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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3

    Adding Heat to a New Central AC install

    I am new to this forum and this is my first post. I joined as I have not found any answers to my hvac question

    I am currently in the market for a new central air system for my split entry home built in 1956 that is 1300 sqft. I have no duct work of any kind in the home. I will have new duct work, air handler etc installed in the attic and will only send air to my main floor. My current heating system which I plan on keeping and using uses a gas furnace with forced hot water through baseboard/radiators. In the quoting process two of the contractors suggested I add a heating element (furnace?) to the central air system to provide heat as a secondary source, i.e. as a backup to my current system. They will run a gas line to the attic where I presume they will install another furnace. I am not sure if I am comfortable with having a gas line to the attic but I presume if done properly like anything else it should be fine. I asked about a water coil instead of a furnace as they would not have to put a hole in my new roof but with New England winters they were hesitant The added cost to add heat is short money so that is not an issue.

    My main question is, does it make sense/worth it to have a backup heating system?

    Also, in adding a heating element to the system, will that take away the optimization of the cooling function which will be the main reason behind the install.

    Please advise and Thanks your all your help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
    Posts
    5,060
    Quote Originally Posted by Ginni17 View Post
    I am new to this forum and this is my first post. I joined as I have not found any answers to my hvac question

    I am currently in the market for a new central air system for my split entry home built in 1956 that is 1300 sqft. I have no duct work of any kind in the home. I will have new duct work, air handler etc installed in the attic and will only send air to my main floor. My current heating system which I plan on keeping and using uses a gas furnace with forced hot water through baseboard/radiators. In the quoting process two of the contractors suggested I add a heating element (furnace?) to the central air system to provide heat as a secondary source, i.e. as a backup to my current system. They will run a gas line to the attic where I presume they will install another furnace. I am not sure if I am comfortable with having a gas line to the attic but I presume if done properly like anything else it should be fine. I asked about a water coil instead of a furnace as they would not have to put a hole in my new roof but with New England winters they were hesitant The added cost to add heat is short money so that is not an issue.

    My main question is, does it make sense/worth it to have a backup heating system?

    Also, in adding a heating element to the system, will that take away the optimization of the cooling function which will be the main reason behind the install.

    Please advise and Thanks your all your help
    Check your electric rate versus your gas rate and you could probable ad a heat pump with air handler rather than an AC with air handler.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3
    Thanks for the info but the difference is negligible.



    What I am really looking for is does it make sense to add the heat to the AC system or not

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,079
    In your shoes I'd investigate a heat pump for mild weather but not run a gas line. I'd stay with the boiler for cold weather heating.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,903
    No, it won't detract from the cooling operation, or efficiency.

    Never hurts to have a back up heat source when you live in a cold climate.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3
    Thanks for everyone's input. I agree with staying with the boiler for the cold weather, thanks that just confirmed my thinking. With the heat pump option, is there anything that would go to the air handler in the attic that the cold temps would effect, i.e. water lines,drain lines etc. as I am unfamiliar with the installation process.

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