Need suggestions for new HVAC system

fulksb Posted By fulksb, Feb 9, 2013 at 10:04 AM

  1. fulksb

    New Member 2.

    Feb 9, 2013
    I am brand new member to this forum, though I've been reading past content on here for weeks. Here is a challenge for you thinkers and tinkerers. Please provide me some advice on a brand new HVAC system for our old house.

    My wife and I purchased our first home last summer. It is a 1930's era, 3 story farmhouse, with around 3000 sq ft. Newer double pane windows, new siding with a house wrap underneath, so it is not drafty. But, insulation is minimal, as would be expected for the 1930's. We do intend to add some insulation where ever it is practical, especially in the attic. We live in southern Ohio where winters can be fairly cold, and summers are hot and boggy.

    Currently we are heating with an OLD Newmac forced-air furnace (an impressive beast from days gone by). The whole house has duct-work. It burns oil on one side, coal or wood on the other side. Pretty inefficient unit. We are burning mostly wood. But oil does get burned everyday when we are away for work. Been through 250 gallons of oil so far this winter, and between 3 and 4 cords of well seasoned firewood.

    I don't mind burning wood, in fact I enjoy it. But, our current set-up smokes the basement up really bad. I've lived with wood-burning appliances my whole life and never had one that made it so hard to open the door to add wood without smoke rolling out.

    For our new system, I am open to any suggestions. The one thing to keep in mind is that we do want air conditioning incorporated into the new system, which we do not have now. And, we simply cannot afford 20 or 30 thousand dollars for a new system. I am reading a lot about the indoor wood boilers and love what I see.

    We have had one company give us a quote on geothermal. The price tag was 21,000 total, but with a couple rebates and the federal tax incentive, the price dropped to 13,500.

    I still like the idea of burning wood, and if we go with a wood boiler I would like to add a heat exchanger to warm our garage, and maybe so radiant floor heat for our kitchen and dining room (I plan to tile the floors this summer).

    Ok, so this has turned into a long post, but I wanted to give all of the background info and see if you all could think of the best way for us to get heat and ac into "this old house" without breaking the bank. Thanks in advance for any help provided!
  2. BoilerMan

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Apr 16, 2012
    Northern Maine
    First off welcome! Lots of great guys on here we have all been where you are now. First thing you should decide is if you want to keep your current forced air system. Great for A/C but is the duck work in good shape and well run? Have to ask these things. If it is and you want to stick with forced air, then you should decide if you want to incorporate storage into the system, this is a room, convience, and dollar decision. To be honest your quote for geo is very reasonable after the rebates. You could always put in a wood stove and do the geo.

    Also you can (less $$$$) put in an efficient forced air wood furnace but will not have the benifit of radiant in your floors. There are some brands who advertise on here and users who will give you real-world expierence. Kumma, and Caddy are two that I can think of.

    There ya go, my bit, others will have much more info.


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