I am purchasing a new home in Connecticut. The basic stats of the home are as follows. Water heat is an electric water heater fed by an electric on demand tankless water heater. The home heating is supplied by electric baseboard heaters. The home is a 2 story colonial with roughly 1100 sq/ft on each level +600-800 sq ft of basement to be finished soon for a total of about 2800 sq/ft +/-. I would imagine this electric system is very inefficient. Outside of the inefficiency, my 200 amp service I would imagine is really pushing its limits as there are some 18, 20amp breakers for the baseboard heaters alone. If I add a subpanel for my basement remodel and more electric baseboards I would imagine I may have some issues. I am looking for the right balance between operational costs, equipment costs and difficulty of installation/retrofitting. I am a general contractor and with some help from subs where necessary I will be doing the majority of the installation myself.
As of now I have no fuel source other than electricity in the house. I plan on adding a LP cooking range and will need to have a tank installed regardless. So my two options for fuel will be electric or LP if possible (whether the LP tank is buried or above ground will be decided based on whether I use LP for just cooking or cooking/heating.) I prefer to NOT have to tear open a lot of walls in the home to do duct work. Based on the open access in the basement and attic I am leaning towards installing hydronic air handlers in both the basement and attic to9 feed the first and second floors respectively. My understanding is that these systems can be quite efficient, easy to retrofit and leave me with the option of adding air conditioning in the future. This leaves me with the big question. What heat source do I use for the hot water to power these things as well as my domestic potable hot water? Are the savings associated with installing a LP boiler / water heater and underground tank sufficient enough to make the investment? Or, are there high efficient electric water heaters that would be close to the efficiency of LP for this application?
Any suggestions would be helpful to point me in the right direction. If my solution is way off base, what other options do I have?