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    Buy wall furnace or use existing radiant heat? (3 Posts)

  • mnhockeydude mnhockeydude @ 3:52 PM
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    Buy wall furnace or use existing radiant heat?

    I just purchased a split level duplex that was built in the early 1900s
    that I am using as a rental. It was heated by a natural gas hot water
    furnace. However, when the water heater went out the previous owner
    decided to convert the house to electric baseboard heat. In Northern
    Minnesota this can be quite costly. Before purchasing the house I looked
    over his utility bills from the previous year and discovered that he
    paid $900 just in electric for ONE MONTH (January). 
    I am renting the house out with all utilities included and need a more
    efficient and cost effective way to heat the house. I considered
    re-utilizing the old hot water system by replacing the boiler, however,
    the previous owner took out a few of the radiators and I am unsure of
    whether or not the system is completely closed still. There is no
    ductwork in the home at all, so putting in a natural gas central air
    system would be quite costly. I am considering running the natural gas
    line to each apartment and installing a direct vent wall furnace in each
    apartment and supplement the bedrooms with the existing baseboard heat
    integrated with a programmable thermostat. My concern is that there will
    not be enough air circulation with a lone standing wall furnace (especially for the bedrooms).

     The immediate problem with re-establishing the new boiler and baseboard radiators
    is that the main level radiators were removed and I would need to
    purchase new ones. I would also need to install a zoning system for each of the units so that they are controlled separately. The pipes are still there in the floor but I have no idea if I am
    missing piping of the closed system. I was thinking I could air
    pressurize the system and go through the house until I have everything

    of the apartments is approximately 1000 square ft. Would installing a
    ceiling fan in each main room where the furnace is, suffice? If I was to go with a single wall furnace for each room, what type
    of wall furnace would give me the best return on investment? Any other
    suggestions that I may be unaware of?

    I obviously want to get the most for my money and am willing to do some of the grunt work to get it done.
  • Jack Jack @ 4:03 PM
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    I'd suggest

    A Rinnai Energysaver, possibly 2 in each apt. I'd also look at Tjernlunds Airshare room to room fans. To get away with one unit positioning will be critical.

    My general disclaimer, I represented Rinnai in my business for many years and consult with them still, so bias noted. I do heat my home with them however;)
  • Steamhead Steamhead @ 10:10 PM
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    Find some good used radiators

    and put the hot-water system back in service. Your tenants will thank you. 
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"

    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists

    Oil & Gas Burner Service

    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
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