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  1. #1

    Electric Radiant Heating

    I would appreciate a little advice on heating a new home.

    This is a 3500 SF home, over three floors, in Boston, MA where summers are too hot and winters are too cold. It is new construction. It is an urban setting - I don't think geothermal is an option.

    I will certainly install air conditioning so will need ductwork. However, I would prefer radiant heating. The cost of a hydronic system would probably be prohibitive.

    Is electrical floor radiant a viable option as a primary heating system for a house of this size?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,915
    Quote Originally Posted by saltedcocoa View Post
    Is electrical floor radiant a viable option as a primary heating system for a house of this size?
    Electric radiant heating is only slightly more economical to operate than actually burning cash money for its BTU content...
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by mark beiser View Post
    Electric radiant heating is only slightly more economical to operate than actually burning cash money for its BTU content...
    That is what I assumed but I wanted to be sure that there wasn't any change in the way people thought about electric radiant. i.e. perhaps due to better insulated homes or maybe the potential addition of solar panels.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Portland OR
    Posts
    2,030
    You need to be hydronic radiant with gas boiler or geothermal or maybe even a Daikin Altherma if you want to be able to afford your mortgage payment after paying your electric bill.
    Check out my YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/skyheating1 We have customer testimonials, product reviews and more!
    Like us on FACEBOOK if you like our advice here!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,263
    Install the in floor tubing and manifolds, Pressure test them. Then put in standard forced air. Add a boiler in a couple of years.
    I r the king of the world!...or at least I get to stand on the roof and look down on the rest of yall

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    769
    First the available sources of fuel, then a review of construction, windows, insulation, levels and uses. Finally, the HVAC design base on calculated heating and cooling loads.

    My own recent remodel included foam and an ERV with loads low enough to allow one minisplit air-to-air heat pump for cooling and radiant floor on all levels.

    Many of our designs here in Minneapolis include radiant floor in the basement level driven by a dual purpose condensing water heater and traditional forced air for the upper.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,841
    I'd not recommend electric radiant unless it's there just to keep the bathroom floors from being cold (meaning there is another heat source for the bathroom air temperature). Radiant floors/walls/ceilings are in an entirely different category from the duct systems and the tubing and installation is a large part of the radiant installation costs. If radiant is too prohibitive, I'd recommend you consider a top of the line modulating gas furnace and add in a modulating heat pump that will give you options on heating. Those options would include heating using a combination of heat pump/gas furnace (dependent on outdoor conditions and operational considerations, such as temperature set-back/step-up) or just heat pump or just gas furnace. The modulating heat pump even allows the system to be over sized for cooling, thus allowing for lower outdoor temperatures before the HP runs out of capacity, as is the limitation on most dual fuel systems.

    No matter what type of system you ultimately choose, please be sure it's designed using science and not guesswork. Load analysis is the basis. Absent that, all else is guessing.
    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!

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