New heating unit & hot water heater for small apartment

3 Replies


I'm separating the gas on a small 2 family building. I will use the existing boiler & hot water heater for the first floor apartment. I'm trying to find the most economical cost for heating & providing hot water for the second floor unit which is 588sq ft, has R30 in the attic which is the ceiling of the apartment, no wall insulation, has 3 external walls, 8 single pane windows with storms, and the floor will most likely be heated from the apartment below. The closet I have to install the furnace/boiler/combi/whatever you suggest is a 4' x 2' closet & vents can go out the wall or up the through the roof. Please advise.

You can use a short boy water heater, which may need to be special ordered from home depot/lowes. I have one myself. 38 gals and right around 4ftx2ft if I had to guess off the top of my head. you can consider using electric baseboard heaters as well if that is economical.

You have gas so gas is probably most cost effective for operation. A couple of points: using electric baseboard is more expensive to run and may require electric upgrades. same with any electiic heat although minisplit can give you the AC too if you want it. Gas tankless water heater also could require gas line bigger then what you have so a small tank unit could be best. If you already have gas hot water baseboard price that out for rerouting with a boiler. Alternately we have done a fireplce gas with 45,000 btu which heated a common area but easiest when you have a fireplace. we also added additional heat sources in bedroom. Alot depends on what is there.

I'm with Colleen.  Electric baseboard for an uninsulated space will be very expensive to operate and will require space that you may or may not have in your panel and pretty large wire to bring up, although if you use a small resistance hot water heater like Andrew suggests, and which might be your only option,  I guess you'll be running wire anyway.. Minisplits rock these days, even in extreme cold, which used to not be true.  But you do need to find a place outside for that condenser....

Is it not possible to insulate these walls if you're already doing work on this place?  A few inches of polyiso, seams taped,  with sheetrock over it would make the space much easier to heat.

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