiring the system so the pump runs all the time, not just when the boiler is heating. This circulates the water all the time which tends to transfer heat from hotter areas to colder areas so the overall temperature is more uniform.
The boiler does have an electric circ pump. I just looked at it. It is placed on the return side. It is 120V and used .71 amps.

That is an intriguing idea. Right now, it runs only when the thermostat is calling for heat. I know enough about electricity to set it up to run independently from the thermostat controls. I could even wire it with it's own independent on/off switch, so it could be turned off in the spring and summer.

Is this a known HVAC technique? Can those pumps run constantly or will they burn out? Any downsides to doing this?
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mr_breen
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by mr_breen »

dm200 wrote:
Epsilon Delta wrote:Since no ones mentioned it: try bleeding the radiator in the master bedroom. If a radiator is half full of air it is not working at maximum output.
Yes, that could very well be the problem. Radiators must be regularly "bled" to get excess air out of the radiator.

I grew up in a house with radiators and our current house has radiators as well.

Questions: 1. How old is the boiler and system? 2. Are you sure that the heated water from the boiler is actually "pumped" (this would be an electric pump) to the radiators in the house?

Older systems (ours is still this way) - that have not been "upgraded" with actual pumps - are based on "gravity". They are one zone. The pipes from the boiler are carefully installed (horizontal piles rise slightly) in a way that when the boiler heats the water, it rises moving (without being pumped) through all of the radiators in the house. Our boiler is in the basement and (without a pump) the heated water goes to radiators on both the first and second floor. Then after flowing through the radiators, the cooler water flows down back to the boiler. If there is no pump and the "bleeding" does not work, then (maybe) having a pump installed might solve the problem. I have no idea what such an upgrade might cost.

As mentioned in some other posts, depending on how warm you want the room and how much the room is occupied, an electric heater to supplement the radiator a small amount might be the least expensive way to have a warm room.
Well, the pipes and radiators in the house are very old. They may go back to home's construction around 1900. I was told that at one point, it was a gravity system with no circ pumps.

The boiler, controller, circ pump, and thermostat are all very new though. They are part of a Lennox system that was installed in 2012.

It is definitely pumped. I can see the circ pump and hear it running when the thermostat is calling for heat. All the rads have been recently bled.
Fogler
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by Fogler »

I think you are looking for ecobee thermostat. You can use remote sensors with it. Place one sensor in bedroom and tell ecobee only use that sensor during night. I had opposite problem to you with my forced air and ecobee solved my problem. I used to wake up in the middle of night as my bedroom was over heating.
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whodidntante
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by whodidntante »

Just adding a larger radiator seems like a blunt instrument to me. What if that makes the room too warm? In northern Europe where district heating is common, they use small, inexpensive, mechanical thermostats on each radiator. This also allows you to avoid heating rooms that are not used. Electronic ones with centralized control are also available. I would look into that.
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by Angelus359 »

There are do it yourself foam insulation kits that allow you to insulate the walls without tearing them out. You just make a 1 inch hole between each stud, fill it with spray foam dropping the hose in the hole. Insulating the attic with fiberglass is super easy. Just buy batts of fiberglass and put them between the studs.

Probably can do it in a day on your own
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Angelus359
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by Angelus359 »

Fogler wrote:I think you are looking for ecobee thermostat. You can use remote sensors with it. Place one sensor in bedroom and tell ecobee only use that sensor during night. I had opposite problem to you with my forced air and ecobee solved my problem. I used to wake up in the middle of night as my bedroom was over heating.
I love my ecobee so much.

I bought one for 200 on black Friday, and got a 50$ nicotine gas rebate, and 99.50 comed electric rebate.

So it was like 67$ after tax
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Angelus359
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by Angelus359 »

mr_breen wrote:
yosh99 wrote:Does your system have a circulation pump? You might try rewiring the system so the pump runs all the time, not just when the boiler is heating. This circulates the water all the time which tends to transfer heat from hotter areas to colder areas so the overall temperature is more uniform.
The boiler does have an electric circ pump. I just looked at it. It is placed on the return side. It is 120V and used .71 amps.

That is an intriguing idea. Right now, it runs only when the thermostat is calling for heat. I know enough about electricity to set it up to run independently from the thermostat controls. I could even wire it with it's own independent on/off switch, so it could be turned off in the spring and summer.

Is this a known HVAC technique? Can those pumps run constantly or will they burn out? Any downsides to doing this?
I don't know much about the pumps at all, but I set my forced air fan to run 15 minutes per hour regardless of whether heat is running.

Before doing so, I upgraded the motor with a high efficiency ECM motor (176$ Mars azure 10860) and got a 125$ comed electric rebate. The old motor used 660w on high at 1/3hp, and this one uses 180w on high at 1/2 HP.

My point is, if you're going to push water constantly, check if a more efficient pump exists for the job.

I'd recommend air sealing, and cheap insulation first though. Check your windows, especially at the edge with a laser thermometer. If don't have one, many libraries carry them.

You could also get one of those 3m or duck brand window kits for air sealing. I have that on 2 leaky windows. Helps a lot.
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by mouses »

I haven't waded through all the posts, but I see you said there was no insulation. Try insulating the attic. That make a substantial difference when it was done in my previous old house. You will probably also save on the heating bill.

