Our 1800-sf ranch house in NYS has a hodgepodge of heating and cooling systems.
An oil boiler (20 yo, with significant overhaul when we bought the house 3 yrs ago) heats our house via hydronic baseboards. It also heats the water, which is stored/managed by an indirect tank (added 2 years ago). Also replaced the oil tank (2 years ago).
We added (3 years ago) central AC throughout the house via new ducts through the attic. Compressor outside, air handler in the attic. Ceiling vents in each room.
We pulled the baseboard heaters (3 years ago) from the 3 bathrooms and put in electric radiant in the floors.
We finished the basement (2 years ago), and put in electric baseboard heaters throughout to warm that.
That’s all the preamble… The question is, what would be the best move for getting rid of the oil boiler entirely?
One, we want to transition away from fossil fuels generally. (We have a pretty large roof with southern exposure that we’d eventually like to add solar panels to, as well.)
Two, we have an insanely steep driveway and have genuinely had some close calls in terms of getting oil deliveries during the winter (I had a weeklong stretch one winter where the oil truck could not make it up our driveway and I was driving to the gas station and filling up a 5-gallon diesel can to make sure we didn’t run out of fuel).
Three, the boiler blower is loud and smelly, and switching to a chimney to alleviate those problems will cost around $9k.
Four, maintenance on a 20-yo boiler is real and regular.
Do we keep the hydronic heating setup upstairs and replace the oil boiler with an electric boiler?
Do we let the hydronics go completely unused and instead replace the AC with a heat pump capable of heating as well as cooling, sending heat to rooms via the ceiling AC vents? (We’ve lived in a house with ceiling-vent furnace heat before, so I’m aware that there are drawbacks in terms of heat delivery).
In any case, do we add an electric water heater for our water heating needs? Tank or tankless?
And yes, we do lose power in the winter on occasion. But when we do, we also lose the ability to run the oil boiler, so switching to all electric is no greater risk in that regard.
Thanks for the input.