New construction - gas heating recommendations needed

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by Teresa1127, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. Teresa1127

    Teresa1127 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    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. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    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!
  3. Teresa1127

    Teresa1127 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Well that was ignorant of me to leave that info out! We are building in the NE on Long Island.
  4. Bill Arden

    Bill Arden Computer Programmer

    Messages:
    584
    Location:
    MN, USA
    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
  5. 99k

    99k Radon Contractor and Water Treatment

    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    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.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,680
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    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.
  7. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    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. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,051
    Location:
    New England
    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.
  9. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    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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