are you sure we're not going to blow the house up?

Even though most people that I know have had their heat on for a few weeks now, our house has stayed surprisingly warm. It's been cool in the evenings, but the warmer sunny days have been enough to keep the temp. around 64*-68* inside. Yay brick house! On Friday though the temp. was around 61* and we figured we couldn't avoid it much longer. No big deal right? Except that we have a boiler, with radiators (as you've seen) and honestly, neither one of us had any idea how to work the thing. Everyone we asked would just tell us how great radiator heat was, but just shrug their shoulders when I would say "super, but do you know how to turn it on??" The only experience I've had with radiators was when I lived in the dorms at college. There they were either off or turned on to boiling hot anytime it dropped down below a chilly 85* outside. Luckily each room was equipped with its own "temperature control device" otherwise known as a window - all dorm windows would be wide open in the winter to try to balance out the boiling. Very energy efficient.

So anyway, we went down to the basement, pulled out the boiler manual, and sat down. Wow, super confusing. Lots of opening valves, turning knobs, checking this and that... something about the water levels... The included diagrams did not help. I'm not sure what we were reading was even in English. After much back and forth (and after I had to explain to Mike how gravity works, don't ask) we decided to just turn it on and see what happened. So I went upstairs and turned the thermostat to "heat". After a few seconds, Mike yelled up "it's on fire!" to which I panic. "On fire" to me = bad thing. To him, "on fire" meant the boiler had turned on and was working.

After about a 1/2 hour all of the radiators were warm to the touch. After about an hour Trevi the cat could no longer sit on top of the radiator b/c it was too hot (he was really enjoying it up until that point). And after about 2 hours the house was well on it's way to 70* so we turned it off again. Everything seems to be working fine, but if anyone out there has had radiators before, are we missing anything important? Oh, and in case you're wondering, the thermostat does seem to control the temperature (amazing!) so hopefully we won't have to have our windows open all winter :-)

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3 Responses to are you sure we're not going to blow the house up?

Mom and Dad said...

I still think you should call the heating guy that the previous owner used. Better safe than sorry!

Dennis and Sue said...

Your folks are right. Better safe, and all that. You will love radiator heat. At least I always did. They are also a nice place to dry wet gloves and warm up shoes!

Rachel said...

Haha, that sounds like my college experience.

When we lived in Louisville whatever dummy turned the boiler on made it 100 degrees in our apartment. No joke. I think we eventually pried open the panel and figured out how to turn the dang thing off and put fans in our windows.

Let's hope yours works better!!


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