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apsinkus 01-12-2008 05:22 PM

Looking for info re. retrofiting a 1910 collonial with a central HVAC?
We are considering buying a house in Somerville, MA and it has baseboard heat. My wife HATES that kind. I hate window ACs as much. We are probably 2 months away from being ready to make an offer so I am doing some budgeting.
House has basement and 3 floors. Total 1400sq ft. with top floor not heated (but finished).
I have found some small articles about retrofitting that kind of house with high-velocity HVAC (the ones with 3-inch flex pipes).

Are there any better resources out there on the web where I could read up on those systems or other options?
I want to be knowledgeable about how those systems work and how much I would have to tear up the house to get that in (hence $$$?).

inspectorD 01-13-2008 07:15 AM

My opinion...
For a job like this...I would try contacting a reputable company in your area. Then ask to see some of their jobs with the same type house and job you are going to do. These guys are the experts and if they want your business, and you keep them honest, you will learn more first hand than any other resource. Contact more than one company will spend as much time trying to look things up, as you will with someone showing you the jobs.
Any company worth their salt will show you around, and help you learn.
Just my professional opinion.:)
Tell us how you make out.

guyod 01-13-2008 09:37 AM

Central air is great but I wouldn't be so quick to replace hydronic heating. In my opinion Hydronic heat is more efficient , cleaner and more comfortable especially in a old drafty house. Think about this for a min. a boiler only need to be on for 5 mins or less to heat up the water then circulates that water for 15 20 30 mins giving off free consistent heat. forced air only gives off heat when its sucking up your heating oil. It dries out your air and is drafty specially with uninsinuated older homes. using a smaller 3'' supply pipes will make these problems worse because the air will be moving faster making it draftier. If you can convince your wife keep the boiler. look into a LG multi room a/c. you will be blown away by what they offer. they have a painting that works as a duct less a/c vent. crazy stuff
check it out

glennjanie 01-13-2008 02:24 PM

Welcome APSinkus:
My house had a 1956 boiler and baseboard heaters. You can't beat the baseboard for even consistent heat and warm floors. Our old boiler was inefficient so I took it out and installed a geothermal central heat pump. It cost a lot but has paid for itself over and over; except now we have cold floors.
I would recommend that you look into a new, high efficiency boiler and a SpacePak (high velocity) air conditioner. They are easier to install in existing work and do a tremendous job. The high velocity air comes out in a corner and is un-noticible (no drafts) and very quiet. Plus, you will still have the warm floors in the winter.

apsinkus 01-15-2008 10:33 AM

I think you brought up an interesting solution.
If we replaced those wallboard units with something newer and more efficient (not all bent up, dirty, and crusted with paint), kept the 6-year or so old propane boiler, and than installed that LG or comparable system with those tiny indoor units (, it may work. I am thinking it may even cost less.

Anyone could recommend how I go about finding an LG dealer in the area. I looked at the LG site and they could not find one within 120 miles of Boston.

glennjanie 01-15-2008 12:44 PM

Hey Apsinkus:
I once worked for a company that is strong in your area; United Refrigeration. Their headquarters is in Philadelphia and they have branches all around the east coast. You can search them and get the address of their local store.

guyod 01-15-2008 04:37 PM

I seen the lg art cool in my local plumbing supply store. but when i went to went the lg web site no dealers showed up for me either. So there database isnt very good. I would just call your local plumbing supply stores. Lg is popular Im sure some if not most can order it. Dont stop at the first place you find that carries it. Prices are vary by 10%-20% especially since your not a plumber.
But is sounds like your not doing it your self so you will have to find a plumber to install it. They will want to buy it them self so they pay wholesale price and charge you list price. So let them do the work of finding it.

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