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Old 07-19-2008, 02:51 AM
2 posts, read 28,095 times
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Have to make a decision this weekend because ConEd's free boiler program application acceptance ends at 4pm Monday. We were going to have our oil boiler replaced by a gas one and keep the steam heat, but the guy we talked to says that hydro air heating with hot water heat pumps is lots more efficient and better at heating. He would switch us to gas heating but make the additional modifications to our house so that we would use floor vents instead of our radiators. This would also require us to get ducts put in to our house, but we were looking to do central air anyway.
We live in a 1927 Tudor with beautiful and inefficient leaded glass casement windows, have small kids at home, and I am really bad with the cold. Will the hot air vents make the house drier? Will it make it as warm? Oil heat was really expensive (cost us about $500 every three weeks, and we have a gas water heater, and that was at 2.89 p/gallon), but the house was comfortable all winter. The thermostat was set to 67 in the sunroom, but it was really warmer upstairs.
Also, is hydro air noisy?
Please help.
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Old 11-06-2016, 05:25 PM
Location: New England
342 posts, read 293,284 times
Reputation: 825
My dad, had Natural gas heat, a fraction of the cost of oil. Why not switch the boiler to gas and keep the radiators? That is a much better heat than hot air. You can do air conditioning with window units if you wish. Regarding the windows, they make very good interior storm windows that cost a fraction of replacement windows. Those 90 year old windows have years of life in them yet. I did the calculations on replacement windows in my own 1880 house and the payback was 500 years... yeas, 500 years. $75,000 for the windows with $150.00 per year in savings. Good Luck
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Old 11-06-2016, 08:28 PM
Location: Westchester County, NY
250 posts, read 308,179 times
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Your guy is correct that it is more efficient, but you really have to ask yourself if it's worth the hassle and expense. I have hydroair in this house, had standard forced air heat in the house before that, and had steam a few houses before that. So I've had all of them.

A good hydroair system is hard to beat, but, in your case, I'm not sure that it's worth it right now. I guess that I would try to see if the boiler that you get is compatible with a hydroair system and just get it installed until you get your central AC installed. Then, when you price out your central AC, price it with and without hydroair. The hydroair install could be kind of complicated depending on your house, so you'll want a solid assessment of what you will need.

To your questions:

Dry Air? Yes, hydroair is slightly drier than radiator heat. Less dry than tradititional forced air, however, and much easier to avoid the over humidification that happens in the colder months with radiators.
Noisy? Yes, you'll hear some air movement at the vents. If you get a good system with a variable speed fan, this is definitely less than you otherwise would have. It's definitely a different noise, but I'm not sure it's a louder noise (think light whooshing v the clicking).

We really love our system, and I can't imagine a better one, other than whole house radiant floor heating like they have in some parts of the world. Not efficient, but very comfortable.
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