Hello. I've been lurking here for a couple weeks and am continually impressed by the knowledgable advice. I have browsed through the archives and did not see this question. If I missed an equivalent discussion please let me know where to look.
I just bought a 90 year old two story house of approximatley 2000sf. It currently has ~50 year old electic radiant heaters in almost every room and no central heating. Since I am opening several walls for other renovations I am planning on installing a central heating system and am looking at forced air (natural gas) or a hydronic system with a high effeciancy boiler.
From my initial discussions HVAC contractors it looks as if a hydronic system will cost about twice what a forced are system will. My questions for experts and homeowners who have expereince with both systems are:
My questions to those of you who have lived with both systems are:
1) Will the hydronic system be more efficient? (assume high efficiency boiler vs. furnace). In other words, if I'm using the same fuel (Nat Gas) and have the same heat loss won't both systems require roughly the same amount of fuel at roughly the same cost?
2) I've heard hydronic described as a more "comfortable" heat? Any comments on that? Is that just hype or will I notice a big difference?
3) Do hydronic systems really cost twice forced air systems on average (current est is 20K hydronic vs. 10K forced air) or can I expect further bids to come in closer together?
Thanks in advance for your comments and insights.