I'm going to have to replace my furnace and hot water heater next year
so I'm exploring some options. One of the biggest things I have to
consider is up front cost and on going cost. Currently I have a forced
air gas furnace and gas water heater.
I'm curious to know if replacing the furance with a radiant floor
heating setup would be cheaper. I'm bascially looking for some
ballpark, rough estimate answers that would tell me which of the
following would be cheaper to install:
DIY radian heating where I run the pipes and do all other plumbing, but
have a pro install the gas water heater that would heat both the house
water and the floors. DIY installation of a blower unit for the air
conditioner. (since there's no more furnace blower)
Have a pro install a new forced air gas furnace and a gas water heater.
Connect the air conditioner to the new furnance blower.
I know prices vary depending on which modles, etc. I choose and provide
different efficiency levels, but let's assume a mid
quality/price/efficiency point for both systems. If the comments I
receive point to the DIY radian floor heating installation being way
cheaper I would do more research. If both options are pretty much on
par, then I would probably just have a new furnace installed since I
don't have to do as much work.
Btw, I'm located in Ontario, Canada.
Thanks for all the comments,
Since efficiency is your goal why even consider Mid efficiency. Your
true cost is apples to apples the highest efficency of both. There will
be likely no payback junking a good system for another. Even if you do
the labor the materials are high. For your cheapest operating cost look
into a 94% -95% VSDC zoneable furnace and putting the extra cash into
upping R values
Replacing the existing will be cheaper first cost by a wide
margin. a high effiency furnace, 90% or better will be
cheapest to run/
If you want AC in the bargain go for a split system heat pump
instead of a gas furnace.
forget the radiant heat on a retrofit.
HVAC contractor since 1610
Post the details then.
Im sure its workable. Im just not so sure its cheaper on
balance to own and operate than forced air in his case...
expecially *if he wants air conditioning in the mix/
Radiant is cheaper to operate, but not anywhere near as cheap to install.
You can have radiant cooling, but the surface temps have to be above the dew
I think the OP is in Canada. They won't have quite the cooling needs as
someone in Miami...
I saw an odd installation in Clearwater Florida, a group of
offices, above the suspended ceiling was a direct expansion
net work of copper tubes (freon inside) running at about 35
degrees, and convecting cold air through grid panels in the
ceiling into the room, drip pans under the runs of pipe to
collect the condensate.. but have cost 3x what standard system
Correct. In SF calif. virtually all commercial buildings need
HVAC, but most homes doint even some high end homes...so...
they suffer a few days a year is all.
same in ontario Im sure.
a heat pump will be your most economical move...
a packaged heat pump the cheapest most reliable option and you
can install that yourself.. but be sure the ducts are large
enough and sealed well and well insulated. Buy the high
efficiency model. Rheem is a good buy for the money.
Simplest also. Easy to repair.
Thats cheapest heating / cheapest install.
To cut operating costs further, grossly oversize the ducts so
that you can shut down the bedrooms during the day etc when
not in use and living room areas at night... (via motorized
or install two smaller heat pumps, one for each separate area.
(you get redundancy that way too)... you can use portable
electric heaters for back up if and when the heat pump needs
repair or replacement.
If you want ultra cheap operation look into ground source heat
pumps (personally I think the install costs offsets the net
savings though and is more complex to maintain)
Dirt cheap are chinese window mounted heat pumps, but mounted
low in the wall instead. one in each room.
Through the wall split system heat pumps (wall mounted air
handlers) are nice...but expensive. and you have wall units
to look at.
Mechanical Engineer, HVAC contractor
Not below 25 def F or so, thats when you need to use the
electric resistance or gas furnace back up, thats one of the
reasons I recommended a *split system the indoor coil over
the top of a gas fired furnace.
In your area below zero is common, but on an annual basis
perhaps under 25F less than 20% of the yearly running hours.
Best design is to strategize for the predominate running
condition with provisions to handle the extremes... none the
less a local HVAC contractor should be consulted on the heat
pump as I had recommended... they will have all the figures...
how well your house is insulated is also an issue in that
regard... and zonability.
Forget about the so-called 'pros' who have demonstrated that they are CROOKS
Any DIY with average skills can do the same job for thousands less.
With rates as low as 5.8cents/kwh for electricity in Ontario consider ZONED
baseboard heat. It is much cheaper than central Gas heating. My bills went
from $1500/year to $300/year.
Sounds like you could be paying only ~ 100.00 a year to heat your fucking
trailer using a heat pump if you was to zone said system.
Installation costs will vary, so suggest get at LEAST ten quotes, you
Now all's left is to ponder any business model that would routinely provides
ten FREE quotes to idiots--hoping to get a single paying job....
Curious, what's a Canadian "dollar" worth these days, anyways ???
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