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HVAC options for 400 square foot addition

ShannShann Posts: 2Member
I am pulling off an old shed and adding a roughly 400 square foot addition off my kitchen.  It will be separated by a door (i.e. not open to kitchen).  I currently have an oil burner fired baseboard hot water system in my 1700 square foot house. 

We are going to go with a polished concrete floor, and I was thinking it would be nice to have radiant heat.  But I think it would be a lot cheaper just to go with baseboard which we  have in the rest of the house.  I was also looking at the mini-split heat pumps because of the small size of the room, but it gets very cold here in the winter.

I'm in Vermont so we  have a lot of cold weather, but I also would like AC because it will get a lot of sun in the summer.  I'd like something a little nicer than just tossing in a window unit. 

My broad question is whether any of you have dealt with these parameters and what do you think the best option is, cost being a significant consideration but not the only one,  I think my budget overall is sufficient for any of the options but I'd rather spend wisely.


  • SnowmeltSnowmelt Posts: 708Member ✭✭
    edited July 2014
    Sounds like my typical customer

    Install a ductless in the wall & go with the base board, if you feel like splurging and want a better heating system for that particular room go with the radiant floor.

    It's really a quick choice to make.
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,265Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2014
    Thinking alike:

    Snowmelt said it first. If you're pondering cost, you'll be going with HW baseboard and using a Mini-Split for cooling in the summer.

    I personally would never install an insect door into the side of my house. Especially if there is a light in the room and you have a window AC. You get Black Flies where you are? They might get in. The "Noseeums " will really be in.
  • SpenceSpence Posts: 316Member
    Wise Spending

    Since you're building from the ground up, why would you want to install two different systems? Your mini-split heat pump is a fantastic idea; heating and cooling in one unit. Make sure the one you choose has rectified DC compressor operation so you have the modulating benefits for different load days.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 9,556Member ✭✭✭✭

    no heat pump or forced-air unit can ever equal the comfort or efficiency of hot-water or steam. That's reason enough for most of us. 
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,265Member ✭✭✭✭
    'Nuff Said:

    "Nuff Said.
  • SpenceSpence Posts: 316Member
    Spending Wisely?

    So, you expect the homeowner to create two distinct systems, when he is building from the ground up, and should be able to heat the room addition with a light bulb.
  • SnowmeltSnowmelt Posts: 708Member ✭✭
    Spend wisely

    Spence I want the homeowner to have the best heating system, so that would be George thermal with a water to water application, then go with either George thermal a/c or ductless, for domestic I want to install solar water with a 400 gallon holding tank in basement.

    But I know this will never happen.
  • SpenceSpence Posts: 316Member

    Sounds as if this is a wonderful system, and I have no doubt the homeowner would be comfortable after your work. We are all in the comfort business and want the best end result for our clients.

    However, my point is this: if you're lucky to be working with a ground-up, we have a real advantage here, and that is exactly the root of your slogan regarding conservation. We make people comfortable by replacing heat at precisely the same rate as it is lost to the atmosphere. The smaller that loss is, the heating and cooling plants need less capacity to neutralize the losses. No matter the size of the structure or design temperature; balance loss with the identical rate of comfort conditioning. It's rather simple, really. Don't lose anything so you don't have to replace anything. This logic lends itself nicely to having one unit heat and cool.
  • SnowmeltSnowmelt Posts: 708Member ✭✭
    If that was the case

    When we add ac instead of installing a air handler I would install a furnace with a a coil in every application and say when your boiler brakes down don't worry I installed a furnace so you have heat and ac out of one unit so it's less foot print in the house.

    I remember going to a job where he had a boiler, he wanted to install a furnace because furnaces where above 92% efficient and the existing boiler was tops 80%. So his heating bill woul be 12% less.

    Then he didn't want to put it in the attic, because something to do with pressure. So I installed it in his kid closet. Then ran duct work to the attic. Then for the return he can right out of that closet and made a return.
  • SWEISWEI Posts: 5,554Member ✭✭✭✭
    Cases and thats

    How much did he actually end up saving?
  • RobGRobG Posts: 1,850Member ✭✭✭✭

    What is the planned use for this room? Is it a mud-room? What are your expectations for the space?

    Until we know the answers to the above questions, recommendations are pointless.

  • ShannShann Posts: 2Member

    The two main uses of the room will be as an exercise room and a space for the dogs to stay during the day.  There will also be a wall of storage cabinets.   

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