Planning the Heating System

September 21, 2010


I haven’t touched on our plans for heating the home yet.. mostly because we have been absolutely consumed with so many other big projects that need our attentions now… I mentioned over the summer, during demolition, that we decided to rip out the forced air furnace ducts after seeing their dismal and dangerous condition when we ripped open the walls. I have always hated forced air heat, and the one in this house seemed particularly dusty and toxic. We were always sick with some respiratory illness or another. The ducts in the house were horrible. The sections of ducting had never been connected together; they simply sat inside each other. Well, they had once sat inside each other. After 60 years, the ducts had split apart, exposing the inside of the ducts to the plaster dust and lathe inside the walls, and to the toxic lining they had slathered all over the exterior of the ducts. Talk about horror- I HATE forced air systems. Filthy, inefficient, and expensive. Yuk.

We still have our forced air furnace installed, though. We are eventually going to sell it. We’ve consulted with our Furnace Guy about getting a new, modern heating system. I’m not too keen on central heating, but the Furnace Guy said that is the best way to go when it comes to house values. So far, the decision is to go with the hydronic baseboard heat. Before we closed up the walls in the kitchen, I constructed a shaft made of PVC pipe, for the allowing of PEX piping to go up to the second floor when we decide to install the heating system.

A gas fireplace with sufficient BTUs can heat an entire room or zone! And they look beautiful!

However, this winter we are not having it installed. I installed electric baseboard heat in the bedrooms upstairs, and we will be placing space heaters in some of the rooms downstairs. Of course, I’d just LOVE to install a fireplace in the house. The home did once have fireplaces– in the living room and in the dining room, but they were old coal-fueled fireplaces, and not the clean-burning fireplaces that we know today. I will be building a section in the living room and the dining room with the hope of installing a gas-fired fireplace in each room. It would be so cozy. And I hear that gas-fired heaters are much warmer. I know a few folks who have them, and their homes are almost hot in the winter!

So that’s our decision thus far. Next year we will be getting a hydronic system. It’s too big a project to do (and pay for) this year, so for this season, we’ll endure the electric baseboard heat and space heaters. I’ll have more updates on that, to come.

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