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Can I convert to forced air / ductwork gradually?

17 years ago

I am thinking about buying my father's house from the estate. If I do I want to convert from the current steam heating/radiator system to forced air/air conditioning. Not because I want to, but because here in Michigan there is tremendous prejudice against and ignorance of any water- based heating system in residential homes - forced air is the heat of choice! Even realtors steer their clients clear of houses with steam heat. The house is otherwise beautiful with many recent updates. We have had much interest, even a couple of offers, but things keep hitting a snag with the steam heat. (Except for the flippers, who want to pay us a pittance, most likely with plans to gut it and install forced air anyway.)

Soooo - if I do buy it can I have an HVAC person design how all the ductwork should be laid out and install the ductwork gradually - room-by-room - then at the end have the furnace/ac unit installed? My brother could actually install the ductwork for me. This would allow me to continue enjoying the home and the nice steam heat while the work is being done (rather than living through the nightmare of having the whole house gutted at once.) It also would allow me to pay as I go rather than go into debt or deplete my savings.

The house is an 1800 square foot two story Sears Robuck house built in 1917.

The mini-duct systems interest me, but it sounds like heat cannot be provided with anything but electricity for these - electric heat is not practical for Michigan winters. If it is possible to use a mini-duct system with gas powered heat, I'd be interested depending on the cost???

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