|Posted by A Kalmes on February 09, 19100 at 21:48:04:|
I am replacing the heating and AC systems in my walkout rambler (2500 sq.ft located in Minnesota). Previously the basement was unfinished and had limited ductwork (3 supplies and 2 returns). I have been working with a friend who is a local HVAC contractor who concluded that the cost to modify/replace the ductwork and install a new forced air system would be as much as a boiler system. This boiler system would involve using hot water baseboard heating in the basement and a heat exchanger/blower unit for forced air heating of the upper level. The boiler system would also make it much easier to heat a future addition to our house, allow us to have zoned heating of the basement and upper level, allow us to have radiant heating of tiled bathrooms (we had to tear up the floor for plumbing work anyway), and I love hot water heating. He also suggested using a hot water maker for providing hot water heat to the house.
With that backgroud I have the following questions:
1. How good are the hot water makers?, are they worth the cost (several times more expensive than a new water heater)? Since the boiler will have to run all year to supply hot water will the boiler wear out faster, or does the boiler running all the time prevent corrosion/rusting of the boiler?
3. If the hot water maker is used, potable hot water would be circulated through the infloor system (part of it is in concrete and part of it is below the upstairs floor). Is it acceptable to have potable water circulating through the infloor pipes (pex).
4. Should the piping in the walls for the baseboard heating be pex or copper?
5. Any other suggestions for this system?