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Apollo Hydro Heat System

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David S. Roberson

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Ever heard of this? It's some kind of heat system that uses water from the hot water heater to heat the house. From what I could see, water pipes from the water heater go into the air handler for the HVAC unit. What it does or where it goes from there, I don't know. I suppose it coils around and returns to the water heater. I saw it in a house today, and the owner, who has lived there for 28 years, tells me he has never used it and doesn't know how it works. I repeat, he has lived there for 28 years and has never used the heating system. He does have a wood stove in the basement that was burning wood while I was there to heat the house, but I find this really hard to believe. At least once in 28 years, you would think they would have tried to turn on the heat. So I'm thinking, it probably doesn't work and he is trying to downplay its importance. What would you do? Make the appraisal contingent on an inspection from a qualified HVAC guy? Assume it doesn't work & adjust for the cost to install a proper heating unit? Make the extraordinary assumption that it does work, and then adjust for market reaction to the only house in 100 square miles with this type HVAC? And make this adjustment with no hard market data, because as I said, there are no houses in this area with this type HVAC to get a market reaction from? Remember I said he has been in this house for 28 years; the water heater AND this funky heater look to be about 5 years old. Does this tell you something? I think maybe he bought this from some slick salesman and ended up with a pile of crap in his basement. What say you, oh Wise Forumites? I need input!!!
 

Ken Martin

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
I have this type of heating system in my own home. Works fine. As you said, the water from the hot water heater is piped thru an air exchanger (much like a car radiator) where a fan blows over it to produce the hot air. Granted it is not as warm air as a gas furnace, however it does work. The air exchanger has a separate system for the cooling of course. Many homes in this area have this type system and have recently seen one in a new construction case.
 

Liz South

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Virginia
I too have this type of heat in my home. Works fine here in this area (mid Atlantic). Cheap way for builder to install heat in areas since they only use the one heating system(water heater) where buyers don't really want a heat pump (kinda expensive to use during the cold spells here).

I agree with you that its kinda strange that the owner says he never has utilized the heat in 28 years. I would at least CYA and disclose in the report that the owner indicated non use and that you were unable to determine whether it worked etc. I would also probably adjust in condition and explain about it. I'm a great one for addendums to explain what I'm doing, sure saves on having UW's call back for additional info.

Liz S.
 

David S. Roberson

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Ken & Liz,

I just did a Google search, and from the results and your comments, it appears that I'm a little behind the curve on this. As a matter of fact, it may not be a bad system at all. Does it heat well enough for areas with 2-3 months in the 20-30 degree range? Is it efficient as opposed to heat pumps and gas forced warm air units?
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
Like David, you have struck my interest. What is the energy source? Heating oil, gas, electric? I have seen Athalon heating and cooling systems, geo-heating & cooling systems, but never one from a water heater. How does it compare in cost for really cold or really hot weather :?:
Mell.
 

wyecoyote

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Gvmt Agency, FNMA, HUD, VA etc.
State
Washington
David,

First question, did you turn the heat on? My opinion is to actually test it and see if it works. I've done this before where a homeowner uses primarily the woodstove for heating only and they also have a Furnace or other heating source. I tell them up front that I will have to actually turn it on to see that it does work (even during the summer months). If it works great then explain and what type of system it is. As far as any adjustment for said system. That is up to your market area. What I do if there is something like this I would not adjust for it explain that the lack of market data is not there to support an adjustment either way.

If on the other hand it doesn't work then by all means make the report subject to repairs of the heating system.

Ryan.
 
P

pkbarnhart

Guest
David: I have a brother in the foothills of the Sierras in California. The last time I visited he told me that he hadn't used his furnace in over 10 years and heats exclusively with a pellet stove. "Pellets are a renewable resourse".

The "experts" on this forum seem to think that this is a viable heating system. It doesn't look like you have enough data to determine whether or not this system is inferior or superior than the typical heating system in your area, hence it doesn't look like an adjustment is supportable.

As to whether or not you should make some sort of repair condition on the furnace would really depend on what type of appraisal you are doing. FHA requires that you verify that the heat system is working. VA requires that "heating must be adequate for healthful and comfortable living conditions." Other than that you get onto very "soft ground". I typically do not turn on any appliances, check the plumbing, etc. on any property unless I am required to, ie for FHA. In the statement of Limiting Conditions the appraiser states that "any adverse conditions...observed during the inspection of the subject property" be noted in the report. I am not an inspector and I assume that all mechanical systems, etc. are operating in average condition unless there is visible evidence that they don't work... like the house is dark and cold, water is running down the walls, etc. :wink: I have always thought that this was a little bit of a cowards way out, but on the other hand.. how many homes have you inspected where the dishwasher is broken, a toilet doesn't work, etc. and you don't know it because you didn't check it. I don't want the liability of being an inspector. Since your borrower told you that the system hasn't been used how do you know that it doesn't work. I think you could assume that it does work unless you have evidence to the contrary. If the home is being sold I typically make a statement in the appraisal report that I am not an inspector and that I highly recommend that all mechanical systems, plumbing, etc. be inspected by either the borrower or a Licensed home inspector. If the home is a refinance I would typically discuss the type of heat and roll on...

I
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
I've seen this used as an in-floor heat system in a large insulated garage. Two water heaters supplied the hot water.

They are cheap to install but from what I understand, the higher the temperature of the water, the better the heat transfer to the air and therefore the more efficient the system is. Water heaters are not designed to operate in the 180-degree range that regular hot water systems employ. I would think that if you tried to push them, you might get problems. Of course, at $180 per water heater, you cold afford to go through one every couple of years.
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
Apollo Hydro Heat & Cooling

Address: 500 Bypass Rd.
City, state: Ashland City, TN
Zip/postal code: 37015
Country: UNITED STATES
Tel: 800-365-5793
Toll free phone: 800-365-5793
Fax: 800-365-3292
 

Liz South

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Virginia
My gas water heater tied into my Apollo system is approx 14 years old, still working fine - of course there is somewhat limited use for domestic water. The Apollo system works fine UNLESS there is a COLD COLD morning and there is HIGH DEMAND for domestic hot water. If the family is taking ALOT of hot showers and washing clothes and the dishwasher all at one time - the water heater has some difficulty keeping up with the demand and the house might cool down some - but most water heaters from the last 15 years or so are generally "quick recovery" with the ability to keep at least some hot water. I could get into technical description as I was a contractor for a number of years and very familiar with the specs on different types of heat. Don't want to bore everyone.

I keep temp on water heater over 140, most domestic set at 120 so it provides hot air but also hot showers, just warn guests that water is a little hotter than normal domestic water.

I make no adjustments for this type of heat as it is clearly accepted in the market.

Liz S.
 
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