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heating dilemma


I have a question regarding different ways to heat an old house. My husband and I inherited a post-civilwar era farmhouse. The heating system in place now are 3 HUGE potbellied woodstoves. There is only a very small root cellar under the middle part of the house. My question is this.. what other options for heating would work here? We currently have a coal stove in the temporary home we're living in (which I would rather not have in the other house). Any suggestions would be appreciated and taken into serious consideration. The house is 2-stories, and about 2000 sq ft. Putting in a larger basement isn't an option, but there are numerous small rooms that need to be heated.

Re: heating dilemma

Well it depends somewhat on where you are located, what types of fuel are available and cost of them in your area, and whether you want the system to both heat and cool the house. Depending on how the house is built I would say a hot water baseboard system would be the easiest to install. There are direct vent gas or propane boilers that can fit into very small areas such as a small utility room. The plumbing for the baseboard would require some plaster to be removed from the walls but not to much again depending on how the house is built.

Radiant floor heat is another option but would be much more costly than baseboard heat but it is generally more efficiant. If you wanted it on the second floor however the ceilings on the first floor would have to come down or you would have to put it on the top of the sub-floor and then new flooring on top of that. This would likely make it necessary to cut the doors down and would throw off the height of the top stair.

The other option is a forced hot air system with a furnace that may be to large for you to fit in the root cellar. It would also require you to run ducts so you would likely have to either build chases or tear apart some of the walls. But it would allow you to run AC as well.

Hope this helps you out somewhat as there are many options available.


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