I have a single pipe steam system in my house. We moved in in the
sprint and are now getting a taste of how well the heating system
actually works. The issue is this: The first floor heats up fine, but
the 2nd floor stays chilly, about 5 degrees cooler than the 1st floor.
I have adjusted all the vents on the 2nd floor to be full open to get
them to vent quicker and make the 2nd floor warmer. I was going to turn
down the 1st floor vents, but found that they are non-adjustable.
I also noticed that when the things really get going, the 2nd floor
vents are loud, they really go for it. This prompted me to go into the
basement to check the vents on the mains...
I found 3. Two of them are on risers, about 8 inches above the main,
that go up to radiators, none are at the end of the mains. One is of
the same adjustable type as on the 2nd floor heaters, which appear to be
Hoffman 1A type vents. One is on the return line right above the
furnace. The 2nd main that goes to the other side of the house has
none. (although only 2 heaters are on it, while the other side has 8.
The insulation on the pipes in the basement is intact and mostly in good
shape, although I'm going have a firm come in to remove the old asbestos
wrapping and put new stuff on. The only place where there is missing
insulation are the pipes that were replaced with the furnace about 10
yrs ago. Those are from the furnace, about 5 feet out, until the brass
connects into the old iron asbestos wrapped pipes.
So my question is this:
What can I do to improve the evenness of heat in my house?
My thoughts are this:
1) Get insulation on the 1st 5 feet of pipe (even if only temporary)
2) Replace 1st floor vents with the adjustable kind to force more steam
upstairs so that 2nd floor heaters get warm first.
3) Get some sort of real venting on the mains so that the now full open
vents upstairs don't have to vent as much.
Anyone care to offer corrections or suggestions?