I have a house built in 1935 and it still uses the original American Standard oil buring furnace to heat a hot water baseboard radiator system. We love the heat and moisture in the air from this system, but the oil prices are forcing us to replace it. I also realize that this sytem has a low efficiency rating, probably 55-60%. I am taking my time to examine all options, with the intention of installing something in 12-16 months. I do not have existing duct work in most of the house, and we have window units for AC. I also enjoy a rather low electric bill at the moment
So far I'm mulling over the following:
Heat Pump/AC unit - can be installed in our attic and ductwork run to all rooms. Differences between air heat pumps and geothermal?
Heat pump system as a back up and install a wood buring or pellet burning fireplace insert for warm heat
a wood burning or pellet burning stove to heat the existing water radiant system
Since I am doing a new system, I'd also like to consider systems that would heat my hot water more efficiently.
In looking at what my home state of VA offers, only a few tax credits are possible if want to go so far as to install a solar or wind generating system, not sure I am willing to do that.
Any thoughts or ideas are welcome. Thanks.