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  1. #1
    I've just poured the foundations on a self-designed 1344 sq.ft. 2 story home 150 miles north of Toronto, Ontario. R50+ walls, ground floor is slab on grade with R15 (Soya foam) beneath, 1st floor is R60+, unused attic is R60+, both BIBS (blown-in fiberglass). 10% window openings, all south or east facing. The upper floor is the main living space; the ground floor will hardly be used. No gas available, so source must be propane, oil, wood, or electricity. My walls will be 12" thick (two 2x4 walls 12" outside to outside), my floor is 16" deep joists, and there's tons of room in the truss (20" knee).

    I had been considering electric radiant throughout as my current home (also self-designed and built in 2001) uses hydronic radiant. I like the comfort factor of radiant (constant even temp, no unnecessary air movement, quiet.) The new house lacks the thermal mass (I believe) to support hydronic, and I felt that putting a slab on the upper floor would require an engineered floor (which I didn't have the time or money to get designed.)

    Meanwhile the quote on electric radiant has come in at over C$$$$&&

    So I am now open to any form of system to do heating and A/C. I intended to get a Venmar AVS EKO 1.5 HRV, but if that can be avoided with the HVAC, great.

    Suggestions?
    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 02-11-2012 at 11:34 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    North East Ohio
    Posts
    776
    GEO with electric heat back-up would be nice but it may get a little pricey. Is Canada offering incentives for installing GEO like they are doing here in the states? Here you could get 30% back as a tax credit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,777

  4. #4
    Ok, well let's just say that the electric radiant pricing was considerably higher than I expected it to be, high enough to make any other kind of HVAC seem worth considering.

    As far as incentives go, I am trying to find them out. All I have found so far is a rebate on tax paid on the entire house, and rebates on upgrades (which I don't qualify for.)

  5. #5
    It seems that all current incentives here are directed towards upgrades, and require the home to be occupied for at least 6 months prior to having an energy audit performed. So I don't think I qualify for anything other than the sales tax rebate (which applies to virtually the entire cost of building the house.)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Posts
    798
    Quote Originally Posted by NTBugtraq View Post
    It seems that all current incentives here are directed towards upgrades, and require the home to be occupied for at least 6 months prior to having an energy audit performed. So I don't think I qualify for anything other than the sales tax rebate (which applies to virtually the entire cost of building the house.)
    easy loop hole to swim through. build the house with a geothermal system, and dont have it "completely installed" until 6 months



    btw...i recommend not taking tax advice from me

  7. #7
    We can move past the rebate discussion since any rebate currently available ends soon anyway.

    I just received a "ball park" quote on a geo system, it was higher than the electric radiant quote and doesn't include any interior distribution components...

    I should have stated in the original post that I am going to have a high efficiency wood burning stove on the main floor (which is almost entirely open concept) and expect it to provide all of the heating requirements 90+% of the time. So a "backup" system that costs tens of thousands of dollars really seems like overkill to me.

    But, alternatives that are cheaper don't sound like what I want either. Baseboard heaters would be much cheaper, but they can get in the way and I believe will result in higher insurance bills (could be wrong?). Anything that involves placing registers (e.g. any sort of forced air product) adds a cost that isn't there with just A/C and HRV.

    Have I talked myself out of all products at this point?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    North East Ohio
    Posts
    776
    You could use a ductless split system. No registers, no ductwork. Just a (becoming a little more aestetically pleasing) indoor unit that would hang on the wall. This could take care of the air conditioning and if you got a heat pump version, it could provide you with some heat. Extremely Cold temps are a draw back to heat pumps though.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,777
    Quote Originally Posted by NTBugtraq

    Have I talked myself out of all products at this point?
    I believe this to be the case.


    Personally, I would dispose of the high-efficiency wood burner, go with a TRULY efficient system like geothermal and move on

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,837
    Question for you. Who feeds the wood burner if you break your ankle and can't walk for a couple of weeks? Just wondering.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    Mini split, ducted or ductless depending on your preference. One outdoors unit will allow you have 2 zones.

    Conversely, Your heat load should be very, very small. with a smaller house that's so well insulated. You could just install some electric resistance radiant floor heat in the bathrooms for some supplemental heat. With a mini-split, you might want a ducted unit so a single unit upstairs and doenstairs can cover all rooms evenly.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by skippedover View Post
    Question for you. Who feeds the wood burner if you break your ankle and can't walk for a couple of weeks? Just wondering.
    The same person who gets me a glass of water or food...me or homecare...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,538
    Quote Originally Posted by NTBugtraq View Post
    I've just poured the foundations on a self-designed 1344 sq.ft. 2 story home 150 miles north of Toronto, Ontario. R50+ walls, ground floor is slab on grade with
    So I am now open to any form of system to do heating and A/C. I intended to get a Venmar AVS EKO 1.5 HRV, but if that can be avoided with the HVAC, great.

    Suggestions?
    If I had a small house in your climate with a wood burner, I would use 60-100 cfm of fresh make-up air for ventilation. The make-up air will make your wood burner work better when the clothes drier, kitchen exhaust, and variable winds on the house are creating negative pressures. Beside there is little to no payback on the ERV with local wood heat. You will not save enough to pay for the electricity to run the fans.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

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