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  1. #1
    Diane K's Avatar
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    Default Gas Heat Floor or ceiling

    I have Electric heat and no duct work in my house. I am going to save for gas to be installed. (now that it is finally on my street) Now I am looking into ductwork. I have an attic that the ductwork could go into but, my friend said floor would be cold cause ductwork would be in ceiling and heat rises. I have a full basement but , have a drop ceiling down there seems it would be easier to put in attic. One thing you need to know is I had a flat roof at one time and put a new roof over it (A frame) So if I put in ductwork they would have to cut through all that. My insulation is in my ceiling in the house under drywall. My house is very small and have low ceilings (I guess normal height 8 ft?) So would it be that big a problem to put in attic. I plan on putting heater outside or should I put in the attic to , don't know how I would get it up there. I do have pull downstairs but , units seem really big. Boy I am going on sorry. I mostly just don't know where to put the ductwork. up or down. I live in NJ Near the ocean. Thank you

    Elite MGA Home Inspector E&O Insurance

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Gas Heat Floor or ceiling

    You will see very little difference between registers in the ceiling or on the floor. Yes, heat rises, but with 8' ceilings I doubt you will see much difference. I would go with the easier installation.
    Heating units are installed in attics all the time, and can go up pull down ladders easily.
    If its an easier installation in the attic, and the ducts can go above the dropped ceiling, then go for that.
    Keep in mind that a gas line needs to be run to the heater location, so that may factor in as well.


  3. #3
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gas Heat Floor or ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Heating units are installed in attics all the time, and can go up pull down ladders easily.
    Just make sure that there is at least the required space in the attic for the air handler/furnace and that all clearances, working space, and access requirements can be met (which is not likely unless the attic trusses/framing was designed for that as an alternative location at the time of construction).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  4. #4
    John Kogel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gas Heat Floor or ceiling

    A good quality gas fireplace with a blower fan will heat your living room, dining and kitchen if it is reasonably open space. Then you could just leave the electric heaters to take the chill off in the bedrooms. Just saying, small place might not need a furnace.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Gas Heat Floor or ceiling

    Diane,
    Attic installation would then need duct to basement if you want to heat it. With a double roof, thinking the second was built over the first. It may not be as easy as you may think. But could be done.

    With a good installer the duct in the basement could be not as intrusive as you may think. Taking apart a drop ceiling is not hard and covering the ducts is again not hard.

    Get 4 different contractors in and have them quote the two installations in detail as to how the duct can be run to meet your desires. That way you will have know what you can expect for the cost involved.

    Also, if you only size for heat the duct will be smaller than the duct required for heat and air conditioning. Note if you want AC in the future you need to size the duct for it now.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Gas Heat Floor or ceiling

    Floor registers or ceiling registers really depend on if you have an outdoor package system or a split system. With a package system the ductwork will come out of the unit pretty much are ground level and is usually run under the floor joist. With a split system the inside unit which will contain the furnace, blower and AC coil(if you have AC) can be placed in the basement, closet, attic or wherever it properly fits and can receive proper combustion air. The split system could easily be configured for floor registers also if the unit is placed in the basement.

    Personally I do not like floor registers because they are nothing more than a convenient hole in the floor for dirt,crud and the like to collect in. Homes I see with ceiling registers almost always have cleaner ductwork.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Gas Heat Floor or ceiling

    Just something else to think about, but I would do some math before making the move to gas. Just to throw some numbers together you need to find out what it might cost to heat with gas and compare it to the cost of electricity. Then, you can do the math to see if it is worth while for your situation.

    Just for the sake of math, letís say you save $100/month on heating and you heat the home 6 months out of the year which saves $600/year. If the new gas unit costs $10,000 to install it will take 16 years for the new unit to pay for itself ($10k divided by $600). Now, it might be worth it if the current setup is nearing its life span or starting to act up, but if the cost to replace the current unit is $5,000 it would still take 8 years to see the savings switching to gas. If this is a home that you plan to retire in or live in for many-many years it might be worth it, and what if the savings is only $50 per month to switch to gas.


  8. #8
    Diane K's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gas Heat Floor or ceiling

    Thank you all so much So much good info, I like the one that says about the fireplace. I do have a very small house and I do like the electric , cause I can make my bedroom cool and the rest warm or the other way around. I have been thinking fireplace also (propane) . I had a closet in my living room that I ripped out years ago and made a home entertainment center. I have tv,dvd , receiver ect in it (movies too ) I was wondering if it is possible to redo it and move LCD up further and put a fireplace in it without melting everything. Also I have read bad things about ventless fireplaces does anyone know if they are really as safe as the seller is telling me. I googled it and people had a lot of problems. Thank you guys so much for all your help love this site


  9. #9
    John Kogel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gas Heat Floor or ceiling

    Do not even consider a ventless gas fireplace. Buy a good quality direct vent unit like Napolean or Montigo. Make sure the installer reads the instructions. The instruction manual can be downloaded and you can get all the minimum clearances. The vent can go straight out the back of the fireplace to outside. The vent has a guard so it can be 3 or 4 feet above the ground.

