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Anyone use Hydro-Sil silicone based hydronic basebaord heat?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Hogwildz, Jan 3, 2008.

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  1. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    I am thinking along with the additional stove I will be adding to the addition, I am going to go with ductless A/C system with heat pump. And also a stick of basebaord heat in the office & bedroom. I found a silicone based hydronic baseboard heating system called Hydro-Sil. Anyone have it? I am curious to hear the goods & bads if any of either?

    http://www.hydrosil.com/

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  2. Larryj24

    Larryj24 New Member

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    YES. I don't use them...I Install Them! The one customers house in particular stated they are saving hundreds over last winter. They take a bit longer to heat up due to the fluids, but take longer to cool down. Also don't feel as hot as the electric fin type you are using now. Thats not a bad thing! Electric Baseboard heaters have to get VERY hot in order to work! These do not. So a bit safer around the kids and pets, furniture and drapes.

    If you have the money...Put these in from the start. If you are replacing old ones, put in what you can. The electrical is 220v so you better know what you are doing though! Also, they are a bit smaller that the current ones so you will need to replace the baseboard moldings.

    Good Luck with them, they are the best!
  3. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Larry. These are going into new addition, so no retrofitting problems. I saw they are 220v, but could not open the installation manual online, it was a dead page on my end. What size wire is spec'd for them? And any problem with 2 - 8' sticks on same circuit?
  4. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    NM, got the manual to open in IE
  5. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    I saw these in TOH magazine, but I'm a little fuzzy about the claims on savings. A kilowatt-hr is still only worth 3400 BTU, right? And all electric heaters are nearly 100% efficient. So what's going on here? Is it just the difference between zoned/space heating and central heating?

    Thanks
    Steve
  6. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    Yea, this sounded fishy to me too. Saw the same ad.

    Part of their claim is the usual zone heating benefit, which would be true for any heating device you choose.

    The only more unique claim they make is that they have less thermal swing. But this is very deceptively advertised as "using only 25-50% of the available power to maintain home comfort during most of the heating season." This could easily be misconstrued into thinking you'll only use 25-50% of the total power that you did before. It may consume 25-50% of the power - but it will stay on much longer, compared to a regular electric heater will run at 100% of the available power - but for much less time. The total BTUs in a kilowatt-hour of electricity never changes.

    In the end, the valid argument is really very subtle - by reducing the on/off switching, you can stay closer to your minimum temperature with less overshoot, and that will have a negligible benefit - only if your existing system is spiking up and down severely in temperature. The idea is that you set the minimum temperature you can tolerate based on this dips, and any spikes above that are "wasted" heat. But nothing near the suggestive tone of these ads to justify replacing functional heaters, or any significant cost increase.

    Sadly the people that are most desperate to believe these claims and can least afford to get it wrong will probably buy them.

    -Colin
  7. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    It would be interesting to see a comparison to one of the more conventional oil-filled radiators. I use those in the kids bedrooms overnight (wood stoves and closed doors don't work) to keep the rooms above about 62. With the doors open during the day, I bet the rads hardly ever kick in, and I have yet to find any evidence of it in the electric bill. Almost exactly the same as havng a ceiling or window fan on during hte summer.

    Steve
  8. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    If you're heating adjacent rooms and the kids rooms are not insulated, then the heating load on those rooms is probably not all that high as a lot of heat will still make it into their rooms through walls/ceilings - particularly when it's open all day, and everything in the room is brought up to temperature before closing for the night. Certainly a much easier task than whole house heating.

    I've been thinking about putting some sort of oil-filled electric heater in our master bathroom as well because that room dictates my wife's minimum setting for the thermostat. It's small enough that heating it up 5 degrees extra relative to the bedroom wouldn't cost much at all. Easy to track with a kill-a-watt too!

    -Colin
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The principal is good from a safety standpoint, but I don't see how the Hydrosils would be any better than an Intertherm, Marley or similar hydronic baseboard heater. And they are pricey. If they were similarly priced and nice quality they should be fine, but they aren't going to heat any better, safer or cheaper than a good water filled unit. I'd shop for quality + price. Search on hydronic baseboard heater to see other options.
  10. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Steve:

    The oil filled radiator heaters are still just electric heaters. They may plug in instead of being hardwired but there is certainly no magic happening to save you any money over hardwired heaters. They are nice and quiet and easily "installed". I use the electric wall heaters in the kid's room exactly the same way. The difference being that the wall heaters cost more, are safer without the tipping or tripping hazards, less burden on the room wiring, and don't take any floor space.
  11. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    so basically stay with my electric oilfilled radiator?
  12. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Pluses and minuses. If portable heaters work for you then why change? If you need more output, need the available amps on that particular outlet circuit for something, don't like looking at it or tripping over it then you can embark on switching to an equally efficient wall mounted and hard wired heater. If you like the silence and versatility of the portable electric heater then save your money. The power bill should be the same.
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