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Looking for A/C and possibly new heating system


We have a large Victorian, about 4000 ft2. We currently have 1 pipe steam heat fueled by oil. The house is well insulated (blown in) and has high quality storm windows.

We are looking to install some kind of air conditioning (not window units). The house has 3 floors. We mainly need air conditioning in the kitchen and the bedrooms, and would like to find the most efficient solution.

I have investigated Unico Systems mini duct system. Also the Mitsubishi ductless mini-split system. More recently someone said that if we were going to install ducts for air conditioning, we ought to switch over our heating system as well to something much more efficient. He first recommended the Bryant Evolution Extreme Heat Pump then a gas hot water system for heating and cooling.

We would like to do what's best for the house and the environment. We intend to live in the house for a long time. I would love any advice. Should we just do the air conditioning? Should we redo the heating at the same time? We live just south of Boston.

Thanks in advance for your help.



  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752

    Do not cross over into the dark side of Forced Air Heating. Nothing but regrets will be had.

    Install A/C. Update the boiler. Enjoy efficiency and comfort.

    The high velocity systems are great for a whole house. Mini splits are better for select rooms, but not necessarily a whole house.
  • Techman
    Techman Member Posts: 2,144
    DARK SIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    LOL ,I guess I've been living next to Darth Vader w/o even knowing it.It's the same as ever type of mechanical system on this web site. WHEN its done proper there are no regrets! Steam is real real good when done right. Steamhead sure seems to straighten out a lot of Knuckleheaded systems.I have done the same for Warm Air Systems . It all depends on a lot of factors.AnnieL I LOVE that name! Its the same as my wife's . Whats for dinner sweetheart! Stay w/ the steam and add AC, Unico or regular ducted is KindaSorta dependent on how much renovation is required. JStar sounds a little Darth Vaderish lol my friend!
  • don_9
    don_9 Member Posts: 395
    Right on

    Techman.Wise words from a professional listen to tech and good luck with whatever option you choose.

    Two words- duel fuel..
  • John Mills_5
    John Mills_5 Member Posts: 935
    Heat pump is fine

    for a little heat on a early season morning but it wouldn't be a wise move to replace radiator heat. Likely your vents will be in the ceiling and that isn't a good place for heat vents in a cold climate.

    I wouldn't put a heat pump on a Unico air handler however. Heat pumps like to move air, high velocity doesn't.
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