Old "Electric" House, wanting new heating system

My wife and I recently moved into a new (36 year old) house which was very well kept my its previous owners. The only downfall to this house is that it has electric baseboard heating distributed with control modules for each room. When we were originally looking at the house before purchasing it, the owners at the time left out a years worth of Electric bill statements. And in the coldest parts of the year (Jan, Feb, etc) the bills hovered around 480 to 500 monthly.
Not being a fan of electric heating, I'm currently entertaining heating installers to provide alternate heating methods. Back in '84 the owner installed central A/C with ductwork extending to both floors from the Attic. I'm interested in reutilizing this. And I understand that the drawbacks might be that there will be some cools spots with the fact that the vents are in the ceilings.
So far, I've met with 2 heating suppliers/installers. The first guy gave me quotes for Lennox products in both heat pumps and Propane burning furnaces. I am not a big fan of Heat Pumps, and feel that they are not made to be installed anywhere north of North Carolina, but to each his own I guess.
Anyhow, the prices for instillation of the Propane Furnace (minus Tank, etc) ran from about 4100 to 4600 depending on model. Heat Pump range was from 4000.00 to 11,000.00 depending on model as well. I feel this is pretty high for a basic 1 day install...
Just yesterday, I met with the 2nd installer, and we talked about propane, but in the course of our conversation, I felt that I really don't want to have a tank either buried or sitting on the ground anywhere on our property. He suggested and Oil furnace. At first I hesitated as I have reservations about anything Oil in my house for some reason. But when he described that we could easily fit the tank in my unfinished portion of the basement, I warmed up to the idea. So this is what he's creating a quote for me on installing.
I must say that initially he was interested in installing one of those "Hydro-Air" systems which I'm not opposed to, but because of oil heat venting issues from a basement install, this system basically wont work for me.
I'd be curious of any thoughts and or comments regarding to this. And perhaps any other suggestions you might offer.
Oh, the specs for the house:
Well insulated custom build 2 story Colonial home with "slabbed" kitchen/garage. About 26 double-pane wood frame Pella windows Lennox 4 Ton A/C system installed w/ductwork extending down from ceiling.
Thanks, Brian
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Switching from electric resistive heat to a heat pump (which will have even more electric resistive heat back-ups) is just plain ludicrious.

Odd, you don't want the high-cost electric heat, or a heat pump, or propane tanks and you're against anything oil in your house for some reason. That only leaves natural gas.
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solar?
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I figured he already has windows...
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Brian,
Don't write off heat pumps yet. You could go ground source heat pump (often called geothermal heat pump or GEOExchange), which can work in just about any climate. The direct exchange geothermal (i.e. ECR Tech.) provides extremely high efficiency plus much warmer air than conventional heat pumps or other GSHP. It's not cheap initially, running about $4k/ton but it will provide heating and cooling and you won't have to run oil or gas tanks. Published reports show savings to be between 20%-50% depending on the efficiency of the system and utility costs. With oil costs going up the way they are, the payoff of the GSHP system will be quite fast, again depending on usage and utility costs.
If you're unfamiliar with GSHP technology, see
http://www.geoexchange.org / http://www.ecrtech.com/content /
Beware of contractors who write off GSHP technology. Often they'll plant doubt by saying that they're unreliable and cost a fortune to fix. On the contrary, systems like the ECR one, are very simple. They're basically the same as a normal A/C system except that instead of cooling the compressor coils using forced air, they use the ground. The air handler for these systems is often an off the shelf unit, so any competent HVAC pro can service that portion.
good luck.

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This is Turtle.
With all the dislikes you stated here. Your going to have to decide what source of fuel your going to use on your home and then we might be able to comment on what the story can be.
TURTLE
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Fuel source would be Oil -- since I can put the tank in my basement easily. Don't have access to natural gas, leaving propane. I originally wanted propane, but after I met with a Propane dealer, I decided against it because of installing/mounting tank difficulties.
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This is Turtle.
If you would go with a oil hot air furnace i would go with the AFUE rating above 90% . Now if you live in cold weather areas go 90% AFUE rating and if you live in warm areas of the country like the Southern USA. Go with the 80% AFUE rating.
Now prices being high or low : I install Natural gas , Propane, Heat Pumps, and Electric furnaces but no oil furnaces for we don't use oil in the south for Natural gas being so cheap. My Last years natural gas bill run me about $600.00 and that was the whole years bill combine. I have natural gas water heater, stove, and furnace. I really could not tell you about the cost of oil or natural gas bills if you live up north. Now I will say it seems that it would not be too much difference between a oil furnce and a propane furnace.
now price of a system being installed. If you get a good installer to do the job. Don't expect him to be the cheapest price for most good installer will get good money and never argue with you at all for if he is a good installer. He can name his price but with in reason as the people he deals with know they don't have trouble out of a good and well installed system. Now there is a bunch of Rookies that claim to be the top of the line installers but you will have to find out who is the best and who is the Rookies or Crooks. There is the ratio here on Rookies, Crooks, and Professional HVAC installers. Quite No Bull Professional Respectiable Installers -- 33% Smooth Mouth Rookies / Don't know how to install correctly -- 33% Crooks / Smooth Mouth Careless Installers / Idiot installers -- 33%
A poor installation can cost you in repair bills and operating cost the total price of the installation cost over the life of the equipment. Pay Now or Pay much more Later.
Do expect to pay for a Professional Respectiable HVAC installer to do it for you don't have the big time trouble down the road. If you get a Rookie or a Poor installer. Don't pay more than Cost + 2% at best and know the Good HVAC repair company to come repair it.
TURTLE
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