Victorian, 80's or 21st Century heating?

Hi
Trying to decide how to heat my house - currently building an extension - turning my 2 bed bungalow into a 5 bed house + a few other rooms
I would like a system that works well, efficient and relatively cheap to install.
The options as I see it are
Radiators (Victorian) - MUST be inefficient having to heat the water that hot to try any get a bit of convection going? - however current system uses Rads - would be the path of least resistance
Wet under floor heating (80's) - Must be more efficient than Rads - lots of pipes - would my existing boiler (Valient Combi) work effectively with it (I assume it was not designed to produce lots of low temperature water) - Its slow to respond to temperature changes? - Any places I can get further installation info ? - Could I use the return water (lower temp) from the current Rad system to heat the extension (at least until I can mod the rest of the house) - Using relatively low temperature heat _ could I supplement the heat source at a later date i.e. solar, wind, waste water recovery etc?
Hot air system (21st Century) - What I can gather from my cousin who uses these systems to heat swimming pool buildings _ is that they are stunningly fast to respond?
- have a void under my bungalow and extension so could install ducting
- Should be efficent because of the lower temperature? - What about condensation / humidity? - Could I use the return water (lower temp) from the current Rad system to heat the extension (at least until I can mod the rest of the house) - Using relatively low temperature heat _ could I supplement the heat source at a later date i.e. solar, wind, waste water recovery, wife running on a tread mill, etc?
Thank you
Cameron
--
Cameron


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Efficient is more expensive, relative cheap may not be as efficient.
There are a ton of other questions that need to be asked and the manual calculation need to be done for proper sizing and air flow.
Call licensed contractors and ask them for some ideas and bids on their designs. People in your area probably all ready know the systems to stay away from.
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Modern water heating systems use pumps, not convection. A pump for a five bedroom, two story house is about the size of a fist. The modern radiators are fairly efficient - not the big blobs of iron used in the old days. While the system takes a bit of time to get going, the water retains the heat and the pump continues to distribute the heat after the burner has shut down.

Solar, yes. Wind, no - the energy density in wind isn't sufficient to generate heat for a house. Ditto waste water heat recovery - how much hot water are you going to flush down the drain? While waste heat recovery is a good plan, you have to supplement that with a very well insulated house to make it worthwhile.

Build-it-yourself heat exchanger? Why not do the whole thing correctly from the get go?
Mike
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There are none that meet all three of your criteria

Myuch more efficient than you think. The only negative is style. People think they are old loking and take up a lot of space, but they are one of the best methods of heating a room. Why convection? That is what pumps are for.

Not really. In a retrofit, it may be much less. Slow reaction times too.

Considering the size change, a new boiler is probably needed.

It is in your house so you can tell me.

Trande publications, web sites.

Sort of. As the water passes through each radiator it is giving off some of its heat energy. If you extend the run to other rooms, it will give off more of it and has to be reheated that much more to start the cycle. The boiler capacity will determine it is is enough to handle the entire house, but I doubt it. Heat output is finite. Depending on the load and the capacity of the boiler, it may not sufficiently heat hte house come cold weather. Load calculations must be done.

Sure, you can do that at any time.

Yes. They require duct work that may or may not be easy to install. Some people complain the are drafty. They tend to be a dryer h eat and need humidifcation.

Void? Good place for h eat loss also, but it may be possible to do it. Insulation needed, of course.

I'm not sure what you mean by this. Temperature does not assure efficiency.
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Sorry, Ed, but you'll confuse him with the bit about forced-air being dryer. Not so. Whether air is heated at furnace heat-exchanger, or at skin of radiator, a given temp rise will result in precisely the same change of relative humidity. Humidification with forced-air is a piece-of-cake.
Water leakage from system is another story, and should not be fixed.
HTH, J
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While you are scientifically correct. my nasal passages tell me different. At least that is my experience with two houses I lived in with forced hot air heat. Maybe older, less efficient equipment was a factor.
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I can't think of any reason why this should be any more inneficient than anything else. Where is you expect heat to be lost?
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Radiators provide comfort at lower air temperatures than forced air systems becaise they warm your body directly by radiation (hence the name) rather than having to heat the air first. They can be very efficient. Your boiler has a lot to do with that too. Look up the Hydrotherm Hydropulse boiler. It may well be that your old boiler was oversized, you may be able to use it over. Get a heating contractor to do a load calculation to find out. Where you are (climate) helps determine what system is best for you.
Stretch
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How well have you done the insulation?
Cameron wrote:

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