Radiant heat being installed. Keep or dump the furnace?

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Old 11-16-11, 06:55 AM
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Radiant heat being installed. Keep or dump the furnace?

The furnace in my new home (built in 1989) is OLD, but still works, for now. In a Go More Green effort, I'm planning to install radiant heat throughout my house; powered by a dual system: solar panels with an on-demand water heater for both radiant heat & domestic uses. I'm also finishing my totally unfinished basement into new living spaces. With radiant heating installed, the furnace won't be used anymore. So, to save precious sq footage in the basement, I want to take the furnace out. I will still need to use the ductwork, however, for the now combination HVAC system, which is changing to an AC system only. What are all of the factors to consider in this redesign?
 
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Old 11-16-11, 07:31 AM
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Where do you live, and who designed your new heating system?
 
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Old 11-16-11, 07:52 AM
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I live in Iowa. A local HVAC installer, trained in radiant heat installation, as well as a Velux regional rep (dealing with the solar panel water heating system).
 
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Old 11-16-11, 07:55 AM
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The idea to remove the furnace is mine. I discussed it with a licensed electrical/plumber/ general contractor. I'm posing the question here to do more research. I still need to talk this over with the HVAC guy.
 
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Old 11-16-11, 09:19 AM
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As a furnace repairman, I often found a HUGE difference between homes that had some kind of backup heat source and those that didn't when the furnace/boiler quit working. Do you have some other backup heat source that would serve in a pinch, such as a woodstove or gas fireplace?

You presumably have a well designed heating system. The only reason for keeping the existing furnace would be as an alternate source of heat in case the primary boiler isn't working.



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Old 11-16-11, 07:15 PM
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Unless you are having major ductwork changes made the amount of space you will save from just having an air handler with evaporator coil vs. a gas-fired furnace is negligible. I thoroughly dislike domestic water heaters that are also used for space heating so if it were me I would opt for a new furnace. The combination of radiant AND forced air, if properly controlled, can make a VERY efficient and comfortable system with the added advantages of proper humidity control and air filtration.
 
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Old 11-17-11, 12:02 AM
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Thanks for the info. It was very helpful.
 
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