Need to determine HVAC for 1930’s home with addition in construction
Nick here coming to you from sunny Buffalo, NY with a rather loaded question.
The wife and I bought a nice 1932 two story “craftsman” style house a few years ago that currently has a gigantic boiler from 1973 and cast iron radiators. Square footage of the house is a full first floor with second floor knee walls that comes in at around 1000 square feet all told. With the first baby on the way we decided it’s time for an addition for several reasons, and the main question I have is about which HVAC system would be best. As is typical in this era of houses the walls are plaster over plaster gyp-board in the existing house, obviously the new addition is to be built but will have open walls to adapt to whichever system is chosen. I mention the existing walls because of the added cost/mess of opening the walls to run ductwork and/or mini split piping which is not something we’re opposed to but just an added fun step. The existing house has NO insulation aside from open cell spray foam applied to the attic space. Removing the exterior cladding and insulating and installing a proper breathable water barrier(zip) and new siding is in the plans but not this year. Having had experience with the minisplit type systems in a commercial setting I see their appeal on many levels however I feel myself leaning towards a geothermal type system. I love the idea of the system as a whole but just want to make sure I cover all my bases on this topic. There’s obviously a multitude of different options to choose from and we’ve toyed with radiant floor heat with minisplit just for the AC, keeping the radiators and replacing the boiler again minisplit AC, conventional furnace system etc. I just want to make sure we’re making the best decision possible based on everything that’s available right now. Given that the house with the addition will total about 2300 square feet with two very different building envelopes it presents several challenges. Any and all help on this topic is greatly appreciated as my brain has become overwhelmed. One small caveat is that my family is in the plumbing/heating wholesale business so most of the equipment I have available to me at cost which saves a substantial amount and I pay time and material to the installer. I mention this to keep options open not to “brag” so hopefully it doesn’t come off as such. Thanks again in advance.
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