I live in Southeastern CT in a 2,500 sqft Colonial built in 1985 and heated by a combination of electric baseboards and a wood stove. My wife and I have lived in the house for 3 years. We love the wood stove, but not the work of cutting/splitting/stacking wood – at least not the amount of work it takes to support the stove for full-time heat. As a result, we are planning on upgrading our heating system.
I have considered a forced air system, a hydro air system, ductless minisplits, and a baseboard hot water system. We have settled on a baseboard hot water system with a propane boiler (natural gas is not available).
I have a few questions for you guys:
1. Most importantly – do any of you service Southeastern CT? I have met with a few contractors recently, and have been disappointed in some of the things they have told me, which seem verifiably false (hydro air apparently is the best system there is for allergies – much better than forced air, ductless minisplits don’t lose any efficiency as it gets colder). It feels like they are just telling me stuff they think I might want to hear, in order to sell me on the system they want to install. I have spent a few weeks reading stuff on these forums, and it seems like there are really knowledgeable people on here. So if any of you service SE CT, please let me know!
2. Can you give me a very rough estimate (+/- 5k) for what a baseboard hot water install should cost? I am willing to do any work possible myself to bring down the cost (e.g. removing the old electric baseboards, drywalling, etc). I am hoping for something in the range of $, but I’m not sure if that will be possible.
3. What is the best way to make a boiler work most efficiently in tandem with a wood stove? I roughly understand the idea of a modulating condensing boiler equipped with outdoor reset. If I understand correctly, when it is warmer, the outdoor reset tells the boiler to use lower temperature water, and that keeps the boiler in condensing mode. When it is warmer, the outdoor reset tells the boiler to use hotter water to make sure the house stays warm. Let’s say that my house needs 60k BTUs on a 20 degree day. Because it’s fairly cold out, the outdoor reset is going to tell the boiler to send pretty hot water to the system. And that will work out great if I don’t have the stove running, and if the system is well sized. However, if the stove is running and putting out say 30k BTUs, then the house will be warmer than the system thinks it should be, and so the return water will be warmer than expected. Is there a way for me to manually adjust the temperature curve based on whether or not I am running the stove? Does this question even make sense?