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Old 08-08-2009, 11:15 AM   #1
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Changing my heating system, need advice


Hello All!

- This post is gonna contain a lot of info, i'm sorry -

I haven't posted here in a while. I've only posted once, and it was in regard to my hydronic heating system : Apollo Forced Air Furnace, leaking water

Let me give you all information about my current setup, and then - hopefully - you guys can recommend the best way to update my heating.

So, here's a basic photo of my setup:

(yes i am pro at ms paint - and yes i'll be here all week)

so, in short, this is whats happening. hot water from my hot water tank (tank is an Apollo 5010 unit) is pumped to the blower up in the attic. Here the water is ran through a 'radiator' and then hair is blown through that radiator to send heat throughout the home. The AC portion of the system works the same, which I'm sure is self explanatory.

NOW, whats wrong with this heating setup? Well, for one, the radiator in the blower started leaking, BAD (as you can see in my old thread). I fixed the leak, but i'm not satisfied with the system. Also, as the hot water tank also provides hot water for my showers and other things, in the winter, I tend to get inherently pissed off when I run out of hot water, which is often, as the hot water is being used to heat the house as well.

These are 3 options I've considered:

1. Keep my AC condenser, and blower unit. Get a boiler and make the heated water a closed circuit, so that the corrosion factor of the water is drastically reduced, therefore making the system more reliable and leaking radiators is no longer a problem.
I like this idea, although, I was lookin at some boilers listed on Grainger.com, and the cheapest one is about 1700 dollars. I figured a basic boiler would be considerably less??

2. Keep my AC condenser, install a tradition 90% gas furnace. Frankly, I don't like this idea all that much. I'd put the furnace in the garage next to the hot water tank, as there are gas lines there. but THEN i'd have to plumb the AC condenser to the furnace (which is on the opposite side of the house). In addition, I'd have to have ducting going from the furnace in the garage to where the blower is in the attic. It just seems like a lot of work, unless you can prove me wrong. Gas furnaces are cheaper than the boilers I'm seeing and heat pumps tho.

3. Get a heat pump. If i go to grainger.com, and look at heat pumps, they on average the same price as the water boilers I was lookin at. In addition to the "heat pump" unit (which contains AC and a way to heat), I'd have to get another unit that contains some coils and a blower, correct?

This is my first house. I plan on doing some minor remodeling (laminant floorings, paint, etc) to up the equity and sell it in ~5 years when the market turns around. Keep this in mind.

I can't seem to figure out what the best option would be. Money is obviously an issue, but so is ease of installation (ease of installation and cost are directly connected).

I need advice. What should I do? I live in the pacific northwest (Vancouver, WA) where we only get a few weeks out of the year with extreme weather (and by extreme, i mean, we had 3 days of 106 degree heat, and then in the winter we had a 3 week winter storm that resulted in snow, and temps were probably in the 10s).

I've also been told, replace the ''radiator'' thats in the blower unit up in the attic, and just deal with it, as 5 years is a "short" time.

Help me. Guide me.

-Seth

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Last edited by sethfc; 08-08-2009 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:35 PM   #2
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Changing my heating system, need advice


It sounds like the biggest problem is running short on Hot water for showers. Why not just dedicate the heater you have for the heating system and install a dedicated water heater for the domestic use. If you are moving in 5 yrs this would be the most econimical way to go.

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Old 08-08-2009, 09:52 PM   #3
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Changing my heating system, need advice


Heat pump and a instantaneous water heater would be a good but not so cheap choice.
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Old 08-09-2009, 02:27 PM   #4
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Changing my heating system, need advice


Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH1 View Post
It sounds like the biggest problem is running short on Hot water for showers. Why not just dedicate the heater you have for the heating system and install a dedicated water heater for the domestic use. If you are moving in 5 yrs this would be the most econimical way to go.
you are the second person to recommend this. i'm kinda with it. where can i look up prices for hot water heaters that have not super huge tanks? grainger.com has a few but they're all sizes you'd want for your house for normal usage. i want something small
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:46 AM   #5
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Changing my heating system, need advice


edited by me, because i've been workin with someone 1 on 1.

will post what he has helped me come up with

Last edited by sethfc; 08-10-2009 at 06:07 PM.
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