Changing boiler heat for forced air furnace?

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-04-14, 05:33 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 24
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Changing boiler heat for forced air furnace?

Hi DIY crew!

Im hoping someone can give me some insiggt referencing my subject line. My current house has boiler heat AND a central AC system. So, since we already have the duct work in place, putting in a forced air furnace should be pretty simple, right? We have a local plumber coming this week to give us his thoughts but I wanted to know what everyone here thought. We would have a lot of copper to take out of the house if we make the change!

The reason we are discussing the change is that we are finishing our basement and need a new register put in and a couple moved. If we go forced air, I'll be more comfortable sheetrocking the ceiling than I would with the boiler system and the abundance of water lines that are through the joists.

Trying to calculate btus. Alpine site showed 51k btu. 1200 sq ft ranch house. Thoughts? Opinions? All are welcome, thanks!
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-04-14, 08:01 PM
Jay11J's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Rochester, Minnesota
Posts: 18,427
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hot water heat is the best way to heat a home with best comfort vs forced air.

I'd would leave the hot water heat system in, and add baseboard or in floor heat for the basement.
 
  #3  
Old 01-05-14, 07:14 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 24
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
while I understand its good heat, I'm concerned about it's efficency. Today as an example, -10 real temp, -33 windchill. If I can get a more economical heat in, I think itd pay for itself in a few years.
Any other opinions?
 
  #4  
Old 01-05-14, 09:07 AM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 109
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Are your first-floor (main level) AC registers (chilled-air outlets) in the ceiling or in the floor?
 
  #5  
Old 01-05-14, 11:46 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 24
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Registers are in the floor, returns are on the baseboards. We have AC runs already into every upstairs room. I believe it'd be a matter of finishing the cold air returns and a couple new heat runs for the basement rooms. I can get pictures if needed.

Can someone give me an idea of how many btus are needed for 1250 (main floor) sq ft? Also, what a furnace might run, cost wise?

Thanks!
 
  #6  
Old 01-05-14, 02:44 PM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 109
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Is your present system zoned baseboard? If so, IMO, you're making a mistake changing to forced hot air. Just upgrade to a high-efficeincy boiler/heater.

If you're worried about a sheetrock ceiling below your distribution piping, as an alternative, you might consider a suspended ceiling with its easily removable panel inserts. It doesn't look quite as nice as sheetrock, but it's a shame to replace a hot water heating system just because you want to have sheetrock on a basement ceiling.

Please post what the plumber says.
 
  #7  
Old 01-05-14, 05:49 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 24
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
What do you mean by zone heat? All heat runs (8 on the main floor and 3 in the basement) are ran on the same loop ran by one thermostat. I'm no thinking of getting rid of it just so I can sheetrock my basement ceiling, that'd just be a perk. This boiler was new to the house when it was built, 1963, and I'm curious of it's efficiency versus a newer forced air furnace.
 
  #8  
Old 01-05-14, 07:45 PM
Jay11J's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Rochester, Minnesota
Posts: 18,427
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
You can get high-efficeincy boiler, and nice thing about hot water heat, you won't be getting the draft/air movement.

WHile that's being done, you may be able to zone the house for best comfort, and energy savings.
 
  #9  
Old 01-06-14, 08:50 AM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 109
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
First of all, do you have a steam or a hot-water heating system and exactly what shape\style are the 8 +3 heating elements? That is, are the elements steam or hot water radiators, hot water baseboard elements, what? Is there a "return" line back to the boiler from each heating element?
 
  #10  
Old 01-06-14, 01:46 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 24
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I have hot water heat that utilizes baseboard radiators. Water travels in one end, out the other, back under the floor to the floor joists, and over to the next heat run. All heat runs are on the same loop.

We have 8 heat runs upstairs and 3 more in the basement, for 11 total.
Plumber should be coming tomorrow.
On the plus side, I think we have found a decent layout for our basement that allows for two nice sized bedrooms, the bathroom, large mechanical room, and a large living area. So, we might not have to do anything with the boiler itself at this point. I'm still going to have him see what it would take to put a forced air system in, but we are leaning towards keeping the boiler.

And you are right, boiler heat is really, really nice. Part of our issue is that the windows in the house are junk, which doesn't help anything. I'm also doubting the walls are insulated too well. Oh, and I know I need about 6" more insulation in the attic. If I just had the money, I would do everything at once, but unfortunately, that isn't an option.

I suppose the old saying is true, "Rome wasn't built in a day."
 
  #11  
Old 01-06-14, 01:49 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 24
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Oh, style/shape of the heat runs are large rectangles, small in height, but about 5-8' long, depending on what room they are in and what wall they are on. There isn't a return line from each heat run back to the boiler. The water runs from the boiler, into the first run, all the way through the very last run (the 11th), and back into the bolier heat. There is only two pipes coming out of the boiler, one is the hot water coming out, one is the water circulating back through...if I understand the system correctly.
 
  #12  
Old 01-08-14, 07:50 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 1
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Forced Hot Air: Boiler and Furnace

If I have forced hot air and central a/c why would I have a boiler? The a/c unit is ouotside and the furnace is upstairs. But in the basement I also have a boiler. I already have a hot water tank. I recently had a MassEnergySave inspection and the gentlemean who did the review did not understand why I had a furnace and a boiler.

Thanks

J
 
  #13  
Old 01-08-14, 10:37 AM
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 109
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Justin,
You're hijacking a thread, but since you've gotten away with it so far I'll ask three questions.

1. Where does the outlet of the "boiler" in the basement go?

2. Where are the forced hot air ducts?

3. What heats the water in the "hot water tank"?

Back on topic. Herkster, what did you plumber say?
 
  #14  
Old 01-08-14, 04:58 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 24
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Unfortunately, we had some near record lows this week (-20 real temp, -50 windchill), so the plumber has been busy and hasnt made it out yet. My wife and I talked, we are going to leave the boiler and see what can be done with the heat runs in the basement that work with how we'd like to lay it out. We do like the heat it gives off, so it'll stay. we'll sacrifice anddo A drop ceiling in the basement for a more finished look but still allowing access to our pipes if needed.thanks for all the responses
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: