Yes, so what type of heating system is in the house we are looking at? It’s easy to figure out if you know what to look for. Steam heat does exist, the water is heated above 212 degrees (boiling point) turning it into steam. The steam moves by convection through pipes and radiators. Most homes that are thought to have steam heat actually have hot water heat which is a different type of heat.
With hot water heat there is a boiler that heats the water up to a temperature between 160 and 180 degrees. A circulation pump moves the water through distribution pipes and radiators heating the home.
How would you know which system you are looking at in a home?
The hot water system will have electric pumps on the piping beside the boiler. (The red and black things on the pipes in the photo)
– Steam will have no pumps anywhere.
The hot water piping will probably not have a lot of insulation (if any?)
– Steam piping will and bust must be heavily insulated.
The hot water boiler pressure gauge will read a pressure of approximately 14 lbs
– Steam operates at 0 lbs pressure.
The hot water radiators will have bleeder valves (a venting nipple to vent out any air build up)
– Steam radiators do not have or need bleeders.
Are hydroponic heating systems problematic? Not really, older systems from 40 years ago and older may need the water pressure reset every year. Generally they are relatively easy to use. The heat is warm and dry with no air movement which is very nice for allergy sufferers.
The systems are very different and should only be
serviced by a boiler specialist as opposed to your average HVAC guy.