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hot water tank runs to furnace/blower???

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  • May 10th, 2010 1:55 pm
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Jul 3, 2007
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hot water tank runs to furnace/blower???

I just bought a house with a weird heating system. The hot water tank runs to a blower that heats the house. I have never heard of one of these systems. Does anyone know the proper name for this type of heating system. Also is there any pros to having this or should I replace it?
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Deal Addict
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Mar 8, 2002
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This would be a hydronic heating system. Instead of a furnace, you have a fan coil which is fed hot water by a boiler. Usually you would find this type of arrangement installed in conjunction with baseboard hot water hydronic radiators. This way, the home doesn't need both a furnace and a boiler.

Do you have nameplate data for the boiler and fan coil, and do you know how old it is? Did you get a home inspector; if so, what did the inspector have to report?
Deal Guru
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Jun 12, 2007
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There's also combo Hi-efficiency furnance/HW tanks as well.
[OP]
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Jul 3, 2007
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there are no rads in the house. The inspector just said he sees it alot in town homes. My home is detached but its a not a very big home. He also said that the tank needs to be replaced. its 14 years old. I didnt get a good look at the plates yet. just trying to find out if i should replace the tank. or convert to a more common heating system
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Dec 10, 2008
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Kitchener
we install this type of heat in most of the apartment buildings i've worked on...
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johntdsb wrote:
May 8th, 2010 8:50 pm
I just bought a house with a weird heating system. The hot water tank runs to a blower that heats the house. I have never heard of one of these systems. Does anyone know the proper name for this type of heating system. Also is there any pros to having this or should I replace it?
Are you talking about the exhaust (vent) from the hot water tank going into the exhaust (vent or chimney) of the furnace?
The hot water line running into the furnace?

The cold water line running through the furnace and back to the tank?
Jamie_Canuck wrote:
May 9th, 2010 8:13 am
we install this type of heat in most of the apartment buildings i've worked on...
Really? A forced air hot water system? Air flowing over a hot water coil? Can you elaborate?
[OP]
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Jul 3, 2007
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I only seen it once but i am pretty sure it was the hot water going to the furnace (which looks like its a blower with a coil not a furnace) and the blower blows the air over the coils through the ducts
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Dec 10, 2008
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Pete_Coach wrote:
May 9th, 2010 9:11 am
Are you talking about the exhaust (vent) from the hot water tank going into the exhaust (vent or chimney) of the furnace?
The hot water line running into the furnace?

The cold water line running through the furnace and back to the tank?

Really? A forced air hot water system? Air flowing over a hot water coil? Can you elaborate?
The units look like a tall rectangular furnace... they have a blower in the bottom and a coil above rather than a heat exchanger... water is piped in through the coil (from a boiler on the roof)... the air blows over the coil and heats the space...

some provide cooling, by switching the hot water to cold water in the summer using a chilling tower...
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Ok, so the water is coming from a boiler as opposed to a "normal" (140- 160 f degree water) hot water tank. I got it, like an electric forced air but hot boiler water as opposed to an electric coil.
Boiler on the roof?
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Dec 17, 2006
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Brockville
johntdsb wrote:
May 8th, 2010 8:50 pm
I just bought a house with a weird heating system. The hot water tank runs to a blower that heats the house. I have never heard of one of these systems. Does anyone know the proper name for this type of heating system. Also is there any pros to having this or should I replace it?
(I'm a home owner not a expert )I have this system, it sounds like an oil-fired water heater. Is it oil or gas fired? I'm on oil and this system works just like a conventional furnace except the burner is on the water tank. Pros- apparently very efficient in heating water quickly. Cons- maybe the rising price of fuel? but who has control over that. Also if you loose the burn, you are not only out hot water but home heat!

Also very important to look after your water tank by flushing it regularly to prevent sediment build-up. With the high heat obtained with this system, you should have a water softener that will ease the growth of sediment deposits.

Just make sure you pay close attention to the new importance your water tank has in your home and you'll be fine. No need to rip out that system.

(I would like investigate the idea of a solar water heater paralleled into my current system..but that is a separate discussion)
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Dec 10, 2008
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Kitchener
Pete_Coach wrote:
May 9th, 2010 10:31 am
Ok, so the water is coming from a boiler as opposed to a "normal" (140- 160 f degree water) hot water tank. I got it, like an electric forced air but hot boiler water as opposed to an electric coil.
Boiler on the roof?
in the mechanical room on the roof... and the ones i've done run at about 70 degrees farenheit.... the water running through the system... which really surprised me... i expected it to be at least 100 degrees f.
[OP]
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Jul 3, 2007
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my system is like yours only gas fired. I think I will try it out for a while to see if I like it. I was told that if you have a shower and use all the hot water then it will blow only cold air untill the water temp goes back up. thats the part i didnt like about the system.
PIKE wrote:
May 9th, 2010 10:53 am
(I'm a home owner not a expert )I have this system, it sounds like an oil-fired water heater. Is it oil or gas fired? I'm on oil and this system works just like a conventional furnace except the burner is on the water tank. Pros- apparently very efficient in heating water quickly. Cons- maybe the rising price of fuel? but who has control over that. Also if you loose the burn, you are not only out hot water but home heat!

Also very important to look after your water tank by flushing it regularly to prevent sediment build-up. With the high heat obtained with this system, you should have a water softener that will ease the growth of sediment deposits.

Just make sure you pay close attention to the new importance your water tank has in your home and you'll be fine. No need to rip out that system.

(I would like investigate the idea of a solar water heater paralleled into my current system..but that is a separate discussion)
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Dec 8, 2009
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johntdsb wrote:
May 9th, 2010 1:56 pm
my system is like yours only gas fired. I think I will try it out for a while to see if I like it. I was told that if you have a shower and use all the hot water then it will blow only cold air untill the water temp goes back up. thats the part i didnt like about the system.
exactly
the hotwater heater runs hot water through a coil ontop of an air handler to push heat through the duct system in the house.

these are faily common in the KW area (fergus more so). Most of the time homeowners pull them out and go with a high efficiency gas furnace to save on heating costs and convienence of not worrying about the hot water tank failing and having no heat.
Usually there's a reason a company is "cheap". Value and cheap are different. Value means best product/service for the dollar spent. Cheap is just that. Cheap.
Member
May 17, 2006
453 posts
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I'm actually having a quote delivered to me this evening for such a system. Tankless water heater hooked into a high-velocity air handler and duct system. Trying to get rid of the electric heaters, and they claim a high velocity system is cheaper and faster to install than a traditional forced air, due to the small diameter of the ducts. That, and a provincial incentive to switch from electric of around $7k.

Will update the thread with results.
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