1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Options for heating my second floor with my EKO

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by hartkem, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. hartkem

    hartkem Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    180
    Loc:
    KC
    Now that my EKO 40 is up and running and heating my basement and main living area I want to explore my options for heating my second story. My house is really a 1 1/2 story house built in 2002. It has the typical knee walls and small attic spaces on each side upstairs. The upstairs area I want to heat with my EKO has a small seperate furnace in a closet that I could use for a WAHX but I also have the ability to install baseboard or some of the more modern heat panels. I have access to the kneewall attics and I am able to get my pipes from my storage tank in my basement up into the kneewall attics. Problem is that area is not part of the thermal envelope and would likely freeze when the temps get really cold outside. The staircase leading upstairs is open so it doesn't get that cold up there. If I keep downstairs at 70 it is probably 63-65 upstairs in the two bedrooms that I want to heat as long as the doors stay open. For some reason the builder insulated the floor joints between the main floor and upstairs half story. When I installed my storage tank in the basement I left one inch copper tapings valved off for this very purpose. Is running a Water/water exhanger with antifreeze in the upstairs circuit the best way?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,043
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    How about something simple.. Like cutting in a couple simple floor duct vents.. and let some plain old warm air rise? Would be cheap, and worth a TRY before going down the WAHX route.

    JP
  3. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    953
    Loc:
    God's Gift to Gassification
    Can you bring a supply and return line up through an interior wall? Then you could run a simple loop of baseboard.
    ac
  4. hartkem

    hartkem Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    180
    Loc:
    KC
    Problem is the bedrooms are on opposite sides of the house with an open catwalk between them. The one bedroom on the west side of the house is above the utility room in the basement and I could possibly get the lines up through that wall but I dont see any way to get heat to the other bedroom without going up into the attic and acrossed to the other bedroom.
  5. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,221
    Loc:
    WI
    Drywall a small vertical chase in a corner somewhere. Could be pretty small for small set of insulated lines.

    Maybe in a closet?

    gg
  6. My old house had exposed 1.25 inch black pipe in the corner of many rooms serving the second floor radiators. Didn't look bad, was neatly done and part of the old house charm.
  7. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    953
    Loc:
    God's Gift to Gassification
    If I am picturing this correctly, you probably actually want those 2 rooms to be different zones?

    Pick a closet, open up a wall. It's just 2 3/4" pipes. Use Pex and you can snake it like wire.

    Where there is a will, there is warmth.

    ac
  8. hartkem

    hartkem Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    180
    Loc:
    KC
    So everyone agrees it would be better to tear things apart to get the pipes in rather than using antifreeze and water/water antifreeze. I have a finished basement with drywall on the ceiling. Only way I can see to get the pipes from the one side of the house to the other bedroom would be to tear up carpet and some sheathing on the catwalk between the bedrooms and run the pips through the joists. Might have to wait until carpet needs replaced.
  9. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    953
    Loc:
    God's Gift to Gassification
    Definitely. Antifreeze ruins heat transfer. Then your whole system would have antifreeze or you'd have to run a heat exchanger. Do it right, do it once.

    You can remove carpet carefully and re-stretch it down...

    ac
  10. hartkem

    hartkem Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    180
    Loc:
    KC
    Well I think Im convinced that the best way to do this is to remove the carpet and some sheathing to run the lines. If I have a zone for each room I would then need 2 supply and 2 return lines coming up from my basement since I assume the primary pipping / common piping off the storage tank should stay in the basement area where the zone valves or independent circulators would be located.
  11. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    953
    Loc:
    God's Gift to Gassification
    You might not NEED 2 zones. If the plumbing layout makes sense, you could use 1 loop and size your radiators properly for the heat load of each room. I only suggested 2 zones because I was picturing coming up through walls from the basement to the 2nd floor. So I figured it would just make more sense to open up 2 walls and no floors to bring the loops up.

    ac
  12. hartkem

    hartkem Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    180
    Loc:
    KC
    One zone would definetly be easier. Just to clarify my finished basement and main living area are heated by my EKO with a WAHX in the forced air plenum. I also have a half story upstairs that has an additional furnace/ac unit. So I need to run my lines from my basment up through the main level wall and into the second story. I might need to increase the 12 psi system pressure? Will running one loop cause the second radiator to put out less BTU assuming its the same size as the first one in the loop?
  13. avc8130

    avc8130 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    953
    Loc:
    God's Gift to Gassification
    Could you put in a second WAHX for the 2nd floor furnace?

    I am not HVAC pro, and I live in a ranch...but I do think you are correct. I believe you add some pressure for 2 story installs.

    Yes. Radiators down stream will put out slightly less BTU than the one before it as the input temp will be lower. If the rooms are the same, the common practice is to put aesthetically pleasing baseboard covers in both rooms of similar orientation....but don't use as much fin pipe in the first room. There are calculators in handbooks to help you with this.

    ac
  14. The second radiator, or piece of baseboard will see lower temps so the output will be slightly less.

    In two of my spare bedrooms I installed fan convectors on one zone. Allows me to heat one or both rooms as needed.

    http://www.smithsenvironmental.com/html/products.html

    I installed a low temp snap switch to turn on the fans at a lower temp maybe 120? Don't remember. I ran 3/4 supply through one section of baseboard in the hall near the thermostat then teed into 1/2 lines, one for each rooms convector then back to 3/4 for the return. Works great for my needs. I can turn off the convectors and close the doors so the rooms stay cold but the section of baseboard will satisfy the thermostat so the pump doesn't run 24/7. And the water still circulates through the convectors so you don't have to worry about lines freezing. When I need to use the room just flip the on the convector to high and it warms right up.

    The smiths are very quiet compared to kick space heaters. When I first hooked them up and went upstairs to see if they wore working I thought they weren't running at first they were so quiet.

Share This Page