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Whole House heating renovation

I am doing an addition/renovation on my current house. It will be done in two stages to meet with requirements of the local building codes as well federal guidelines. The house will be taken down to the studs and re insulated new windows and the whole works. We have a new condensing boiler that feeds an indirect water heater and 60 year old Radiators. There is no AC currently.

I have talked to a few people but I do not even know what is out there for options and what makes the most cost effective heating and AC system. Thank you for any thoughts.

Re: Whole House heating renovation

Best option perhaps is to have several heating contractors (Yellow Pages-Heating Contractors) do an on-site review of your current system, and make suggestions as to whether you should keep the condensing boiler & rads, or consider an alternate system---if the rads are in good shape, without leaks, I could see using your present heating system as a very effective one for excellent heating----cast iron radiators provide an excellent heat that is both convective (heating via air currents) and radiant (heating via invisible radiant waves); the indirect HWH is also an excellent companion to the boiler that will provide you with all the domestic HW you need for washing, showers, clothes washing, etc., without ever running out of HW.

The problem with hydronic (hot water) heat is that it doesn't provide any accommodation for AC---but you can always add mini-split ductless wall-hung units that have the mechanical parts (condenser) on a small concrete footpad on the outside of the house----since the mechanical parts are outside the house on the ground, there is NO NOISE inside the house with these systems---- units by Mitsubishi, Sanyo, Hitachi, Friedrich, and others are very quiet and provide excellent cooling.

The only other alternatives would require you to scrap the present heating system, which I don't think you should do, and install a forced hot air heating/AC system that combines the ducting for both heating & cooling to all parts of the house.


Re: Whole House heating renovation

Another suggestion is to turn the radiators from steam into a two pipe hot water system and then use outdoor reset to modulate the water temp. If steam, a LOT of energy goes to phase change.

A unico system would be great, especially if you have tight wall cavities. It all boils down (no pun intended) to how much $$ you want so spend to save some $$.

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