I recently bought a 90 year old 3 flat in Chicago with a full basement and finished attic. I am going to rent the 1st and 2nd floors and duplex and live in the 3rd/attic. Each floor is 800-900 sq ft with 9 1/2' ceilings. The walls are uninsulated. The first floor is heated with radiators. I am going to leave it as is, the boiler has been serviced and is working well. The 2nd and 3rd floors currently have wall units. The attic is unheated. The 2nd floor is going to get central forced air in a fairly straight forward manner. The problems arise in the 3rd floor/attic. I have had several contractors come out and have gotten vastly different opinions for duct layout and what furnace(s) to get. Many of them require a lot of space that I would rather not give up. Here are my questions:
I like the idea of using baseboard heat but that leaves an AC problem. Are the Hi-V systems worth it? Are mini-splits good for this application? I am only really concerned about noise in the attic TV room.
For the mini-split scenario I was thinking of using 2 per floor. Basically back to back on the opposite sides of a wall in the middle of each floor. Good idea? How loud are the mini-splits? I understand that they are quieter than window units but do you have to talk louder when they are on?
The most popular opinion has been to use 2 furnaces (1 for the 3rd and 1 for the attic) hence all the duct problems. Would one furnace work? It would be much simpler.
Thanks for reading this and thanks for any help.