Converting a heating system

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by suelandress, Oct 15, 2004.

  1. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    We have a hot water fed oil burning system. As our burner bit the dust, we would like to convert to a dual fuel...oil/wood....burning hot air system. We can get a boiler that is set up for hot water, but this place is so small, the elimination of baseboards and addition of registers in the floor would actually give us more space.
    The question is....is this the kind of job that very UN handy people can do?
     
  2. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    You could learn a lot of new things. However, is it worth the risk with oil pipe and flue work? Though there is nothing too tricky about either, once you know how much to tighten the pipe and have the right wrench and pipe cutting and assembly tools.

    IMHO hire it all done. Installing furnaces has become a commodity and prices are very competitive. Get prices from three or four (in writhing - and do not sign their quotation form - often this is a form of acceptance) and ask, "Can you do anything else on the price, I really want to work with you?"

    Good Luck either way.

    Alex
     

  3. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If I understand right, you wish to change from a fuel oil water boiler furnace to a fuel oil/ wood burning hot air furnace.

    This requires removing all piping as well as the old furnace, and putting in the new furnace & routing hot air tubes through the whole house, sizing them all properly for each room & run, as well as return vents.

    That is a _MAJOR_ thing in my book, trying to run all those vents in an exsisting house. I think adding on a room would be cheaper than all that work!

    Hot air gives you the option of central air, but water heat is a lot nicer in most other regards.

    I would not choose to do that as a do-it-yourself project!

    --->Paul
     
  4. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    I'm assuming the possibility of installing a woodstove in the living quarters of the house to heat the whole home is not an option?
     
  5. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    We've got a woodstove. We have a defunked boiler. A professional will definitely install the new boiler (which has to be replaced either way) but we wanted to do the heat tubes(for lack of the right word) and registers.
     
  6. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So you are sticking with a boiler. I guess I'm familiar wth 'register' being an air duct outlet, so I'm not sure what you are trying to use instead of baseboards - sorry for not understanding. I've got cast iron radiators, they use even more room! :)

    --->Paul
     
  7. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    A lot depends on the construction of your house as to how complicated the retrofit will be. Have you considered in floor radiant heat?
     
  8. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    "air duct outlet" seems to define it well....you know, the "grills" in the floor....instead of the things along the wall (told you we were "un"handy!)
     
  9. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    I always thought that was electric? Isn't that wires?
     
  10. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How does that work with water heating? Never saw that up here in Minnesota.

    You either have air ducts, with a big fan by the furnace & it blows air through tubes throught the house, with return tubes to get air back to the furnace. These tubes or ducts are rather large. No water is involved at all. There is a new system with much faster air flow & much smaller tubes now, but I'd think that would have some issues....

    Or, you have a boiler, & pipe hot water to the different rooms, where it goes through cast iron radiators, baseboard tubes, or underfloor tubing to radiently heat the space.

    Never saw an air duct used with a water heating system. How do you generate the airflow, and what type of heat exchanger do they put in the air duct outlet?

    --->Paul
     
  11. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Some radiant heat IS electric.

    I was thinking about the kind that comes from warm water circulating thru tubes in the floor. This can either be put in a slab when it is poured or run under a suspended floor. This type can be retrofitted by installing between the joists under an existing floor.

    Here is an article I found about it.

    http://www.columbian.com/10032004/at_home/195810.html