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Old 05-20-2013, 11:35 AM
 
5 posts, read 17,875 times
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Finally I closed on the house on week ago. House has central air (pump in attic and A/C unit in back yard). The heating furnace is VERY OLD (I would say 20 years old), maybe not efficient, very noisy pump, and few cold radiators. In Summary heating system needs repair and/or replacement.

Since that house already had duct work in place, I am thinking of installing central forced air heating. My understanding is that – this would be cheaper and/or almost same as replacing furnace and evaluating radiators and/or distribution.

Current furnace is in laundry room taking almost 5x5 space. Now my questions are:

1. Is it really cost effective, efficient and better to install forced air heating system in my case?
2. Are there any issues (long and/or short term) installing unit in attic?
3. Does anyone know what I may get if I sell/recycle old radiators?

P.S.> I am thinking that removing old radiators will free-up some good amount space in the house.

TIA!
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:33 PM
 
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People who replace radiator-based heat (hot water or steam) with forced-air heat often regret it. Radiator-based heat is more pleasant -- less drying, more consistent. Also, your AC ducts are probably up by the ceiling, right? That means the hot air will come out by the ceiling and stay there, since heat rises, so the lower part of the room will stay cold.

FYI: What you have now is a boiler, since it is heating water (for a hot-water or steam system). What you are thinking of getting is a furnace (forced-air system).
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:24 AM
 
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Forced hot air does not have to dry out the house, you can install a humidifier with the unit. Another option would be to take out the radiators( which let's face it are ugly and take up space) and replace them with baseboard units. IMO baseboard is the best home heating solution.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdstyles View Post
Forced hot air does not have to dry out the house, you can install a humidifier with the unit.
Yeah, but you are still left with the roller-coaster effect of a heating system that blows hot air and then shuts off, allowing the temperature to abruptly drop. And the issue of the heat sitting up against the ceiling while your feet freeze.

After 30+ years in a dozen homes, this is my first house with radiant heat, and I will never go back to forced hot air. If I buy a house that has it, I will install radiant heat myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdstyles View Post
Another option would be to take out the radiators( which let's face it are ugly and take up space) and replace them with baseboard units. IMO baseboard is the best home heating solution.
This could be an option if it's a hot water system, but not if it's steam. The OP didn't say which one he has.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:53 PM
 
Location: NJ
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Not sure why you posted this in the NJ forum. There is a house forum that is probably more appropriate.
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:18 PM
 
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It depends on the square foot of the house, the windows and doors, the type of flooring. We moved to our house in 2006. The house was rebuilt from the ground up in 2004. It is a ranch on a crawl space with about 1200 square foot of living space, a 3 bedroom 2 bath open concept LR/DR/kitchen. We have central air/heating in the attic which feeds into ceiling vents throughout the house. So there is no ductwork, just the big flexible mylar covered octopus in the attic. We also have storm windows/doors throughout the house and 5/8" hardwood maple floors throughout the house with area rugs. The kitchen, bath rooms and utility areas have tile floors. We find the setup to be comfortable and energy efficient. With gas heating, hot water, cooking and clothes dryer, and electric everything else, our combined gas and electric bills total an average of $300 per month year round. We keep the thermostat at about 72 in summer and winter. We run the air 24/7 in the summer and the heat 24/7 in the winter. Previously, we had hot water baseboards in a less well insulated 100 year old two story house with a basement, but needed to get a boiler that was twice the rating for the square foot of the house, to handle temps under 20 degrees in the winter. We find the ceiling vent forced air solution very good for a well insulated smaller ranch style home. But this might not be true for a 2 story house or a house without good windows, and doors, or without good floors.

Last edited by bobspez; 05-22-2013 at 01:32 PM..
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:10 AM
 
4,120 posts, read 6,093,231 times
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You'll need to do some research on this... Here is a solar radiant system, tied to your old system which 75% of the time will heat your house...

Can I switch to solar-heated water in my radiant heat system? - Green Home Guide by USGBC
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