View Full Version : Electirc or force air heating

05-12-2007, 08:51 PM

I am buying a new home in Wisconsin. I want to know what kind of heating system should I get installed, force air or Electric? It's a split level/estate home

05-12-2007, 09:05 PM
Without knowing your utility rates there, it is hard to tell for sure. Personally, I really like in-floor radiant heat. This is usually done with a boiler. Forced air can be harsh to some people - heating the air dries it out, but a humidifer can rectify that. Ductwork also allows for central air, but often the ductwork is optimized for heating, which puts the cold air at your feet rather than at your head...adding duct extensions can help with two registers...one at the floor level and on near the ceiling. Shut off one or the other based on the conditioning required.

Radiant floor heat gives huge flexibility, though...more comfortable heat, no restrictions on where you can put furniture that doesn't block registers, and you don't dry the air out by heating it in a furnace. You can often be comfortable at a lower room temperature, too because your feet are warm, and there are no drafts.

Where I live, in the winter, an electricly heated baseboard house could cost as much as $1,000/month! People here usually go with oil or gas; propane, if they can't or don't want one of the others. Very few people use electric because our rates are among the highest in the country for electric.

05-13-2007, 04:14 AM
You should also look into a heat pump with gas or electric back up.

05-13-2007, 04:26 AM
Forced air can be harsh to some people - heating the air dries it out,

How does heating the air dry it out, I would guess the existing moisture in the air is heated with the air then blown back into the house. Continuous loop.

05-13-2007, 03:16 PM
The absolute moisture content remains the same, but the relative humidity drops as you heat the air. Hotter air can hold more moisture, so it appears drier.

Also, while the new furnaces (at least the better ones) use external air for combustion, all of the older, less efficient ones pulled cold, dry air from outside though cracks, etc., which is much drier than the interior air, ultimately drying the air out even more.