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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Hot Water Radiator Heat vs. Forced Air Heat

    Thank you for the advice. We are interviewing a couple of more HVAC companies and a new option comes up. We are suggested to install a ductless mini-split heat pump system. The HVAC Company who suggests it thinks that it's best for our situation. Right now, the house uses window units for cooling. He says that for basement, since we are starting anew, this one solution solves the heating problem now and the cooling problem in a few months when summer comes. He says the system is quiet, efficient, looks great and saves space by not having pipes and radiators along the floor. It sounds great. What are you guys' opinions on the mini-split?

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: Hot Water Radiator Heat vs. Forced Air Heat

    Hi Paulette,

    I wonder if you could post your general location so that a more accurate evaluation can be done.

    You mentioned in one of your first posts that you live in a very cold area---this, along with other info like reserve capacity of the boiler you submitted, would reinforce my view that the basement apt. should be added to the existing hot water heating system---ongoing operational heating costs would be much lower following this strategy than any other I can think of.

    A ductless heat pump system in my opinion is more appropriate for parts of the U.S. that experience mild winters because 1) heat pumps become largely inefficient as the outside temp approaches 35 degrees--the manufacturers compensate by including resistance electric heating on these units that takes over & kicks in at these & lower temps usually causing very high electric usage & high electric bills in winter months.

    That being said, I favor the ductless mini-split AC unit or units that have become popular because of their excellent cooling abilities, ease of installation, & very low operational noise.

    Again, cooling would be secondary to your main goal of installing an effective hot water heating system if you live in an area where the cooling season is two months or so---you might also want to keep an eye on the day sometime in the distant future when the property will be sold---it will be much more attractive & command a higher selling price to prospective buyers if it can be easily divided into 3 apts/condominiums with separate heat & cooling, or at least zoned off for heating & cooling.

    Remodeling a basement apt. for occupancy brings up a list of additional considerations: the first one is making sure there is no running water or moisture coming into the basement---if there is (usually during rainstorms) this must be remedied with a sump pump, etc., before going further; most codes require 2 exits for egress in the event of a fire; brick or concrete walls would have to be covered with pressure treated 2 X 4's and water resistant sheetrock for a good appearance & to hide the baseboard/radiator heating pipes; a finished floor & ceiling would have to be put in; etc.,etc.

    Heating equipment,panels, wiring, piping, etc. would have to be covered & often relocated

    Google "basement renovations" and/or "renovating a basement" for more info on this topic.
    Last edited by NashuaTech; 03-01-2009 at 06:08 PM.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Hot Water Radiator Heat vs. Forced Air Heat

    We are located in Washington, DC.

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