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Heating system conversion or all new

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  • Heating system conversion or all new

    Looking for some options for an upcoming project. The details, It is an old house, 285 years young, a saltbox with about 2000 sf living area. Has an old steam system that has been non operational for more than 4 years. There was a freeze up when the house was vacant. Of course everything is wrapped in asbestos which will be removed proffessionally. air conditioning is somewhat important but ducts will be difficult as the house is primarily wood sheathed and exposed beams. We can get a home run up to the second and even the little room on the third floor. We have been thinking of the Unico system for that but am also considering radiant for the first floor. My first concern with radiant is the heat loss which I have not had calculated yet. We will need to consider the source for domestic water also. Another option is to use the old cast radiators over again in which case it may be better to encapsulate the pipe insulation rather than remove that. I think the existing Burnham boiler belongs in their hall of fame! Any thoughts entertained.

  • #2
    Re: Heating system conversion or all new

    Unico with the UniChiller RC, and Unico boiler.

    Cover cooling, heating and domestic water.

    After you have done your Model J contact them.


    Check with the AHJ, what we say doesn't matter.


    • #3
      Re: Heating system conversion or all new

      I agree with the Unico for AC, I have it in my own home, and used it for clients.

      The HV heating side is terrible, although it could be a good alternative if you get one of the 2 speed Unico blowers.

      I personally lean toward reusing the old radiators with say a Munchkin Modulating boiler. There are other similar units by other mfg, some of which are rebranded Munchkins. This is just a guess based on the limited info you offered.

      Look into what you can do with the shell insulation, then worry about your heat loss. If there's no insulation, your heat loss is incalcuable?(spelling?).
      Take Care



      • #4
        Re: Heating system conversion or all new

        Hard to say without seeing the system and home, but boilers and HVAC systems are hot items for rebates, tax credits, and tax incentive. Don't forget to check your utility provider for rebates.
        As for heat loss, if you have a basement or crawl space and it is an unconditioned space, that is a R-1 for the walls, not an ideal space for forced air furnace.
        If I were going to do work on other parts of home I would do a blower door test. I think the best place to start on any home remodel is a air leakage test. An Home Performance with Energy Star audit would test for gas leak, CO spillage, and air leakage. You may have to have one done before you finish anyway.
        Sounds like a great project.


        • #5
          Re: Heating system conversion or all new

          Thanks guys. I feel you all gave sound advice. I will check with Unico. I have thought of the insulation, once we get going on the roof I will have some time to see what if anything is in the walls. I had not considered a blower door test due to the many leaks I know exist. I will look a little closer though.
          It is a great house, gets an honerable mention in Kelly's book on Ct houses.

          I just finished phase 1 on a 1787 house that believe it or not still has not had a central heating system installed. I did some structural work, insulated the attic and side walls, exterior siding and trim repair and the first coat of paint in at least 40 years. We also rust treated and painted the tin roof which was installed sometime before 1920. This is where the saying "They don't build em like they used to" comes in! A new heating system and a sympathetic addition are phase 2.

          Hey Jim, I have not been around here lately but i will try to frequent more often. Perhaps i can help out someone on old house stuff.
          btw the house in question is in your neck of the woods, Cheshire