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RBR 09-17-2009 10:53 AM

Steam to Hydro Air Conversion
I am considering replacing my oil steam boiler and radiators with a hydro air system. I keep hearing that steam heat is the most comfortable. Am I crazy to change over to hydro air? Background:

- Original steam heating system from 1939 (when house built)
- 3600 sf house located in NYC suburbs (not great insulation but not the worst)
- Single zone system (master bedroom has poor heat as it was an addition and just never worked well from the start)
- I installed central Air 4 years ago so the house is is set up in three zones with dual speed air units for AC (I also had hydro coils installed at that time in each unit with a view a may convert down the road)
- I want to add heat to a room over my garage and there are no radiators set up threre for my steam system (currently a broken propane heater which I need to replace)

My hot water tank (seperate oil heater attached to it) started to leak and it is going to cost about $2300 to replace which is driving the need for me to finally decide what to do. It would also cost me about $3500 to fix a broken propane heater that I have in the room over my garage. If I went with hydro, I would be able to eliminate the need for a seperate hot water tank system. My thought is for about $12 thousand I can replace the entire system with an efficient three zone hyrdro air system and add another smaller zone for the room over my garage (and finally fix the heat in my master bedroom).


- I keep hearing that steam heat and radiators are the best / most comfortable heat - am I crazy to conver to a hyrdro air system where the air cycles on and off more frequently.
- Is hydro air a comfortable heating system compared with steam radiators
- Would I likely save much money each year with a new system

Thank you so much in advance. I am stuck on what to do and I have to decide soon to either just replace my hot water tank or change the entire system.

beenthere 09-17-2009 04:23 PM

Hydro air may give you a cool draft feeling when it shuts off.
Also, if your ducts are in unconditioned space. And the return draws in fresh air. Your home will become dryer in the winter.

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