Replacing forced air w/HW baseboard


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Old 12-19-05, 11:42 AM
HomeBody2U
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Replacing forced air w/HW baseboard

Kind of a general question: I have a forced air system in my 50 year old cape (the furnace itself is about 11 years old) and it's driving me nuts with its noise and poor air distribution. I am wondering if (when the present furnace gives out) it would be feasible (financially) to replace this system with a hot water baseboard system.

I realize I'd have to have pipes run throughout the house and the new baseboard radiators, plus the carpentry work to patch up the register and duct openings. I'm just a bit curious if anyone ever does this, or if the cost factor is so high that it's not really worth it.
 
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Old 12-19-05, 04:56 PM
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Going to hot water

I've seen it done a number of times. Really it isn't hard if well planned. Hot water boilers are not cheap nor is the piping. As far as I'm concerned, you can't beat the comfort & properly installed, it's quiet.
 
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Old 12-20-05, 07:24 AM
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Hydronic heating systems can also be noisy with gurgling from air in the system, creaking from not allowing copper pipe to expand freely, etc.
Hydronic systems are prone to freezing. Taking these into account when planning the system are very important.
If you do not have a lot of small rooms, you might consider several smaller gas space heaters that vent through the wall.
 
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Old 12-20-05, 06:56 PM
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Space heaters

Just a heads up on space heaters. Many financial institutions will not grant a mortgage on a house without a central heating system. This is just in case you should decide to sell somewhere down the road.
 
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Old 12-21-05, 05:16 PM
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I think replacing any forced air system with hydronic is a step in the right direction. You will be rewarded with quiet, even, draft-free heat if it is installed properly. The drawback is it becomes difficult to install central air if you don't have ductwork. Should you want a/c later, I would suggest a mini-split system.
My 1922 home had a gravity coal furnace until the early 1970's. This furnace had no ductwork, just a grate in the living room floor. This was all ripped out and replaced with a hot water boiler about the size of a two-drawer file cabinet. Piping and baseboard radiators were installed. Unfortunately, I can't answer your $ question, as the master plumber who installed our system has since passed away.
Good luck!
 
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Old 12-21-05, 08:18 PM
HomeBody2U
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Originally Posted by Andrew
The drawback is it becomes difficult to install central air if you don't have ductwork. Should you want a/c later, I would suggest a mini-split system.
That's what I thought somebody would say, although for me it's not a big problem. I live in upstate NY, not far from Lakes Erie & Ontario, and I have many shade trees, so summers are quite bearable without any A/C at all.

Thanks to all who answered.
 
 

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