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Thread: New construction - gas heating recommendations needed

  1. #1

    Default New construction - gas heating recommendations needed

    We're building a new house and could use your advice on what type of heating system to go with. Our builder is recommending a hydronic forced air system. Does anybody have experience with such a system? What are it's pros and cons?

    If you were building a new house, what would be your first choice for heating.

    TIA

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    A lot depends on your area and the proposed construction. Here in S. California, about the only thing we ever see is plain old nat. gas forced air.

    I would rely on some recommendations...( more than one) from well respected HVAC contractors in your area. They should be familiar with what works well in your area. Have you considered radiant floor heat?

    I grew up in a house in the northeast with steam radiators. I always remember how comfortable that house was! But I'm sure that by today's standards, the efficiency of that system was poor!

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    Well that was ignorant of me to leave that info out! We are building in the NE on Long Island.

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    Computer Programmer Bill Arden's Avatar
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    Why would the contractor recommend using a gas boiler and then have a water to air handler?

    Cons:
    more expensive
    Need larger Air ducts to keep the boiler in a "condensing" mode

    Pros:
    Easier to add in floor heating.
    Easier to upgrade to a heat pump.
    Easier to add central A/C
    Important note Ė I donít know man made laws, just laws of physics
    Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of Darwin awards.

  5. #5
    Radon Contractor and Water Treatment 99k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Arden View Post
    Why would the contractor recommend using a gas boiler and then have a water to air handler?

    Cons:
    more expensive
    Need larger Air ducts to keep the boiler in a "condensing" mode

    Pros:
    Easier to add in floor heating.
    Easier to upgrade to a heat pump.
    Easier to add central A/C
    Maybe not in your area, but in New England it is the best installation. You really need a pro to weigh in on this. I have been told that it doesn't dry out the air the way a traditional Forced Hot Air system works.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default air

    One advantage of a forced air system is that it is easier to add airconditioning to it. Heated air is heated air, and it doesn't matter where the heat comes from, whether gas burner or hot water.

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    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    Let's start by busting the myth that forced hot air "dries" the air out. That's impossible. If the air is moisture laden where does this moisture go? It doesn't condense inside the ductwork does it? No forced hot air will not dry anything out. Air conditioning on the other hand, does. It removes moisture from the air and sends it down the condensate line. The choice of hydronic or forced hot air is strictly a presonal one. In the north east we install hydronic about 3 to 1, but thats mostly regional bias. Truth is a properly designed forced hot air system will always be more efficient because there is only one exchange of air as opposed to two with hydronic. Forced hot air is usually less expensive and mre versatile when it comes to add on's like AC, electronic air cleaners and humidification.

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If your heat source doesn't have a controlled source of combustion air, your relative humidity will likely decrease during heating season, since it is pulling in dryer outside air into the dwelling and running some of it up the chimney. But, if you are providing combustion air, the total humidity won't change...the relative humidity will go down as you heat up the place, but at any level, the humidity stays the same.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    In a really cold climate, can get a gas forced air furnace big enough to handle the entire load? Or is about 120,000 BTU the upper limit for one unit?

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