Old-Fashioned Heating
Victorian Homes|Fall 2017

One Couple’s Journey To Restore Heat To Their Victorian Home

Glenn And Gail Giaimo

We moved to Ferndale in 1997 and Were thrilled to own a beautiful 5,000 square Foot Victorian home that proudly bears the honor of being on the National Register of Historic Places. Soon after we moved in, it became clear that the current “heating solution” of two pellet stoves and a small forced-air heater was totally inadequate to keep the moist coastal chill out of the air. The home has single-paned windows with over 1,000 pieces of separate glass, many of which are original stained glass, as well as extensive period-accurate wallpaper that hangs from cheesecloth on all our walls. We wanted to honor our home’s pedigree by choosing a period-accurate method to heat it.  

Our heating journey began in 2000, when we decided to invest in 34 antique radiators from Boston to for every room of the home. We quickly forgot the delivery cost for 7,500 pounds as we unpacked our beautifully embossed radiators, installed them on the inside of the walls of every room and connected them to flexible PEX tubing. We routed these new lines inside the walls, along the attic subfloor and underneath the home to outfit all three stories. All this plumbing was divided into different heating zones that were connected to manifolds (like arteries and veins) powered by a massive hot water heater (like a heart).

PROBLEMS, PROBLEMS

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