Author Topic: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread  (Read 837494 times)

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Girlie

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7980 on: July 16, 2013, 04:02:24 PM »
Thanks for all the replies, everyone! I really appreciate the help on the chicken/seasoning mix issue. :)

I do have another, completely unrelated, question, however.  Where I'm from, central heating and air in a house is a given. In fact, it's FAR more uncommon to come across a home with a window unit than central air, and in my experience, it's usually because the central air unit in the home has quit working and the family cannot afford to replace it. I have never seen a radiator in real life, and I have never known anyone to not have central heat built into their home.
When I watch shows about buying houses in states outside of the south (I live near Atlanta, GA), I often see "central heat" on wish lists, or they don't take any notice of radiators, which would be a huge turn-off for me in buying a home. So... How common are central heating and air systems in other parts of the country?

Outdoor Girl

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7981 on: July 16, 2013, 04:07:28 PM »
I'm north of the border.  For me, it depends on where you live and how old your house is.

If you live in the country, your house may have an oil furnace or electric heat and hence, no central air (I don't think AC works with oil furnaces but I could be wrong).  If you have a propane furnace, I think you can get AC.  In the rural areas, there is no natural gas piping so it limits your options.

My suburban neighbourhood was built in the late 80's.  All the homes were originally built with electric baseboard heaters.  Only those of us whose homes have been converted to gas heat and had all the ducts installed will have central air, too.

My understanding is that the mass majority of homes now are built with a central heating system, where natural gas is available.
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Liliane

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7982 on: July 16, 2013, 04:39:56 PM »
On the central air topic...

I live in a mother-in-law apartment above my parents' house - basically the whole upstairs was converted into an apartment all its own. The whole house does have central air/heating (I think? That's when the air/heat all comes from just one source instead of having AC units/heaters all over, right?) but there seems to be a rather large problem with heating or cooling this apartment. I do get airflow through the vents, that's not the problem, but it doesn't reach PAST the vents - I have to put my hand right in front of them to feel anything. As you might imagine, this makes it very uncomfortable up here when there's any sort of temperature extreme!

My question: any ideas on why this may be happening? I thought the air wasn't rising properly, but in that case, the heat would work better than it does, as heat rises...
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cwm

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7983 on: July 16, 2013, 04:46:25 PM »
As far as the central heating, that's all I've ever known. I've lived in the midwest, and the house I grew up in was built in the 50s. Most houses I've been to have been either about the same age or a bit newer, but even the few really old houses I went to in college had central heating.

As to Liliane's question, have you tried taking apart the ducts and having them cleaned? Or look at the ducts themselves. The one going to my bedroom as a kid had about four or five kinks in it and the heat never got there, but the kitchen (which was further away than my bedroom) was a straight shot, so it was always warmer in there. Also, is it the same size ducts to your apartment than to the rest of the house? Smaller ducts = less air going through. It could make a huge difference just to get it changed to larger ducts.

Liliane

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7984 on: July 16, 2013, 04:50:10 PM »
I'd like to have them cleaned, but I can't afford it. You may be right about the straight shot though - my bathroom and kitchen are almost right over the part of the basement with the furnace (the air also runs through there) and they're usually a bit warmer (in the winter) or colder (in the summer) than anything else. As for the size, they're actually slightly larger than the other vents - downstairs has the long, skinny ones, whereas I have the tall and fat ones, so if anything they should let a little more air through.

At least I'm getting a room AC unit soon, so that'll be one less worry. :)
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Onyx_TKD

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7985 on: July 16, 2013, 04:52:03 PM »
Thanks for all the replies, everyone! I really appreciate the help on the chicken/seasoning mix issue. :)

I do have another, completely unrelated, question, however.  Where I'm from, central heating and air in a house is a given. In fact, it's FAR more uncommon to come across a home with a window unit than central air, and in my experience, it's usually because the central air unit in the home has quit working and the family cannot afford to replace it. I have never seen a radiator in real life, and I have never known anyone to not have central heat built into their home.
When I watch shows about buying houses in states outside of the south (I live near Atlanta, GA), I often see "central heat" on wish lists, or they don't take any notice of radiators, which would be a huge turn-off for me in buying a home. So... How common are central heating and air systems in other parts of the country?

Why would radiators be a huge turn-off to you? Do you expect them to be a poor source of heating or inefficient or what?

I don't know how common the different heating/AC types are generally. However, I lived in a ~1930 house in SC. The original part of the house was heated and cooled quite effectively by a single window AC unit and radiators (we had a second window unit that was only turned on in extremely hot weather). The much newer addition had an HVAC system. Other houses in our neighborhood of similar age were also heated by radiators (not sure about their AC systems). So there are definitely older homes in the south where that type of climate control are common, even if they are rare in new construction. Personally, I loved the radiators (as did our cats).

