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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    12

    Unhappy

    New construction, 2400 sf with 1000 sf basement. I had sent requests for proposal for baseboard heat, 2 ac units,LP boiler, indirect water heater.

    One contractor proposed:

    2 Trane 14 seer units
    2 Trane Variable speed AHUs (for 15 seer)
    2 Hot water aqua fan coils
    1 Peerless Pinnacle 140 boiler
    1 Bradford white powerstor
    Taco heat controls and zone circulators (he gave me an option of a German circulator that begins with R)
    Clean effects filter
    April Aire 700 humidifier
    Lux PSP600 stats (are the Trane stats worth the upcharge?? they look great)

    I told him that I wanted baseboard radiant for these reasons:
    1. Temperature variance in previous forced hot air systems.
    2. Drafts from air systems
    3. Excessive dryness from air systems
    4. Recirculating "dead air" with forced air

    His general response is that with the variable speed AHUs he will set the system up so the house won't vary more than .5 to 1 degree once at setpoint and I won't notice any air noise or draft. The humidifier will take care of humidity. As far as dead air he tells me that he can put an outside air intake w/damper on the return. (out of the budget currently)

    He has me intrigued because of his genuine belief that this is the best system. I have to say he has been extremely patient, educating me, and answering all questions, and offering a lot of options, but not a lot of BS.

    However he is the second highest $ versus the guys that bid the baseboard.

    I sure would appreciate any advice or opinions on this system. Please feel free to pick apart his proposed system and components. I really thought I was set to go with the HVAC, but he has thrown me off the rails.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    18,095
    The system sounds good to me. If the home is tight constructed, he will have to have make up air. Im more familiar with the Carrier systems and I know that they work well when installed correctly. I put a system in Rick Wagners home(CEO-GM) and he loves it.

    Whatever you choose, make sure a load calc. is performed and the proper permits are pulled. Good luck!

    [Edited by coolwhip on 02-17-2006 at 07:37 PM]
    To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.
    -- Confucius

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,996
    Is the powerstor stainless steel or glass lined?

    The hot water coils in the AH's will save money over piping baseboard, so the quote should be cheaper. You have to expect the baseboard quote to be the most expensive, but we haven't heard what's in the BB quote.

    Not a bad config. It's gonna be up to you if prefererence is baseboard over hydro-air. At least he's covered you with a great humidifier.

    Will both air handlers be in the basement? If one's in the attic do you want plumbing up over your bedroom if it leaks?

    Where will the supply registers be? I'm still not a fan of ceiling supplies for warm air. They're great for cooling but not for heating. Is this a ranch with basement or 2 floors with basement? You didn't mention any forced air zoning. If it's 3 floors total, I'd prefer at least 3 hydronic zones.




  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    12
    The option is mine on the powerstor -- I'm thinking the vitraglass is better than the SS. I'm not sure though.

    The house is 2 floors over the basement. AHU in basement and attic. Good point on the plumbing over the BRs. I'll find out if their is a pan under the unit if the coil leaks, but as far as the 3/4 supply/return lines, I have to figure I'd have as much chance of damage with the baseboard running through the house.

    Another good point on the registers that I'll have to confirm.

    1 Zone up and 1 down. I will bring up future consideration for the basement.

    I forgot to mention he including configuring for future underfloor heat in the kitchen and MBR. I would run tubing and plates, he would manifold and connect at a future date. "Set up loop piping for two future radiant heat zones"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,346
    Couple thoughts:

    you might consider heat pumps instead of air conditioners. Propane is a very expensive heat. With pumps, you could use them for mild weather heating rather than fire up the boiler and heat all that radiation just to take the nip out of a mild morning.

    I take it you aren't building a tight house? Humidity gets low because air leaks in and is warmed. Build a good house and you won't have enough leakage to have low humidity and you won't need a humidifier. If you are building a tight house, I'd wait on the hum until you see if you need it. If you do, you have too much leakage and should fix that instead of humidifying! That reduces heating & cooling costs too.

    Also, the type of heat doesn't dry the house. There is no condensate drip pan under a forced air heating element or heat exchanger. So you are back to getting rid of air leaks to keep house from getting dry.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,996
    I would have more fear of a hydronic line freezing in the attic and bursting then ever hitting a baseboard line.

    I guess the basement AH is doing the 1st flr and basement. You're gonna be adjusting the dampers all year long between heating and cooling without a zoned warm air system. Having a seperate heating and cooling system makes zoning much easier. Running a blower all year long is more costly then just a few 80 watt circulators.

    You're gonna run ductwork to the bath, MBR for AC and heat, then add radiant. You'll wind up overheating the rooms and having to shut off the dampters and vents in those rooms. What, no radiant in the Kitchen!

    Unless you have high chlorinated levels in your water. Go for a stainless tank.

    Sorry but I'm hydronic biased.

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