Forced Hot Air Versus Forced Hot Water Heat

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Old 02-11-2005, 11:39 AM   #1
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Forced Hot Air Versus Forced Hot Water Heat

I posted this in the general questions section not knowing there was a HVAC section. Just looking for as many views on this as I can get. I live in the Northeast and recently purchased a cape style home that is going to need a new heating system this summer. The house built in 1940 currently has natural gas forced hot air, with only 2 vents 1 upstairs and 1 downstairs. I am trying to decide if i should put in another hot air system or a baseboard hot water system. The other problem I have is that currently the house has a wood stove that is vented into the same flue as the furnace and I would like to vent the heating system/hotwater tank out the side of the house so that i dont have to have another flue put in. I have heard that hot water is a better heating system but i would like to get as many opinions as possible so i can make a good decision. I will not be needing A/C seeing that it doesnt get very hot up here and when it does it is not for very long. All of your professional opinions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance Mike
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Old 02-11-2005, 05:49 PM   #2
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Re: Forced Hot Air Versus Forced Hot Water Heat

Here is some unprofessional advice from Merrimack. FHA sucks. Put in the FHW if you have the cash and you can use the ducts later when you decide central A/C would be nice.
The amount of dust and dry air in our FHA system is terrible.


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Old 02-12-2005, 08:56 PM   #3
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Re: Forced Hot Air Versus Forced Hot Water Heat

Any type of heating system will dry the air by changing its psychametric properties. A forced hot water system can not reintoduce moisture into the air via a whole house humidifier. However a forced warm air furnace can. Not only can you clean the air with all types of filters but you can install a central whole house humidifier to keep the RH% at a comfortable level which also keeps more thermal energy in the air. With duct work already installed, the installation of central A/C will not only be easier, much cheaper saving you $thousands$ in the end. Remember, A/C is not only for cooling, but dehumidifying. (it also drives up the value of you home)
Oh and by the way have the duct system reevaluated, it may be time to upgrade to multiple vents on both floors.

Last edited by NickTech; 02-12-2005 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 02-14-2005, 12:37 PM   #4
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Re: Forced Hot Air Versus Forced Hot Water Heat

Thanks for the input I had a HVAC come to the house this weekend he was persistant about me putting in forced hot water for energy reasons where my house is older and not as much insulation as the newer homes. He said that hot water would be more efficiant. I think I am going to go hot water but I am going to install it myself. If I go hot water I can run the lines through the joists and be able to finish my basement if i go hot air I will have to leave duct work and add more reducing ceiling height even more. Thanks again.
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