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The least expensive forced-air system usually includes a single-stage furnace with a single-speed blower motor. The entire house is ducted as a single zone, and therefore has just one thermostat. If system is sized by a contractor who uses a rule-of-thumb formula to estimate heat loss and heat gain, homeowner can end up paying higher-energy bills for a noisier, less efficient system that provides uneven temperatures from room to room.
A quality forced-air system would probably include a Coleman two-stage furnace with a variable-speed blower motor.
The house would be separated into several zones, I recommend Arzel Zoning Systems, with separate thermostats, and air would be distributed through well-sealed, insulated ducts. In many cases, such an upgraded hot-air system will still cost less than a hydronic system.
Daniel Gipe is President of Yours By Design Heating and Cooling, Inc. in Blaine, Minnesota. Website: www.ybdhc.com email@example.com