Ceiling mounted heating radiator (C) Carson Dunlop Associates Guide to Diagnosing Uneven Heat in Rooms Served by Radiators, Baseboards & Convectors
     

  • UNEVEN HEAT DIAGNOSIS - CONTENTS: Explanations for Uneven Heat - Mixed Systems of Radiators & Baseboard Heat - Why do different radiators or baseboards heat unevenly in a building?Things to Check if Heat in the Building is Uneven or Incomplete with Some Areas Receiving little or no heat
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about how to diagnose and fix uneven heat problems in buildings with hot water heat
  • REFERENCES

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

Uneven or incomplete heat diagnosis & repair for buildings: this article describes the diagnosis & repair of cold heating baseboards, convectors, radiators, or steam radiators.

We provide articles that help in diagnosing and repairing no-heat problems with each types of hot water or steam or fan convector heat delivery systems.

We include a list of things to check if some building areas are not receiving heat or are receiving too little heat.

Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2015 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.

Explanations for Uneven Heat - Mixed Systems of Radiators & Baseboard Heat

Mixed radiator and baseboard heat systems (C) Carson Dunlop Associates

Mixed hot water & steam combinastion heating systems

As Carson Dunlop's sketch (left) shows, a mixed heating distribution system that combines cast iron radiators (or wall convector units) with heating baseboard in the same heat distribution piping loop can produce uneven performance.

The heating system's behavior will also be affected by the location of the thermostat. In our sketch, the heating control thermostat is located near the radiator.

Because cast iron radiators take longer to get hot in response to circulating hot water in the system than does finned-tubing baseboard, the room where the baseboard heat is installed will be very hot, maybe too hot, early in the heating cycle (while the radiator is heating up).

Then as the thermostat (located near the radiator) is satisfied and stops the boiler or circulator pump from sending hot water through the heat distribution piping, the hot, high-thermal mass cast iron radiator will continue to warm the room where it is located, while the room with the finned-tubing baseboard will cool off more rapidly.

The result may be that the room heated by the finned-tubing baseboard will be sometimes "too hot" and other times "too cold".

Advice for regulating steam heat to improve even heat delivery in a building is found at RADIATOR STEAM VENTS, 1-PIPE SYSTEMS.

List of Things to Check if Heat in the Building is Uneven or Incomplete with Some Areas Receiving little or no heat

Watch out If part of a building is getting heat and part is not, and the problem is not the radiator or baseboard itself, check these possible causes of uneven or partial heat distribution:

  • Check for additional thermostats controlling different building areas and be sure the thermostat in the cold area is calling for heat and Check for an inoperative room thermostat in some areas (if more than one thermostat is in use in the building)
  • Check for closed or partly closed radiator control valves or for a steam vent that is not working
  • Check for air bound heating radiators, baseboards or piping sections. If piping is hot leaving the heating boiler but heat is not reaching all radiating devices the system may be air bound.
  • Check for a circulator pump not working or a zone valve not opening in response to the thermostat
  • Missing baseboard covers and damaged baseboard fins will reduce heat output from hot water baseboards or convector units
  • Fan convector units will put out little heat if the fan is not working
  • Uneven radiant heat: check for improper tubing depth or location, or for sections of electric radiant heat not working or for multi-zone radiant heat, check zone balancing valves

Continue reading at RADIATORS or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.

Suggested citation for this web page

UNEVEN HEAT DIAGNOSIS at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

More Reading

Green link shows where you are in this article series.

...




Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click to Show or Hide FAQs

Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia

Questions & answers or comments about how to diagnose and fix uneven heat problems in buildings with hot water heat.

Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.

Search the InspectApedia website

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...

Technical Reviewers & References

Publisher's Google+ Page by Daniel Friedman

Click to Show or Hide Citations & References