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Old 08-29-2008, 05:13 PM   #1
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Hot Water Heating System in older house


Help!!!!! Hubby and I are looking at 57 yr old house, ranch style, no basement, has hot water heating system. We don't know anything about this type of heating system.........entire house is ran by electricity, no gas hooked up to it. This is in Michigan and we do have cold winters. How efficient are hot water/baseboard finned-tube distribution of heat? Will it keep the house comfortable day and night? Will I run out of hot water when doing dishes, running dishwasher, the clothes washer or taking baths or showers? Also can a central A/C system be hooked up to this type of heating system system? We love the house but are reluctant to buy without finding out more about this type of system. Hubby said it would be too costly to replace the heating system with natural gas furnace.........it would mean having natural gas hooked up to house <which is available on this street> and then ripping out all the baseboard fin-tubing and cutting new holes for heatducts and having to add the ductwork in a crawlspace since there is no basement. Lovely neighborhood, beautiful old brick house, well taken care of, but never updated from 1951.

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Old 08-29-2008, 07:19 PM   #2
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Hot Water Heating System in older house


it sounds like an electric boiler(heats water) then it is circulated around thru the baseboard FIN TUBES..your tap hot water might come off that boiler also but is totally seperate from the heating water.you can get the gas piped into the house from the street for a new gas boiler for the heating and a seperate hot water heater for your shower...dishes ....washing etc.can the exsisting baseboard be used would be a contractors estimate on new going on old with the update.on the AC side it would have to be a totally new system installed in the attic and registers on the ceiling or down the walls.this system with ducts can eliminate the new boiler by going with a gas furnace installed in the attic with the AC ..so that would be cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter.so that would only leave you the new hot water heater all this going with gas piped in from the street.depending on the exsisting insulation in that aged house forced warm air might call for better insulation being it isn't as efficent as baseboard

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Old 08-31-2008, 04:50 AM   #3
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Hot Water Heating System in older house


Electric boilers are 100% efficient, expensive to operate and require more maintanance than other boilers. Ask to see the utility bills from last year. You will probably get a lower electric rate because its all electric.

Hot water heat is the most comfortable, quiet and gentle heat, of all heating systems. Most people will not change once they have it and really love it. Your heating system is separate from the domestic hot water. Look for a water heater somewhere. Its electric and doesnt need a vent, so its probably in the crawl-space or a closet.

Have a licensed electrician inspect the service before you buy.

A/C can be added in the attic space. Its not uncommon here in Mi.

Last edited by 8 Ball; 08-31-2008 at 04:58 AM.
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