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Heating - Hydronic or Baseboard

Mjones Member Posts: 1
I am building a house and have to decide between Forced Hot Air, Baseboard, and Hydronic heat in the ducts. I have heard horror stories about forced air, wife doesn't like the look of baseboard, and am told by a number of friends and builders/HVAC specialists that Hydronic - Air systems are the best.

Any one able to shed light on this. What are the benefits of this type of heat vs. forced hot air. They are both blowing hot air around its just one uses a boiler and coils while the other uses a furnace. Would a forced air system with a home humidifier be the same as the Hydronic - Air System? Also is the comfort of the heat similar to that of HW Baseboard. The prices of the HW Baseboard and Hydronic are close enough that price isn't the deciding factor. And they are both considerably more expensive then hot air. The house will have central air. Also Radiant in the house is not an option, way too expensive.

Thanks in advance.


  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,086

    Most HVAC (Air Guys) will argue this. In my opinion you can control the comfort of the home and the heat loss of a structure better with hydronic heat. 

    Homes that are heated with hydro-air tend to be oversized for the heating side due to air handlers being sized to meet cooling loads so boilers tend to get oversized to match a head load versus a heat loss. For example a 3 Ton Air handler will give you 36,000 btus for the cooling side but gives 60,000 btus on the heat side. A brand new 3,000 sqft homes average heat loss is only roughly 40,000 btus but yet we try to stuff those 60,000 btu's in a first floor because the coil was sized for the cooling load. What happens? We tend to short cycle and rooms get uncomfortable.

    Baseboard is just one option. Have you looked at panel radiators or radiant panel baseboard. The panel rads will take up much less space and will allow for lower water temps and increase control for comfort. Panel baseboard replaces the existing kick moulding (looks just like it) and gives you a radiant heat.

    It all boils down to your comfort and which system is going to give you the best bang for your fuel dollars.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
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