How to choose a heating system? That depends on a kind of system you a looking for to install. You have a choice of water radiators, steam radiators, forced air, and radiant heat. I do not mention electrical heat, since it is not plumbing-related. If you decide to have forced air system, you have severaloptions: first you can go with inexpensive furnace or get top of the line hydro air system.
Let’s talk about water or steam? I would say you don’t want to have steam system unless you have to. Steam systems are inefficient and not user friendly. Hot water baseboards or radiators of your choice is the way to go.
Now let’s talk about forced air. The convenience of forced air is that you don’t need to separate heating and cooling systems. Furnace is less expensive, but hydro air system has performance advantages. A hydro air system is a combination of a hot water and a hot air. A boiler (gas or oil) heats the water. The water is then pumped to air handler unit/units. The air is then distributed thru the home via a duct system. The same duct system is also used to distribute cool air if an air conditioning unit is installed.
An Advantage of hydro air is that the air is not as hot or as dry as in a hot air system, and soot and combustion odors are not present inside the air handler unit. This makes hydro air systems much cleaner and more comfortable than hot air systems.
Radiant floor heat is a Cadillac of heating systems. It is most efficient and comfortable set up for your home. It a little bit more expensive than all other, but have certain benefits.
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