I am in a situation now where I am having to choose between hydronic heat distribution and forced warm air heating.
There are many factors to evaluate and this question is not about the plusses and minuses of forced air heating/cooling vs hot water pipes and radiators.
For a reasonable sized home for a family of four, well insulated to low energy loss (not passive), what is the usual difference between the cost of the piping/radiators/installation (water) vs cost of ducting and venting (air)?
Are there differences in the types of duct? I notice some websites show rectangular ducts, some circular, sometime different materials it seems.
From what I have seen so far, the air ducting system looks like it could be much cheaper, as rectangular ducts can be run around the ceiling to avoid space loss, masked as beams, or installed in a suspended ceiling (which I might end up having anyway).
Any advice much appreciated!
UPDATE: The system would not include A/C at this point but might be added in the future. We are told warm air heating would make things dusty without filters, so some kind of dust protection would be good, though HEPA filters and anti-allergy not necessary. Recuperation would be good. Suspended ceilings would most likely be in place. There would be 2 showers and one bath with possibly 2 showers in operation simultaneously. There would be a dishwasher and other appliances that might need hot water. Energy source most likely mains gas with possibility of heat pumps. Wood burner also an option. Construction/recon here not of the best quality, will need to expect thermal bridges and mould build up. Temperatures range from -30C to +40C around the year. Low noise essential - eg: Bosch hydronic air handler, recuperation with heating, low noise fans etc