Slartibartfast

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7986 on: July 16, 2013, 04:55:07 PM »
I can't speak for Girlie, but I'm not a fan of radiators either (having lived in places with and without them).  They take up quite a bit of space, they require extra caution about what's around them so there's no risk of a fire, and they hurt when you back into them after taking a shower  :-[

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7987 on: July 16, 2013, 05:03:00 PM »
I can't speak for Girlie, but I'm not a fan of radiators either (having lived in places with and without them).  They take up quite a bit of space, they require extra caution about what's around them so there's no risk of a fire, and they hurt when you back into them after taking a shower  :-[

I'll agree with the space comment.  My bed is about a foot and a half further from the wall than I'd like it because of a radiator.
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MrsJWine

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7988 on: July 16, 2013, 05:04:16 PM »
I hated having radiators. We had the kind that ran along the wall kind of low to the ground, like you see in schools and such. They weren't terribly efficient in our old house (warm air would just seep out the walls and windows instead of being pushed into the center of the rooms), and cleaning them was horrible. There was no way to take them apart all the way, so if you spilled anything on one, oh well. And we bought it after it had been thoroughly trashed by the previous occupants. If I had any idea all the little things that would go into getting that place clean, we would never have bought it. The radiators were about 75% of the effort that went into cleaning that house.


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Girlie

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7989 on: July 16, 2013, 05:11:15 PM »
I've never lived with them, but I just think they're awfully unattractive, and they take up more space than I'd like. 

And Liliane - have you tried putting fans right in front of the vents? It might help circulate the air better for you.

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7990 on: July 16, 2013, 05:12:48 PM »
I hated having radiators. We had the kind that ran along the wall kind of low to the ground, like you see in schools and such. They weren't terribly efficient in our old house (warm air would just seep out the walls and windows instead of being pushed into the center of the rooms), and cleaning them was horrible. There was no way to take them apart all the way, so if you spilled anything on one, oh well. And we bought it after it had been thoroughly trashed by the previous occupants. If I had any idea all the little things that would go into getting that place clean, we would never have bought it. The radiators were about 75% of the effort that went into cleaning that house.

Yours came apart even slightly?  Ours are big block metal things, covered in what I believe to be lead paint.  They are hideous.
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Liliane

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7991 on: July 16, 2013, 05:22:03 PM »
Girlie, yes, I've tried that. It really didn't seem to do much as I couldn't get the fan right up against the vent. I'm not kidding when I say the air dead-ends as soon as it comes out. I do have ceiling fans though, so that probably helps it circulate just a little and makes things less awful than they could be!
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MrsJWine

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7992 on: July 16, 2013, 05:46:02 PM »
I hated having radiators. We had the kind that ran along the wall kind of low to the ground, like you see in schools and such. They weren't terribly efficient in our old house (warm air would just seep out the walls and windows instead of being pushed into the center of the rooms), and cleaning them was horrible. There was no way to take them apart all the way, so if you spilled anything on one, oh well. And we bought it after it had been thoroughly trashed by the previous occupants. If I had any idea all the little things that would go into getting that place clean, we would never have bought it. The radiators were about 75% of the effort that went into cleaning that house.

Yours came apart even slightly?  Ours are big block metal things, covered in what I believe to be lead paint.  They are hideous.

The flap that covered the heat-emitting part and moved up and down was removable. And that's it.

There was a lot of swearing during clean-up.


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Utah

Outdoor Girl

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7993 on: July 16, 2013, 07:16:41 PM »
Liliane, it might be as simple as air loss through any gaps in the piping.  If there are any exposed heating ducts, get some metal tape (not duct tape - it actually isn't for ducts) and tape any joints or spots where screws enter the ducts off of the supporting banding.  Also, is there a cold air return in your area?  It is usually a much bigger grate, situated on a wall or sometimes in the floor and that allows for better air flow.  If there isn't one, that could be an issue, too.  I'm not sure what is involved in having one put in, though.
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oogyda

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7994 on: July 16, 2013, 07:51:44 PM »
I'm north of the border.  For me, it depends on where you live and how old your house is.

If you live in the country, your house may have an oil furnace or electric heat and hence, no central air (I don't think AC works with oil furnaces but I could be wrong).  If you have a propane furnace, I think you can get AC.  In the rural areas, there is no natural gas piping so it limits your options.

My suburban neighbourhood was built in the late 80's.  All the homes were originally built with electric baseboard heaters.  Only those of us whose homes have been converted to gas heat and had all the ducts installed will have central air, too.

My understanding is that the mass majority of homes now are built with a central heating system, where natural gas is available.

AC is available without natural gas or propane.  Electric units are quite effective, although perhaps not quite as energy efficient.
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