A cheap fix possibly is a good wool blanket. They are terrific heat retainers. I also have portable electric heaters in various rooms of the current house, but do not leave them running when I am not in that room or near it.
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by fishandgolf »

yosh99 wrote:Does your system have a circulation pump? You might try rewiring the system so the pump runs all the time, not just when the boiler is heating. This circulates the water all the time which tends to transfer heat from hotter areas to colder areas so the overall temperature is more uniform.
This is a great idea. We had similar problem. Installed two stage thermostat. The boiler would fire up when the room temp reached a pre-set temp (~68 degrees). Once the room heated up, the boiler would shut off but the pump would continue to run. This works well because the boiler still contains hot water and will continue to circulate, providing heat.

We also use electric blankets. Wife and I prefer cooler room temps during the night.....we sleep much more comfortably. In fact, even now, we will run the ceiling fan at night. Constant air movement provides a more comfortable sleeping environment.
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by Epsilon Delta »

Angelus359 wrote: Before doing so, I upgraded the motor with a high efficiency ECM motor (176$ Mars azure 10860) and got a 125$ comed electric rebate. The old motor used 660w on high at 1/3hp, and this one uses 180w on high at 1/2 HP.
Every time somebody says something like this a physicist loses his wings.

Also radiators mostly convect in most cases the radiation is negligible. And infrared heaters do not need fans, since they do radiate.
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by spth »

We had a similar situation in MN. I caulked every seam in the attic, ran vents from the eaves and blew in 125 bags of cellulose. $600 total cost. Average gas and electricity bill dropped from $280 per month to $135 per month. On really cold days like today it is now 67 degrees downstairs and 77 upstairs (used to be the same temp). Thermostat is on the main floor.
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by spth »

Epsilon Delta wrote:
Angelus359 wrote: Before doing so, I upgraded the motor with a high efficiency ECM motor (176$ Mars azure 10860) and got a 125$ comed electric rebate. The old motor used 660w on high at 1/3hp, and this one uses 180w on high at 1/2 HP.
Every time somebody says something like this a physicist loses his wings.

Also radiators mostly convect in most cases the radiation is negligible. And infrared heaters do not need fans, since they do radiate.
My understanding and experience is that radiators are 90% radiant heat.
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by yosh99 »

mr_breen wrote:
yosh99 wrote:Does your system have a circulation pump? You might try rewiring the system so the pump runs all the time, not just when the boiler is heating. This circulates the water all the time which tends to transfer heat from hotter areas to colder areas so the overall temperature is more uniform.
The boiler does have an electric circ pump. I just looked at it. It is placed on the return side. It is 120V and used .71 amps.

That is an intriguing idea. Right now, it runs only when the thermostat is calling for heat. I know enough about electricity to set it up to run independently from the thermostat controls. I could even wire it with it's own independent on/off switch, so it could be turned off in the spring and summer.

Is this a known HVAC technique? Can those pumps run constantly or will they burn out? Any downsides to doing this?
I ran our boiler with constant circulation for 20 years, at the installers recommendation, until we zoned the system. Now, there are valves that shut the circulation down so there's no point in running the pump all the time.

The beauty of it is that water is continuously moving from hotter radiators in hotter areas to colder radiators in colder areas leveling things out.
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by Epsilon Delta »

spth wrote:
My understanding and experience is that radiators are 90% radiant heat.
If you use Stefan-Boltzmann with quite generous assumptions you'll find that this can't be true unless the radiator is dangerously hot.

Home "radiators" have fins. True radiators are flat (e.g. see the International Space Station) because for radiation it's the solid angle that matters, convoluted shapes do not help because of self shading. Convectors, on the other hand, benefit from increase area as long as there is airflow. The fact that the fins are always vertical is also a clue.
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by bungalow10 »

I love boiler/radiator heat, it is very efficient and comfortable! Our old home had it and our new one is forced air, I'm envious :)

I'd check a few things to help narrow it down. First is just a hand check of radiator temp. Next time your boiler kicks on, walk around feeling your radiators. Are they all getting hot? The same temp? There could be something wrong with the radiator itself (rust) that is not letting as much water run through it. It also could be that the pipe up to the main bedroom isn't insulated well and the water is cold when it gets up there, but I would think you'd have that issue in other upper level room as well.

Also dust around your radiator. Get a rag and tie it to the end of a yard stick and go to town. Clean radiators are more efficient.

Also check yours windows. You've said you replaced them, but as I'm learning in the place we live now - new windows != efficient. Poorly installed/insulated windows can lead to a lot of heat loss. There are these little infrared temp guns you can use to check around your windows for temp changes.

Also, I don't think you can go wrong getting some blown in insulation in the attic. It's very cheap and we saw a noticeable difference in our bills in our old house when we insulated the attic.

I second zone is pretty expensive, at least in the system we had in our old house. It required looping in a second pump, which was almost as much money as a new boiler.
An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and have a dime.
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Re: Bedroom is colder than rest of house. Radiator heating question.

Post by bungalow10 »

fishandgolf wrote:
yosh99 wrote:Does your system have a circulation pump? You might try rewiring the system so the pump runs all the time, not just when the boiler is heating. This circulates the water all the time which tends to transfer heat from hotter areas to colder areas so the overall temperature is more uniform.
This is a great idea. We had similar problem. Installed two stage thermostat. The boiler would fire up when the room temp reached a pre-set temp (~68 degrees). Once the room heated up, the boiler would shut off but the pump would continue to run. This works well because the boiler still contains hot water and will continue to circulate, providing heat.

We also use electric blankets. Wife and I prefer cooler room temps during the night.....we sleep much more comfortably. In fact, even now, we will run the ceiling fan at night. Constant air movement provides a more comfortable sleeping environment.
This is awesome!
An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and have a dime.
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