Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Need advice on Heating/Cooling

Options
kschell
kschell Member Posts: 1
We purchased a home in upstate NY in Nov.2016, drained the pipes and winterized. The original part of the house was a 1902 one room school house, an addition was put on in 1963. Has a rock foundation in good shape, basement with cement floor that houses a furnace that looks large and old, it is oil and every room ( except kitchen) has baseboards. The furnace makes a lot of noise when it comes on and our engineers inspection described it as old and functioning. The baseboards in the main living area are steel (painted). We want to have air conditioning and we know we need to replace the furnace for something more efficient and dependable. The electric goes out often in the area due to power outages so we were also thinking of a generator. There is a large oil tank in the basement. What are your recommendations? The flooring in the house consist of pine plank, tile in kitchen and old brick in hallway. Not sure about furniture placement with all the baseboards. We plan to start working on the house next month.

Comments

  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,328
    Options
    Hello: Seems to me that the first things to do are to air seal and then insulate the heck out of the house. From there, (with greatly reduced demand) look at heating and cooling if still needed. It could be that simply adding a reflective roof and/or appropriate shading could eliminate the need for cooling. There is a fun book called "No Regrets Remodeling" that could help get you through the decision making process. ;)

    Yours, Larry
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,074
    Options
    IIWM, I would stick with the baseboard heaters. As far as furniture placement, the baseboard heaters are air convectors. You receive little heat from the front of them. As long as the bottom air inlet is open to free space and the footprint of the top discharge outlet is open to allow air flow, then the flow of heated air could continue.
    Say a solid back dresser with legs is pushed tight against the BB, that air flow would actually increase due to the chimney effect of the added height of the dresser.
    Now the same dresser with no legs sitting solid on the floor in the same place would stop almost all heated air flow.
    Different commercial convectors may have the same element in them but the taller they are the more heat is produced because this effect.

    Most likely a new boiler, oil or LP if you do not have NG.
    Domestic hot water could be supplied by the same boiler thru an indirect tank.
    The condition of the oil tanks and existing chimney are to be considered if staying with oil.

    For AC I would consider the minisplit heat pump/AC. This would give you the most economical cooling possible and the same for heating down to perhaps the 10-20's when the boiler would take over. An open floor plan lends more to the mini's to avoid multiple indoor heads.
    In addition to this I would put a small hard wired electric heater in the bathroom(s) to avoid heating the entire house for those visits.
    What heats the kitchen now?
    How many sq feet in the house?
    Is the basement under the entire house?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,426
    Options
    I completely agree with @JUGHNE on the baseboards. Chances are that after you do some tightening up and insulating that you can run them at relatively low temperatures most of the time, suggesting a mod/con boiler (they're small) to heat them -- and then heat pump minisplits for any cooling and some shoulder season heating.

    If you really do get frequent power outages, that adds to the "keep the baseboards". The boiler and the associated pumps don't take that much power to run, meaning that you can get away with a smaller generator.

    On the generator: if you have natural gas, wonderful. Otherwise, I would very much consider the option of using LP. It does tend to be a bit pricey (where I am you are much better off with oil), but the generator and boiler can both run off it. One can get diesel generators, which could be run off your existing oil tank if you were to stay with oil, but they are a good bit more expensive than the LP variety.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,074
    Options
    If you replace the old BB with new it is to your advantage to install as much linear feet as practical. The more of it there is the lower the water temp can be and improve the efficiency of a Mod Con boiler if you go that route.

    A gas log type fireplace is another temp heat source.
    You would want one that has outside air for combustion and is vented to the outside....important!
    There are models that will operate without power if need be.

    Small wood stove is an option also, but if you have never had to tend a fire it can be a troublesome adventure. Needs good chimney, probably new ..$$.
  • soflo
    soflo Member Posts: 3
    Options
    Where's the average placement of a chimney in a newly remodeled home in areas where a chimney isn't common?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,426
    Options
    soflo said:

    Where's the average placement of a chimney in a newly remodeled home in areas where a chimney isn't common?

    Eh? Where it fits is the flip answer. Modern insulated metal chimneys can be installed pretty much anywhere you want them, so long as there aren't structural issues. They don't need a big foundation like masonry ones do!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England