Friday, December 17, 2004


One of the good things about living in a 100+ year old house is the heating. I have radiator heat. I gather I was lucky in that when the house had it crappy renovation by crackheads in the 80s, they didn't try their hand at central air. Most of the houses on our row that have central air don't have radiators, as the system can also pump out heat as well.
I just adore my radiators, and can't think of living life in the cold without them. I love being able to lightly sit on them and warm my tush. I love leaving my robe or coat or gloves on top of the radiator overnight and waking to putting them on in the morning. It is almost as good as clothes fresh from the dryer.
Yet as I think of the future renovations I'd like to make, I fear for my radiators. Problem is, for the sake of real estate values and my own convienance, I will probably have air conditioning put in the house. Logically, a central air system negates the reason for having an old fashioned fuddy duddy radiator system.
But radiated heat rocks! I have a heated floor in the kitchen, where it is too small to fit a radiator. Oh baby, when the floor is cranked up to 80something, and you're in your socked feet, heaven. Just like walking on an electric blanket. The other best thing about radiated heat, no dust. I kick up enough dust walking around, I don't need it blown in. Lastly, the other thing I adore about my cast iron radiators, when the power goes out, they are still radiating heat.


At 12/17/2004 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also have the original radiator heat with a gas boiler. "If your boiler is not leaking water all over the place, DO NOT REPLACE IT," are the exact words from the HVAC guy I had at my house 2 weeks ago for the routine looking over. He said if I wanted central A/C to simply put it in and have 2 systems. If your boiler is like mine it is about 2 feet by 2 feet and not taking up too much room and this boiler guy could not talk enough good stuff about the Therm-Line or whatever boiler I have, "Best boiler ever" he said. "I cry when I have to rip them out of houses because the people don't want it anymore," he said. He also said I do not need him to service it and showed me how to do the seasonal maintenance on it. He said the thing is so simple and easy that he was only going to charge me a "handshake" for his visit. Plus, your combined A/C-Heat convected air system, in addition to dust, will not be nearly as efficient as the closed-loop hot water radiator system. The only people who wouldn't want it are the "live in DC for 4 years and I'm out" gentrifiers who for some reason love the "Home Depot" renovation. There are plenty of people out there who appreciate the original stuff. Keep it.

At 12/17/2004 11:17 AM, Blogger Mari said...

So far my great maintenance is to clean out the spiderwebs and deal with 1 or 2 days of an odd smell coming from the basement.
Who was your HVAC guy? I'm always looking to keep a list of good service people around.

At 12/17/2004 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah-that guy still could have charged me to come out to my house even if he found nothing. Of course I did listen to him extoll on the benefits of the boiler for about 20 minutes so maybe that was my payment. He even showed me how to bleed the boilers, check for water, and gave me the little key tool to do it. I do not have the number with me but will post over the weekend for you.

At 12/17/2004 12:44 PM, Blogger John Whiteside said...

Radiators rule. I have forced air, and it's been chilly (for Houston), and the forced air is actually capable of making the house dry even in clammy Houston. I miss radiators.

At 12/20/2004 7:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good heating/air conditioning guy: Dave Ford 301-873-0596.


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