THE BUILDER DEVELOPMENT CORP
Custom Home Building and Renovations
Model home and shed center located at 400 Route 9, Fishkill New York 12524
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
There are lots of options for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC).
Most factories offer either Hot Water Baseboard Heat or Electric Baseboard Heat as a factory installed standard. But there are other choices:
- Electric Baseboard Heat is the easiest and least expensive system to install. The electric radiators and their individual thermostats per room are factory installed and require very little additional work on site to connect some of the circuits to the electrical panel (Electric Work). Despite the low installation cost and the high degree of control per room, electric heat is not very popular in the Northeast because of operating costs. Hot water is supplied by a separate gas or electric hot water heater, usually supplied and installed locally.
- Hot Water Baseboard Heat, sometimes called Forced Hot Water Heat, uses a boiler, either gas or oil fired, to heat water that is pumped through a system of radiators to provide heat. When you choose this option, the factory will install base board radiators. On the first floor, they will be simply stubbed through the floor into the basement ceiling (Plumbing & Heating) to be connected by the local plumbing & heating sub contractor. Hot water systems will also require a boiler which is supplied and installed on site, usually in the basement or crawlspace. The system can be controlled by a single thermostat, or groups of radiators can be grouped into zones that allows different temperature settings in various parts of the house. Because the radiators all use the same boiler, zoning is more complicated than in electric heat where each electric radiator is independent, but with some planning, it is fairly easy to have two, three, or more zones of hot water heat in a modest house. The same boiler that heats hot water for the heating system can provide domestic hot water, with or without a hot water storage tank.
Air Distribution Systems are usually supplied and installed locally.
- Forced Hot Air heat traditionally uses a furnace which can be heated by gas, oil or electric. Unlike a boiler, a furnace is a box that heats air. Unheated air is drawn into the furnace over the flame or electric coil and forced out through ducts into the rooms. Because of the high temperatures of the flame, traditional forced air heat tends to be very dry.
- Central Air Conditioning is much more popular in the Northeast than it was in the past. Central AC has two major components, an air distribution system and a cooling source. The air distribution system consists of duct work and an "air handler". The air handler is a box with a fan that draws warm air from the rooms, passes it through a filter, a cooling chamber, and back to the rooms via the duct work. The cooling source is usually a compressor that pumps coolant through the cooling chamber in the air handler. While zoning can sometimes be accomplished through a system of dampers, it is more common to use a split system with a dedicated compressor and air distribution system for each zone.
- Hydronic Forced Air heat uses the same kind of air distribution system as central air. Instead of a cooling chamber, the air handler has a heating chamber with a hot water coil. Hot water is pumped from the boiler through the coil. The air handler draws cool air from the rooms through a filter and the heating chamber and out to the rooms through the ducts. Because Hydronic forced air uses hot water to heat the air instead of a flame, it tends to be much less dry than traditional forced hot air.
- Combined Heating and Cooling is easily achieved by using and air handler that has both a heating and cooling chamber. The same fan and duct work distributes either warm air or cool air, depending on the thermostat setting. In split systems, a single boiler can supply hot water to several air handlers.
Your general contractor, and/or your HVAC sub contractor should review the modular plans before the house is ordered, so that any necessary hot water lines or electric circuits to the attic are properly located. The plan my also need to be modified to provide spaces where duct work or air returns can be located.
Remember, The Builder Development Corp can act as your General Contractor to oversee the entire project, or as a subcontractor for some portion of the project.