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Plumbing in the Home/oil-fired water heater in an old house in summer


I'm thinking of changing out my electric water heater for an oil-fired indirect off my oil burner: more efficient, faster recovery and all that. Problem: my 19th-century cellar lacks a finished ceiling, and in many spots there's not even any subflooring beneath the floorboards above. If some heat from the furnace rises through floorboard gaps in winter, that's fine; in summer, maybe not so fine.

General HVAC wisdom says that for heating water the burner wouldn't run enough to create a summer problem, but I'm thinking that wisdom is based on cellar ceilings that keep the heat from rising into living space. Or maybe even with a porous ceiling I shouldn't worry.

Thoughts, please?

Hello Sam,
Residual heat might be a problem if the burner is running for long periods of time in the summer but I don't believe it will be an issue. If you do notice a difference and it becomes a problem, I would set up a circulating fan in the basement and set it up to run when the burner is on or when the temperature at the ceiling reaches a certain temp. You can get an attic fan controller and set it to turn on with a temp. rise This way you can disburse the heat with in the basement and  it won't concentrate directly over the boiler.

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Jay Nicholas


Plumbing & Heating (warm air, hot water & steam heat)


40 years in the business, 40 years as a lic. master plumber in NY State. Retired

Graduated Magna cum laude at the School of Hard Knocks

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Commercial, residential and light industrial. You name it ...I have probably worked on it

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