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what would you do

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by chrisasst, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. chrisasst

    chrisasst Minister of Fire

    Aug 13, 2008
    cortland ny
    my house has baseboard hot water heat. I have not used it in 3 years. The burner is old and would need a new one. Some of my copper pipes in my small crawl space are broken open. If I ever sell my house I would like to put a forced air furnace in ( I hope I can anyway).....

    Anyway my question and what would you do is I am replacing my walls and I was thinking why not just cut this baseboard water heat pipes out and get rid of it. I currently see no purpose to have it. So what would you guys do.

    ( I hope I am explaining my self well....)

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Hot water heating systems are often much more efficient than forced air. Unless it's in very bad condition, I'd get the system up to snuff. It should improve the resale value.
  3. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

    Jan 12, 2009
    SW Virginia
    I'd take hot water baseboard or in-floor hydronics over forced air anyday.
  4. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Jan 14, 2008
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    Yeah, it is a more comfortable heat. Replacing baseboard isn't cheap, neither is installing a new air system. The easiest, best thing to do is to repair your existing system. Look for "traps", places where the pipe dips and them rises again. These should be the spots where the pipes split anyway, unless you didn't even try to drain the system. Regardless, where ever there are traps, install a drain or drip.
  5. Bobbin

    Bobbin Minister of Fire

    Nov 2, 2008
    So. Me.
    My father was a plumbing and heating contractor. I recall his disgust when he surveyed the plans my late FIL had drawn up (an architect) and spec.ed out for the home I now inhabit. The heating system was to be electric or forced hot air. Dad took the plans and mapped out the forced hot water system powered by an oil-fired boiler. It was considerably more expensive, but over the past 20 yrs. the benefits of it have revealed themselves repeatedly. Designed with 5 heating zones and well insulated we heat about 2500 sq.ft. with ease and relative economy, using the stove to keep our living space cozy in cold times.

    Forced hot water is the "Cadillac" of heating systems. Radiant heat being most efficient and comfortable of all.

    Fix what you have! We installed an oil fired furnace in the barn to provide immediate heat to my studio area. It was an effective and affordable way to provide immediate heat in a building without water. It has been a fine solution, but I find I use it to maintain a "base" temperature only... preferring the soothing radiant heat of the Woodstock Classic to keep the space uniformly cozy during the day.
  6. Reggie Dunlap

    Reggie Dunlap Feeling the Heat

    Dec 13, 2005
    Northern Vermont
    I'd keep the hot water baseboard heat. Forced air can be dry in the winter. The broken pipes sound like an easy fix.

    Take a look at the Trinity high efficiency propane boilers. They are direct vented in 4" PVC and mount right on a wall. I have installed a bunch of them and I have one in my house.

  7. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Jul 22, 2008
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    When I was looking for a house a number of years ago one of my top ten items was that the house have hot water baseboard heating . . . I grew up in a home with forced hot air and hated it . . . so like other folks I would vote for fixing the existing system rather than yanking out the metal and starting from scratch. Comfortable, steady heat vs. the burning hot one moment and then freezing your butt off the next moment . . . no question in my mind.
  8. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

    Dec 14, 2007
    SE Mass
    another vote for staying with hot water over air.
    if you're gonna have oil for a back-up heat source (hey, some of us take off to Florida or at least south at least for a week in january).

    Only reason I might consider air would be for air conditioning (whole house) on top of heat.
    I won't have anything but double hung windows, so I can hang an air conditioner should need be.

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