    Natural gas is coming down your street so why use propane? Propane is heavier than air and could be filling up your basement and you wouldn't smell it upstairs.

    IMO, the best heat source for a small home is a mini-split heat pump, but we have hydro-electric here. Down in the swamplands, you got natural gas.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  10. #10
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gas Heat Floor or ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane K View Post
    Also I have read bad things about ventless fireplaces does anyone know if they are really as safe as the seller is telling me.
    I won't say ventless fireplaces are unsafe, afterall, they have been tested and approved (and don't have small parts which limit their use to ages 3 and above ), but ...

    ... but there are only a few differences between an unvented gas heater of old (unsafe and not allowed) and a ventless gas fireplace ( ... hmmmm ... "unvented" and "ventless" ... one would think that both means there is not vent to the outdoors - and they would be correct ).

    One of the differences is that the unvented (ventless) gas heater of old and a ventless (unvented) fireplace is that the ventless fireplace as an oxygen depletion sensor which shuts the unit off, whereas the unvented gas heater did not.

    Another difference is that the ventless fireplace has a nice big warning tags telling you not to use it unless ... or ..., whereas the unvented gas heater did not have those warnings by the company's attorney's. All that legal mumbo jumbo to help deflect lawsuits and reduce monetary damages from being sued.

    Hopefully, some others may list additional differences too.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Gas Heat Floor or ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    One of the differences is that the unvented (ventless) gas heater of old and a ventless (unvented) fireplace is that the ventless fireplace as an oxygen depletion sensor which shuts the unit off, whereas the unvented gas heater did not.
    The sensor works when the oxygen is so low that the air can no longer support human life the flame goes out!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  12. #12
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gas Heat Floor or ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    The sensor works when the oxygen is so low that the air can no longer support human life the flame goes out!
    That's a bit late for it to go out, isn't it?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Gas Heat Floor or ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    The sensor works when the oxygen is so low that the air can no longer support human life the flame goes out!
    Well, not exactly.
    When O2 level is low (16-19%) the pilot light flame does not heat the thermocoupler enough to keep the gas valve open. But still enough O2 for people the live.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  14. #14
    Diane K's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gas Heat Floor or ceiling

    Thank you I will stay clear of ventless fireplaces. If I put the fireplace where I want it to does not go to an outside wall it goes to my basement steps. I am thinking my builder friend could run it out some how. I never really gave it a thought that I could have it natural gas still but, I think it cost quite a bit to run the gas from the street to the house. I guess I will have to look that up. Don't know much about any heating source except electric. Since the house is small not to bad but, wish I had duct work so I could get it. I can price everything out but, think it will be better to just get the fireplace. Thanks guys for all your help , if you have any other ideas let me know. Hydro electric I am going to google that hehe.


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    Default Re: Gas Heat Floor or ceiling

    Without actually seeing your house, it's difficult to give advice. It's best to get bids from HVAC contractors and ask about pricing and equipment options. Many times attic installations can be cheaper.

    You might want to look at some of the new mini split heat pump systems. They are starting to make some really efficient systems. I was talking with a company rep. from "Fujitsu" a couple of days ago. They now have units that will heat at 5 degrees below zero and have efficiency ratings up to 27 seer. Theses types of mini-split ductless heat pumps can be very efficient and quick to install.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Gas Heat Floor or ceiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    Without actually seeing your house, it's difficult to give advice. It's best to get bids from HVAC contractors and ask about pricing and equipment options. Many times attic installations can be cheaper.

    You might want to look at some of the new mini split heat pump systems. They are starting to make some really efficient systems. I was talking with a company rep. from "Fujitsu" a couple of days ago. They now have units that will heat at 5 degrees below zero and have efficiency ratings up to 27 seer. Theses types of mini-split ductless heat pumps can be very efficient and quick to install.
    If you put the vents in the ceiling, you should install some ceiling fans to distrubte the hot air downward.


  17. #17
    John Ring's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gas Heat Floor or ceiling

    Diane,
    Best solution - join the rest of the world who have been using them for 30 years - go mini-split and use your electric heat for backup if and when needed.


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