and what has to be done to change out the current HVAC system? Please keep in mind building science, being green and sustainablity.

Judi

She builds green 

Views: 842

Replies to This Discussion

Boy Judi, where to start?

 

First, a hydronic system can be used with any kind of heat delivery package you want in a structure -- hot water baseboard, panel radiators, radiant floor/wall/ceiling heat and hydro-air using an air handler and duct work (it's basically a forced air system using a boiler and air handler instead of a furnace).  In addition, you can also use the boiler to make domestic hot water very efficiently using either an indirect hot water tank or an "instantaneous" option using a flat plate heat exchanger.

 

Take my home as an example -- I have a high efficiency boiler supplying panel radiators and some radiant floor heating for my basement.  It also supplies an air handler with a variable speed ECM blower motor for forced air heat for the main level (there's an AC coil as well).  And I have a flat plate heat exchanger that makes all the hot water we'll ever need without having to "pay" to keep 40 gallons of water hot just in case I might use it.  The panel rads and radiant floor keep my finished basement (family room, two bedrooms, bath and office) WAY more comfortable than the old forced air system ever could (the basement was, in fact, almost unusable during the winter before we installed the panel rads. We had to use portable electric heaters to actually use that space), and the variable speed fan keeps the upstairs very comfortable - moreso than the fixed speed fan in the old furnace the I took out.  I also have an air-to-air HRV for indoor air quality.

 

In addition, last year my gas bill for the winter -- mid-October to mid-April here in Minnesota, totaled just over $506.00 for heat and hot water.

 

Other things to consider -- you would need an 8 x 14 duct to move the same amount of BTU's as a 3/4" copper pipe - you can easily drill out floor joists to run the 3/4" pipe -- you would have to hang the 8x14 duct below the joists - which takes up usable space and makes finishing the space a pain.

In addition, with the hydronic system you could take care of all your heating and hot water needs with just 1 burner.  That means only one appliance to gas-pipe, one appliance to vent and one appliance to service.  There's more room in my mechanical room/laundry room/home office, too.

In addition, hydronic-based heating systems lend themselves very nicely to alternative fuel sources - whether it's solar, geothermal, wood/pellet boilers and another other fuel type that transfers its heat to water.

 

This is a start -- I can post some pictures of my system if you like, as well as other examples.  Let me know...

 

 

Here's a link to my blog that might be useful to you....

Hi Judi.  John interpreted your question as pertaining to hydro-air, a hybrid system.

 

I'll let others chime in, and simply say one very good thing about hydronic systems is that at their best they're much quieter than air-moving systems, which frequently remind us they're working for us.

RSS

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Bob Blanchette posted a discussion

Dual Fuel Systems, at what point do they make sense?

Heat Pump with furnace backup. These make no sense in our area with local NG rates, but they do…See More
3 hours ago
Bob Blanchette joined Hal Skinner's group
Thumbnail

The RCC Classroom (Radiant Control Coatings)

A group where energy professionals can learn about all the different energy saving aspects of…See More
3 hours ago
Shashank Kirloskar posted a blog post

Important Facts about Solar Energy

“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait…See More
yesterday
reflintorm replied to Dennis McCarthy's discussion Solid state lighting - saves lives- and it improves life .
"In my observation, In most of the lightning appliances led bulbs are used because of their…"
yesterday
Chad Mcaulife posted photos
yesterday
Bob Blanchette commented on Jeremy Begley's blog post The Home Envelope : Does it Really Matter in a Heat Loss Calculation
"Infiltration makes a HUGE difference. Look at the heat loads on a windy day vs. a calm one. On a…"
yesterday
Bob Blanchette commented on Everblue's blog post Poor HVAC Installation Leads to Increased Energy Use
"That explains a LOT of why HVAC system continue to be sized by the same "rule of thumb"…"
yesterday
Profile IconChristian Asdal and Shashank Kirloskar joined Home Energy Pros
yesterday

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service