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Radiant Heat in the home

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Richman21, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Jun 30, 2011 at 8:25 AM
    #1
    Richman21

    Richman21 [OP] I think therefore I'm a Democrat

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    Anyone got it? Likes, dislikes?? Expensive to operate? What kind of floor covering do you have? Tile, wood??

    Thinking about building a house with radiant heat, sounds pretty nice but what to hear what people have to say about it. Thanks!!!
     
  2. Jun 30, 2011 at 8:29 AM
    #2
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    It's awesome but very expensive to install initially. The last house I was in that had it was wood floors. It makes you feel nice and warm although it may actually be cooler than what you'd set the thermostat for with forced hot air. Downside is it takes a while to get nice and warm. Auto thermostats and well thought out zone control can help. You could also add a supplimental forced hot air system to smaller parts of the house so if you're coming back after a trip say, you could turn on the forced hot air and have part of the house nice and toasty while the radiant heat slowly warms the rest. If I could afford it, I'd have it in my current house in a heartbeat!
     
  3. Jun 30, 2011 at 8:34 AM
    #3
    Richman21

    Richman21 [OP] I think therefore I'm a Democrat

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    Thanks for the reply. Apparently the builder has zones for bedrooms and living areas. Is it expensive to operate on a monthly basis. The builder was saying for a 2500 sq ft house here in new mexico during the summer months his electric bill with refrigerated air is $60. Which is great here.
     
  4. Jun 30, 2011 at 8:44 AM
    #4
    Simon's Mom

    Simon's Mom Wag More Bark Less

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    I have it in my house now and love it. Tile & wood floors.
    In my last place, my friend who owns a P&H business & I installed it in my new garage under the slab. After seeing how it was done, running the lines etc., it was not that difficult minus the tie-in for the zone off the hot water boiler. But that is why Bernie was there. ;) God love him! We did the setup in about 4 hrs & He added the circulators etc. the next day.
    It was awesome in the garage, you could sleep on it toasty warm!

    Neither place is expensive for me to heat with it, but I am on a direct natural gas w/ energy efficient construction. I also like how you do not have any registers. No problems w/ yearly maintenance like purging the lines etc.
     
  5. Jun 30, 2011 at 8:45 AM
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    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    It's supposedly cheaper to operate vs. forced hot air but it's debatable with some of the new high efficiency units available nowadays. I wouldn't install it unless you plan on staying there a while otherwise you'll never see the payback. The big draw in my opinion is the comfort level. When the walls and floors are warm, you feel warmer vs pumping in hot air to various areas and walking on cold floors.

    You guys must have dirt cheap electrical service! In MA, my electric bill can be upwards of $100/month in the summer months...:(
     
  6. Jun 30, 2011 at 8:49 AM
    #6
    Richman21

    Richman21 [OP] I think therefore I'm a Democrat

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    We plan on staying for ~15-20 years. Oh, mine is not $60. Electric for me is ~$80-120 in the summer with my water bill going up another $30 per month because we use swamp coolers down here. So $60 for the electric bill in the summer months is excellent it seems espeically with refridgeated air.
     
  7. Jun 30, 2011 at 8:49 AM
    #7
    OZ-T

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    Hydronic radiant heat is awesome but only if you install it in a slab or concrete over framing situation .

    The thermal mass of the concrete is the key to regulating the constant temperature .

    Another key ingredient is the heat source for the water . There are new air to water heat pumps that are the best solution , more costly up front but use next to no electricity unlike an electric boiler .

    I have some hydronic in my house and have installed it in many jobs .
     
  8. Jun 30, 2011 at 8:53 AM
    #8
    Richman21

    Richman21 [OP] I think therefore I'm a Democrat

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    The builder installs it in concrete. How is the install done for a second story? The builder is considered a "Green Builder" which is one reason we are considering him.
     
  9. Jun 30, 2011 at 9:06 AM
    #9
    OZ-T

    OZ-T Quite an experience to live in fear , isn't it ?

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    The easiest way to install a second floor is " staple up " which has the tubing installed to the underside of the second floor plywood with aluminum fins to force the heat up .

    This is the least expensive yet least effective method .

    The best way is to install the tubing on top of the plywood and pour concrete , usually 1 1/2" thick over the tubing , this gives the benefit of the thermal mass of the concrete to hold the heat and it requires less energy to sustain the temperature you desire .

    This installation type needs to be addressed early in the planning process because the second floor framing members need to be sized correctly for the additional load of the concrete and the second floor framed walls are built on an additional plate wider than the wall bottom plate to provide a screed for the concrete finishers .
     
  10. Jun 30, 2011 at 9:51 AM
    #10
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Careful with "Green Builders", some try to charge you more because they're considered green when in fact a lot of the building materials used in green construction are becoming more readily available and cost competitive with conventional construction. Just make sure you're not being taken for a ride...
     
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