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Radiators vs. Central heat?


I'm buying a 100+ year old house which currently has no heating. The owners have been living there almost 20 years and say they've never needed it. There are gas pipes in the rooms for radiators, and I'm wondering about the cost and efficiency of putting in radiators vs. central heat. I'd probably only use either a few months out of the year.

I live in Austin, TX, so I plan to install central air, and it was pointed out to me that as long as I'm doing that it would be natural to put in central heating as well. However, I've always loved radiator heat and the connections are already there, so I was hoping someone would be able to help me with the comparison?


Re: Radiators vs. Central heat?


I have my doubts that the gas connections in each room will provide a radiator-type heating system.

Many of these room gas line connections were installed years ago to provide gas lamps for lighting---radiators, aside from inefficient oil-filled electric ones, have to be hooked up to a central system with a boiler in the basement or boiler room---and perhaps radiators are more apropos for northern areas of the U.S. where severe winters are experienced.

As you noted in your post, a system that combines heating & cooling, such as a HEAT PUMP (which can both heat & cool) or a gas-fired forced hot air/ac combo furnace would be more efficient & provide year-round comfort.

Perhaps you could consult the Yellow Pages under "Heating Contractors" & obtain several quotes from a number of contractors.

You will get various quotes as to cost & the exact type of equipment to be installed, so it is best to obtain 4-6 estimates before making a final choice.

Also ask nearby relatives, neighbors and friends what type of system they have, and their level of satisfaction with it, as a guide to your final choice.

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