Hydronic Heating "Research"


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Old 12-04-04, 06:25 PM
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Info Hydronic Home Heating

Due to all the dust and allergies that our duct work causes, we are thinking about having a hydronic (hot water) heating system installed. We would sincerely appreciate any information about it. For example we wonder why it doesn't seem to be real popular. Are those who have hydronic heating happy with it? In this region everyone seems to have the standard, central forced air heating and air conditioning systems. But the associated duct work is just plain dirty. Accumulations of dust builds up inside the duct system and is recycled again and again via the fresh air intake vent; duct work; and back into the house via the floor registers. Filters don't solve the problem. Is hydronic heating expensive to install, maintain and operate? Apparently a boiler and baseboard radiators are required. For air conditioning we would use window units. Thanking you in advance for any info.
 
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Old 12-04-04, 08:49 PM
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You should look into having a better grade of air filter installed. A 4" pleated paper filter will take out a lot of dust. What type of filter is in your current system. You could spend a lot of money fine tuning what you have before you equalled(sp?) the cost of a hydronic system. And I think if you find the right contractor, you will be just as happy if not more with a good duct system and filter.

Ken
p.s. I love hydronic systems. The reason you see fewer is because nobody wants to pay for two separate systems when they build. People who know comfort wouldn't do it any other way.
 
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Old 12-06-04, 11:34 AM
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Cool Hydronic Heating "Research"

Thank you for your response. During the past few days I have done some layman-style "research" regarding ductless, hydronic home heating systems versus forced air, central heating and air conditioning systems which require a considerable amount of ductwork. My, uh, "findings" are taken from Web Sites, forums, contractors and a local university. Filtering, no matter what kind it is, doesn't completly solve the dust problem associated with forced air systems. That is because the dust and debris is already accumulated inside the duct work. It's already there. Filtering the fresh-air intake only helps to slow down the inevitable build up of dust and debris inside a duct system. The installation of new duct work is not a long term solution because in a few months it will also be contaminated. The furnace blower will continue to force, push and re-circulate the foul air through the duct work to be spewed out back into the house via the floor registers. Ugh! Filtering the floor registers might help a little but it would impede air circulation. For the past several years, contractors have been installing the far less expensive, round, flexible duct work instead of rigid, aluminum ducts. The flexible duct work traps and harbors even more dust than the old-style, smooth, flat-surfaced aluminum ducts. A contractor told me that some, if not all (except him, of course) usually install flexible duct work without bothering to shake it out or clean it. He knows of one case where a length of flexible duct piping was installed which had lizzards inside it.

Hydronic heating: Everyone seems to like it including my relative in New Jersey to whom I recently spoke. He said his home is virtually dust free and since he doesn't need a lot of air conditioning, he gets by with window units. We live in eastern North Carolina. Contractors in this rather small town are not at all familiar with hydronic heating. However, the largest contractor in town is becoming knowledgeable of it and is gearing up to meet possible future demands. He noted that more and more home owners (especially homes being built) are becoming interested in "hot water" heating.

Apparently, hydronic heating is fairly easy to maintain and is far less complicated and hazardous than my gas pack. A gas pack appears to have more intricate parts than a jetliner and is always subject to explode and blow the whole house away. Although it is not much reported by the news media, such explosions do happen about a hundred times a year in the United States. The government would probably ban the use of natural gas furnaces were they not so widely used and thought of as being more environmentally friendly than most other types of heating fuels.

Well, short of moving back to Hawaii or waiting until hydronic heating becomes available in my area, it looks like I'm stuck with the duct. By means of this rambling, hastily written and disjointed message, I just wanted to share my "findings" with other readers who might (for whatever reason -- building, planning, etc.) be somewhat interested.

My thanks to everyone. BTW, this is an awesome, informative, information-sharing forum.
 
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Old 12-06-04, 02:43 PM
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I have merged this thread with your previous one, and responses to keep everything together. If you need to add to it, please use the reply button below.
 
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Old 12-06-04, 02:52 PM
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notsohandy

There are commercial businesses that do duct cleaning. Basically they use high powered vacuum cleaners and flexible hoses to vacuum out the inside of the duct work. Once clean, if you use a good filter, like Ken described, and change them regularly, I don't think you will be circulating any more dust than you would with a hydronic heating system (which I do love during heating season) and running a ceiling fan. Remember, in a closed house, most of the dust is dead skin from the human occupants, and whatever contributions that pets make.
 
 

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