Hydro-Air Vs Baseboard Heat
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Huntington, NY
    Posts
    6

    Hydro-Air Vs Baseboard Heat

    Hello. New member here. Here is my situation. I am currently doing a full remodel my house. The house is gutted down to the studs. The existing heat is oil hot water baseboard. There is no gas in my area. So I have to stay with oil. I will be installing a new boiler with a "Turbo Max" hot water heater. My plumber is trying to talk me into ripping out all the baseboard and installing a hydro air system to go along with the new central air system I am putting in. The house is a 2 story colonial. The main floor is 1500 sq ft and the upstairs is 1100 sq ft. It will be a 2 zone central air system. I had hot water baseboard in my previous house and liked the even heat it produces. I do not know much about this hydro air. I grew up with forced hot air and hated it. What do the experts here recommend? What are the pros and cons of hydro air? Will the heat be as even as baseboard? If it were your house, what system would you choose?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,832
    Stay baseboard. Then put a heat pump & ducts for cooling and mild weather heating.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Huntington, NY
    Posts
    6
    Thanks. I like the baseboard. I am just trying to understand the big push for this hydro-air. The only negative I can see with baseboard is it can interfere with furniture placement. I am in Long Island, NY. Most of the contractors I got estimates from were pushing this hydro air. I don't see how it can be a better type of heat than the baseboard. I am looking to get educated on the pros and cons.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Bennington, Vermont U.S.A.
    Posts
    13,864
    Usually I see eye to eye with baldloonie but not on this one.

    One contractor should be doing the entire project of Heating Ventilating. and Air Conditioning. HVAC lets talk!

    Old house, gutted. Still not new construction no matter how well you insulate it.

    There are five factors you need to consider when "Air Conditioning" or more correctly, Conditioning the air in your home. They are:
    1. Heating.
    2. Cooling
    3. Humidification
    4. Dehumidification
    5. Filtration.

    With the hydro-air system system you can have all 5 of these factors in one central location. As the air goes throw the ductwork you can address all 5 of these factors.

    Plus you can put a little infloor radiant in the downstairs bedrooms, kitchen,and baths to keep your tosesys warm. Also you can add an HRV to keep you place economically ventilated. Also you can add zoning so that you can have separate temperatures in different rooms.

    You can get a bad air system if a plumber trys to install ductwork.

    With baseboard heat you get no humidification, no filtration and you need 8 ft. of baseboard to deliver the same amount of heat as a 12 x 6 inch diffuser does. Which means you have more flexiblity of were you place your furniture.
    Last edited by Green Mountain; 10-31-2007 at 09:38 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Huntington, NY
    Posts
    6
    benncool, I should clarify. I will have a HVAC contractor installing the Central Air and the ductwork. I was under the impression that because the plumber is installing the new boiler and hot water heater, that if I stay with baseboard, he should be the installer. The ducts for the central air will be in the ceiling. Will this adversely affect the heating? Is this hydro-air type system closer to a hot water baseboard type of uniform and even heat, or is it closer to a forced hot air hot and cold type heat?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Bennington, Vermont U.S.A.
    Posts
    13,864
    Quote Originally Posted by arp228 View Post
    benncool, I should clarify. I will have a HVAC contractor installing the Central Air and the ductwork. I was under the impression that because the plumber is installing the new boiler and hot water heater, that if I stay with baseboard, he should be the installer. The ducts for the central air will be in the ceiling. Will this adversely affect the heating? Is this hydro-air type system closer to a hot water baseboard type of uniform and even heat, or is it closer to a forced hot air hot and cold type heat?

    Basically you have 2 coils in the air handler. One is a refrigerant coil (DX) for cooling and the other is a hot water coil. One fan moves the air through both.

    I like to see high and low returns on the first floor. For the first floor you can install infloor radiant as an AUXSILARY heat.

    We do this all the time up here in VT. People come up to there ski home. The heat has been set back to 55. When they get in Friday night the hydro air and the infloor radiant comes on at the same time. It takes about 2 hours to heat the floors. But the hydro air heats things up quickly. Then the infloor radiant kind of mellows things out.

    It is okay to have the plumbing contractor coordinate with the AC contractor.
    The AC contractor will have to provide a hydroair air handler. The pc can pipe to the provided coil in the hydro air system. We have done that before.

    The PC will make his dough on the boiler, water heater and circulators. The AC contractor will make his money on the ac equipment and ductwork. Everyone should be happy. Especially you.

    Personally if it was my house I would put one hydro-air system in the attic and for the first floor one in the basement.
    Last edited by Green Mountain; 10-31-2007 at 02:23 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,686
    if i was to gut my house for a total makeover it would get in floor radiant heat...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    66
    Why would anyone want to pay a $1 a day in elec. to run a fan + taco 007 when you can run just the 007 for 10 cents a day ?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Huntington, NY
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by t527ed View Post
    if i was to gut my house for a total makeover it would get in floor radiant heat...

    I would do that, but only my kitchen amd bathrooms are going to be tile. All the other rooms are hardwood floors, and I'm not crazy about radiant under hardwood.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    654
    Hydro-Air is a convenient way to have heating and cooling with the same equipment but being forced air, it has the same disadvantages of that type of heat. Baseboard hot water is superior in comfort compared to forced warm air, but of course does not offer cooling. If it were me, I'd stay with the baseboard and have a separate unit for cooling.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Huntington, NY
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by heykiss View Post
    Why would anyone want to pay a $1 a day in elec. to run a fan + taco 007 when you can run just the 007 for 10 cents a day ?

    SO, what would you choose if you were in my position? I met with the plumber today, and he said in the last 5 years, almost every new heating system he has installed has been the hydro-air. He said that hot water baseboard is "the past". The only reason I am contemplating the hydro-air is without the basebaord, there are no furniture placement issues.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Huntington, NY
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by casturbo View Post
    Hydro-Air is a convenient way to have heating and cooling with the same equipment but being forced air, it has the same disadvantages of that type of heat. Baseboard hot water is superior in comfort compared to forced warm air, but of course does not offer cooling. If it were me, I'd stay with the baseboard and have a separate unit for cooling.


    This is exactly how I see it. Thanks for the response. Like I said in my previous post. I met with the plumber today and I brought up the disadvantages. First of all the supply registers are going to be in the ceiling. That is not the best spot for them for heat. I just can't see how there won't be the same extremes of hot and cold with the hydro-air like there is with the forced hot air. Maybe the hydro-air won't be as dry. But it can't be as even as the baseboard.

  13. #13
    If your house is gutted down to the studs, put a furnace with a a/c and a hot water and tell your plumber to stick to his job installing pipes. There is a reason why some people are plumber because they can think like a HVAC Tech.

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