Water to air - how would you do it?

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lkeister
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Water to air - how would you do it?

Post by lkeister » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:29 pm

Good afternoon all,

A newbie here, just looking for some advice. I have an outdoor boiler that I am looking to hook up in an old house that I just purchased earlier this winter. It's kind of a shame I'm just now getting to hooking up something, because the setup I have in the house is... not ideal, we'll put it that way.

It was my granpda's old house, which has had various renters over the past 8-10 years. Oh the joys that come with that alone :crazy:

My current system in my house is a 25+ year old propane furnace (it's a Clare Brothers furnace from Canada - they closed their doors in '91, so I'm guessing it's at least that old), as well as an indoor wood furnace. The indoor wood furnace is terribly inefficient, as it would generally take more than a heaping 8ft.-bed-truckload a week to heat a 1400sq ft. house at 20F-30F. Granted, the house is very drafty, and I imagine the system is not nearly as efficient as it should be, but I cut firewood in middle school for him for a year and could hardly keep it fed if he ran it all the time, so my uncle & cousin kept his furnace fed before he decided to go to assisted living.

Anyway, all that said I intend on replacing the stuff in the basement this summer. I have my lines ran to the furnace outside, and brought the pipe into the foundation. I'm ready to hook up to something, but that gas furnace is running iffy as it is, I hate to mess with it at all(i.e. put an exchanger over the top). It needs to find a home at the scrap yard IMO, and the other wood furnace is going to a friend for his shop. He wants to see if he can help it run any better while he's at it, so by all means I'll let him.

I have all the prior ductwork, so I would like to stick to some sort of Hydronic Air Handler solution, but I'm not sure where to start. I'm sure there are all kinds of things that will work, but I just wondered what some of you might be doing here. I want to be able to have some sort of backup way of heating the house through that system as well, just for the sake of having some peace of mind.

According to this map, with 1400sq. ft., I should be at about 70,000 btu's as a guess. Does this seem like a reasonable number? I've been attempting to use this as somewhat of a guide. I live in the Northeast area of Indiana.
Site: Link
Image

This leads me to some options:

I have seen these before, and they peak some interest, but with no other heat source I would have to look at a backup burner of some sort :
Link

I've also seen things similar to what is posted above, but I also know of people that just stick a water-to-air exchanger over the top of their existing furnace. In my scenario, I'm not too sure that would have done well for me. Is this even a good idea? I can't imagine that it would put a ton of strain on the blower in a furnace, but I'm just not sure.

I'm also wanting to run central air in the system, as it will be pretty toasty in the summer. I know this may prove difficult with all of the previous requirements, but hopefully not too difficult.

I'm all ears guys, and thanks in advance for any help!

RSI
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Re: Water to air - how would you do it?

Post by RSI » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:37 pm

If you don't have any other heat source, I would put in a newer gas furnace and put a heat exchanger in the plenum. The air handler in the link would work fine but then you would have to come up with something else for backup heat.

Bull
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Re: Water to air - how would you do it?

Post by Bull » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:50 pm

First off welcome to the site. If it were me and I was wanting to add an ac unit I would install a heat pump and like RSI put a heat exchanger in the plenum. The cheep way would be to just put an heat exchanger in the furnace you have and you can do it on the return side if you can get to it easier.

RSI
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Re: Water to air - how would you do it?

Post by RSI » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:49 pm

Yeah, if the fan is still running ok and you will be mostly heating with wood then it may be worth trying to use the existing furnace. It sounds like you would be better off getting a good used one though if you want to do it cheap and more reliable.

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