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    Radiant vs Forced Air (14 Posts)

  • Radiator04 Radiator04 @ 10:12 AM
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    Radiant vs Forced Air

    Our 30 year boiler recently broke.  We ahd a heating and plumbing company come look at it.  They reccommended replacing it.  I got a quote from them and then called another company.  Got a quote from them also (looking between 2000 to 5000).  Second company reccommended going from radiant heat to forced air.  Not sure what to do.  The switch would cost about 10,000.  Any advice on what to do?  Also are we are getting a fair price on our quotes.  Not sure what a decent boiler costs.
  • Paul Pollets Paul Pollets @ 10:19 AM
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    Forced air typically costs 40% more in yearly energy costs than a hydronic system that is designed and installed properly. If you need A/C, it may be viable. Don't expect the comfort that hot water heating delivers.

    The replacement costs for the boiler seem unrealistic. In my market those costs are the costs of materials. Each company will have different pricing, dependent upon their overhead and other factors. Recommending forced air suggests you called a furnace shop, not a shop that specializes in hydronic heat.
  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 7:24 AM
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    Prices seem off'

    I wouldn't trust anyone changing a boiler for $2000, they are most likely going to take your deposit and never be seen again... Even if thats after rebates and incentives, I couldn't install a used boiler that I took out for free for that amount of money....

    Anyway, As far as Radiant vs FWA.. Do you have in floor radiant or radiant panels, baseboard, radiators??? If you are comparing a properly installed in floor radiant system to a furnace fired forced warm air system, the in floor radiant is going to win in Comfort and efficiency every time...

    Even if you want A/C, unless your radiant is in some way failing {old metal pipe system that is starting to leak, or not properly installed in some way} then I would just install a/c separately {maybe use a unit with a hydro coil for aux.} and get a new boiler;;;

    I prefer a boiler with hydro air unit vs a straight forced warm air furnace... Installing duct work in an existing houses is an invasive procedure, and gets costly fast, I wouldnt do it unless you were looking for central AC, in that case its better than window units or mini splits....
  • SilverCheetah SilverCheetah @ 11:19 AM
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    More Information

    A few questions:
    1) How many floors do you have?

    2) Are the radiators cast iron and old ones with bleeder valves?

    3) Is the basement all open (if you have one) to the first floor.

    If so, you can have radiators on the 2nd level and radiant on the 1st level.  With the correct piping and mixing valve you can have both. It is suggested highly that you have a high end air eliminator installed (spirovent, etc.) in the system for the radiant.  If handy, you can purchase your own materials and install the 1/2" pex tubing (do not use 3/8") with transfer plates and then use the bubble wrap insulation (good and bad reviews) and attach the tubing to your supply and return manifolds (compression fittings). You will need 2 people to run the tubing.
    Check out The webiste has calculators that can give you an idea of what you will need. They are extremely helpful and very competitive with pricing. I personally like the transfer plates, although there are many ways to do this through the sub-floor.

    4) Also are there hardwood floors, tiles, carpeting on the first floor. Many factors to consider before making any changes.   I would suggest having a detailed written estimate from a company that specializes in what you are looking for. Check them out with the BBB to determine if there has been any complaints.  If not walk and be careful.   If your piping is already set up where you can add on then all this could be possible.

    It is suggested you attach clear and precise pictures as well.
    This post was edited by an admin on April 19, 2013 11:22 AM.
  • Gordy Gordy @ 10:58 PM
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    Silver cheetah

    How's the Detailed heat loss coming ? Your thread died just wondering?
  • Gordy Gordy @ 10:56 PM
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    First of all

    What do you have for emitters? Baseboard, radiators, radiant floor, walls, or ceilings?

    Why is it suggested to switched to forced air?

    Gotta agree with Paul, and Heatpro.
  • Jack Jack @ 8:03 PM
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    I would never add ductwork

    to an existing home. IN fact, I would never install duct-work n a new home. You basically have to tear the house down to do a "good" install. I would recommend that you move ahead with the boiler install and if you need cooling with a very effective heat side as well, that you look at mini-split heat pumps. Muuuucccchh more efficient, ultimate in zone control and quiet. and are the two top brands.

    BTW, you don't say where you are.
  • Gordy Gordy @ 9:24 PM
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    Not everyone likes the gaudy minisplit units on the wall, but do agre with you on their efficiency.
  • Rich Rich @ 5:56 PM
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    this is the 21st century . Gaudy evaporators are not the only thing anymore . Fujitsu makes a nice unit that can mount horizontally or vertically in a wall or ceiling that simply looks like a forced air register .   And for the OP , Those estimates for replacement are certainly No good . Call others in the area . Equipment and piping would cost around the higher number .  Good luck
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would
    This post was edited by an admin on July 12, 2013 5:58 PM.
  • Gordy Gordy @ 5:43 AM
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    Yeah Rich I know what exists, and over 3Gs per ton.
  • Rich Rich @ 1:24 PM
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    is right . Not anywhere near that price from my wholesaler .  It is a shame when parties make good technology unaffordable . You gotta shop nowadays just to keep em honest . One supplier here attempting to collect 359.00 for a 008 VDT while I can get it down the street for 167.00 . What business school did these guys go to .   I know you know whats available but yet you brought up the UGLY Evaps .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would
  • Gordy Gordy @ 4:53 PM
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    I don't mind the evaps. But ya know women, and if the mrs isn't happy well ya know.
  • Rich Rich @ 5:23 PM
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    The Mrs.

    can certainly make for Horrible Indoor Environmental Quality . LMAO
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would
  • Radiant_Mum Radiant_Mum @ 11:16 AM
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    Radiant vs Forced Air

    If you've got the system in place, and a boiler stands to cost you up to half the cost, I'd stick with radiant heat for sure. Forced air is much less efficient, relies on fossil fuels (more expensive) and compromises air quality.
    Radiant systems provide a more efficient, even heat without all the hassle. I'm not sure about boiler costs, but this link might get you there [u][color=#0066cc][/color][/u]. Lots of great information, and much of it is free.
    If you call, they are happy to help, whether you buy something or not.
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