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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Central MN
    Posts
    49

    Looking for hydronic heating options

    I currently heat my house with baseboard heaters.
    Water is heated with a mini boiler to 180F

    I am remodeling the interior and would like to replace 32' of the baseboard heat cause it's old and in rough shape.
    Instead of just replacing with new what other options do I have?
    One complaint I have is the floor is so cold. my basement is unfinished and unheated causing a cold floor.

    Thanks,
    Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Central MN
    Posts
    49

    Looking for hydronic heating options

    I currently heat my house with baseboard heaters.
    Water is heated with a mini boiler to 180F

    I am remodeling the interior and would like to replace 32' of the baseboard heat cause it's old and in rough shape.
    Instead of just replacing with new what other options do I have?
    One complaint I have is the floor is so cold. my basement is unfinished and unheated causing a cold floor.

    Thanks,
    Chris

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Altmar, New York, United States
    Posts
    5,110
    what is a mini boiler? is it a brand? is it a condensing boiler? you should have a pro come in to do a good heat load. then you will have a better idea of what you can do and can't do.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Central MN
    Posts
    49
    It's an Electo TS Series electric boiler.

    The baseboard I have now is sufficent just beat up and ugly.
    There are so many optoins out there; I'm looking at different ideas before I call someone in.

    I have infloor heat in my garage and I like that. It wouild be nice to find an under floor heat that can be installed from the basement.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    An electric boiler in MN. I hope it's a well insulated home. I wouldn't want to see the electric bills.

    Radiant floor heat would increase comfort. Any way to get natural gas there, or have you looked at geothermal?


    Amazing that they want to ban 80% furnaces, but they still allow electric boilers. A POU water heater is fine, but a regular boiler?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Central MN
    Posts
    49
    I have a smaller house, 25 x 42; Garage is same size
    Mild winter last year but it cost me 750 to heat both.

    We don't have natural gas and geothermal was too much up front.

    Talk more about radiant floor heat

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    7,326
    Radiant floor heat. Will cost some bucks, but much nicer if done correctly. I did the same thing here in pa, installing radiant floor heat in my home in the kitchen, dining, and living rooms, totalling around 1000 square feet.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Atlanta area
    Posts
    2,662
    Wood stove in the basement. Heat rises through the floor.
    Vacuum Technology:
    CRUD = Contamination Resulting in Undesirable Deposits.
    CRAPP = Contamination Resulting in Additional Partial Pressure.

    Change your vacuum pump oil now.

    Test. Testing, 1,2,3.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    759
    Hold up there cowboy. Here in Minnesota we have lots of ways to heat a home. Starting with wood fired boilers out in the woods, propane as you get nearer to town, some of us have electricity - lights and everything - and in the big city we have natural gas in abundance.

    Though the bulk of my business in with condensing boilers and radiant floors, much of it is also designing systems using relatively cheap 4 cents/kW interruptable power. In renovating radiant floors we use several "sandwich" type radiant panels that are installed on top of an existing floor, sub-floor panels installed under the existing floor or the often superior system, radiant ceilings.

    I myself have an Electro boiler with ODR. Even though we have installed nearly every condensing boiler available it is still a lot more work to install a gas boiler and for the current electric rate in my area of the Metro it was a no-brainer.

    If you have a cold floor there is but one way to fix it and that is to radiate it. If the basement is unfinished a proper heat load would determine the various radiant floor options that might work for you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    Quote Originally Posted by drift buster View Post
    I have a smaller house, 25 x 42; Garage is same size
    Mild winter last year but it cost me 750 to heat both.

    We don't have natural gas and geothermal was too much up front.

    Talk more about radiant floor heat
    Maybe look at a air source heat pump and a heat pump water heater sized for cooling to supplement the existing system.

    Man, I'd still take a hard look at geo. Even just 1.5 tons might be enough. I wonder if they tried ot put in 3 tons.

    For refrence, my natural gas bills including hot water were $740 last year.... for 2 furnaces in a 3200sqft house plus 1700sqft heated, unfinished basement and passively heated garage (stays over 50F all winter). At my electric rates, natural gas costs 1/4 per BTU what resistance electric costs. Even a lower end heat pump would be 1/2 the cost ot operate through a whole season.

    I'm a little suprised that there aren't more heat pump boilers in the US. Just a reverse cycle chiller. All you need is a plate and frame heat exchanger indoors and a standard heat pump condenser, then an aquastat to cycle the unit. Far lower installed cost than geothermal with big savings over stright resistance. The only catch, is that you'll still need the electric boiler for supplemental heat. O nthe lus side, you get chileld water for cooling in summer. Great for a low load climate like MN.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    759
    Low load climate is the thing. I use a minisplit for the 400 hrs of cooling we need here in Minneapolis.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Central MN
    Posts
    49
    I like the idea of replacing the baseboard with radiant floor heating for distribution. Cost will be more but a much more comfortable heat.

    I also have a minisplit system for cooling needs and heating during cooler temps.

    I upgraded to a 200 amp service and doing so the power lines to my house (upstream of the electric meter) needed to be upgraded also. Because I refused to pay for the upgraded power lines my electric company said I could not participate in the duel fuel program for 5 years.

    Operating costs of electric heat may be abit more but it's the best I can to do for now. T turn the minisplit back on when outdoor temps get above zero.
    I have an electric hot water heater and am thinking of upgrading that to perhaps a propane unit when I can get on the duel fuel program

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    Unfinished basement? Cold floors? The up front may be higher but the floor heat is fantastic, comfort wise. You seem to be leaning that way already if you need a nudge its hands down the most comfortable even way to heat a space, IMHO.

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