hot air heating versus radiators

Hi I live in a 1991 built semi with 3 bedrooms and the heating system is gas fired warm air by Johnson and Starley. It is again starting to get noisy, I must by a can of WD40. I already had the fan replaced a few years ago.
After discussing(arguing?) it with my wife she has said that she never liked the heating anyway and wants to replace it with radiators. I was wondering if there was any sites that compare the merits and costs of running the 2 systems and also if anyone knows if radiators would be cheaper to run than the present warm air system? I spend about 360 a year at present on gas for the heating and hot water and cooking and wonder if the running costs of radiators would be significantly cheaper or dearer. I was wondering if there would also be a saving on my electricity as I assume running a central heating pump would consume less electricity than a dirty great big fan.
Also because of the constant hot water( there is no automatic on off switch for the hot water other than manually turning the thermostat down) I have a power shower. Would I still be able to use this if I got a new more efficient hot water system or would I need a new shower. I used to have radiators in another house and when they first came on they used all the hot water until it heated up again as I found out when I started to run a bath just as the timer switched the radiators on, but that was a coal fired system.
Another cost saving would be that I would no longer need a maintenance contract with Scottish gas as there is less to go wrong with a radiator system than a warm air system.
I have a garage attached to the side of the house so I would hope that the boiler could be situated there. So I am looking for some advice and suggestions from people who have changed from hot air to radiators or anyone who wants to chip in.
Thanks Ronald
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On 1 Oct,

I replaced my warm air heating with radiators in 1993. At about the same time I replaced my electric tumble drier with a gas one, which should have increased gas consumption. Gas bills were considerably reduced. Apart from not using a condensing boiler (would have paid for the difference in cost in 40 years of use) the system would meet current regulations.
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Ron wrote:

forced air is a cheaper alternative to rads (to install), and has a few drawbacks: - noise - dust blown about - whiffs transferred round the house
Hence it remains unpopular in UK. In US OTOH its the standard method.
Run costs are similar, the big fan means more on the leccy bill, and a bit less on the gas, but overall a bit more money.
Replacing an old system would improve run costs if the new boiler is more efficient, but not not if its the same efficiency.

ah. If that happened on a gas system it would be lousy design. HW gets priority. Coal systems tend to lack proper controls.

no theres more. Forced air is just a big fan and ducts, a hydronic system has plumbing, rads, pump, header tank, TRVs, inhobitor, ballcock... thats why forced air is cheaper to install.
NT
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<snip>

maintenance
radiator
In deed, my modern 6 year old wet radiator heating system has had more problems than my mothers house 25 year old hot air gas fired system (the ducting etc. is 40 years old [1]) has had in the 10 years she has lived in that house...
[1] The only reason it was changed was due to a change from oil to gas.
There is also the 'problem' of space using radiators, air grills take up far less space and are far less obtrusive, when changing to a wet (radiator) system you might well find that you need to re arrange the room furnishings or even that you don't have the space for all the furniture that you did - having lived with wet systems, using both cast iron radiators or slim-line steel radiators, (wet) under-floor, and hot air heating in various houses I would say my favourite system is hot air, heating of the room is far quicker, the noise level is not that obtrusive if the system is maintained and with a modern system with air filtering etc. the room air quality *could* in fact be better than that with a wet system.
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Jerry that was very sensible. You have astounded me.
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gas

noisy, I

liked
wondering
2
Not so. About the same in new builds.

Not so. The latest units are very quiet. A lot has happened since 1991. Also, it is worth having the cupboard sealed up too. Not a big job.

Not so. The latest units have electrostatic air filters which are recommend for asthmatics.

Not so. The filters kills any smells.
What you spouted are the old wives tales of forced air. Forced air can also cool a house by circulating air.

Because of old wives tales and poor, cheap installations.

The US know how to fit them.

Not so. Forced air is usually cheaper.

Nope.
hot
bath
Forced air is not cheaper to install. In some homes where the house was designed around the units that may have been the case.
Dry system are superior to wet systems. As soon as you put water in a container it wants to get out. And eventually it does. Wet system sludge up too. A modern sealed CH wet system is more problematic than a forced air system. ....and no ugly rads on the walls.
New registers can be fitted to give better and in some case auto control. Some registers are motor controlled and open and close to a room stat. When most registers are closed the fan motor drops its speed to suit so no noise. The fan motor also drops it speed when up to temperature too. All easily updated.
Johnson & Starley make direct replacement units which are a world away from the old units, with electrostatic air filters, modulating fans and burns via electronic control.
Look at: http://www.plumbingpages.com/forums/ViewTopics.cfm?Forum 
It is a no-brainer......keep the forced air system, with new state-of-the-art unit.
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Doctor Drivel wrote:

Thank you for the good information Dr Drivel. Yep, you heard!
I used a building with 1970s hot air heating, and it was as I described. Quite workable, but clearly not as good as hydronic. But as Drivel kindly pointed out, all these issues are quite overcomeable.
NT
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snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:

Forced hot air (!) heating is a bit nicer than the repulsive underfloor, but not much.
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snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:

Dribble does have his occasional moments, this was almost one but the filters he mentions are utterly hopeless for taking kitchen and bathroom smells (both "those" smells and strong smelling shampoo etc) out of general circulation. It's far better to dump the air from both those areas to waste via a heat recovery system.
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wrote:

Lord Hall, stop pretending to be someone else. You are not Matt, you are Lord Hall, who resides at Makita Palace.
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Dribble I'm not Lord Hall, never have been, never will be.
I must admit I do have a few Makita tools though.
I could quote you the serial numbers of those tools in exchange for the builders name of your "Aston Martin" engine and the last digit of the engine number.
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wrote:

Matty boy, you are Lord Hall, and you have a shed full of Makitas.

Lord Hall has these.

You could. Now Lord Hall, I really want to know your Makita serial numbers. I really do.
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We have J&S warm air and I've wondered about the cost.
However I thought it was quieter and less complex than a water system which has pumps, pipes, lots of water. Also it gets warm quickly but hasn't got the very hot radiators to put your backside on. Overall I can't justify changing it as its not on in the day and is only needed for 6 months of the year.
We use an immersion heater for hot water as the pipe runs would be too long from the boiler.

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Ron wrote:

In principle I find that use of warm air eliminates cold spots a bit better than rads and therefore should be a little cheaper..
The devil is in the detail though.
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FYI, hot air heating can cause problems for people with breathing problems or asthma, as it blows lost of dust particles around from within the vents etc. Mara

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Read back on the thread. Electrostatic air filters are available that are recommended for asthmatics.
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On 3 Oct,

That's one of the reasons I changed to a wet system.
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problems
vents
You obviously didn't do your research. You turned in a superior system for a crock.
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