Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    5

    Replacing Forced Air with Radiant

    We are renovating our slab on grade house and currently use a thermopride oil furnace for our forced air heat.

    Our house is mostly slab on grade, with 200 square feet of floor over basement. As part of the renovation, we are going to switch from forced air to radiant. We are going to install radiant in the common living areas, kitchen and baths as there will be access to he slab/joists. The pex tubing will be installed on top of the slab and under the plywood subfloor. We will use a strip hardwood floor (stable solid wood) throughout.

    We will install 2 other zones of radiant baseboard heat-one for basement and one for bedrooms where we do not have access to subfloor.

    Contractor is recommending a Burnham MPO 189 unit and Phase III indirect water heater. This seems to be a high quality pairing. We are served by well water. Contractor has run heat loss load/Man J and seems to know what he is talking about.

    Based on the above facts, does the system seem good?

    Separately, our thermopride furnace is about 20 years old. Heating company won't give us any value for it, but they agree that it is a great furnace. Does anyone think there be a market for this?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,996

    Sounds like a great combo

    I'd just get my water tested. If you have a high chloride count, maybe a stainless tank is not for you. I love my Phase III, bu there's no easy way to get sediment out of the bottom of the DHW tank. If there's a great amount of sediment in the water you may want to filter the water before the indirect.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,837
    There are probably as many opinions on the topic of choice as there are options as to what to do. It seems like you're satisfied with the system as designed and since it's your home and you're paying the bills, I'd say that's a winning combination.

    Questions I would have asked you otherwise are: do you no want cooling in the summer? Have you considered some sort of heat to give you options versus fossil fuel fired system(s)? Comfort is apparently our driving issue here since you've opted for radiant floors but how tight is the home going to be once the renovations are done? Should you be getting a source of fresh air (energy recovery unit, ERV) or are there any members of the family who have any health issues? Radiant floor heating can be very comfortable heat when installed properly but it has zero ability to enhance indoor air quality (except it doesn't dry the air as much as burnt air heat) that thing like Ultraviolet lights and electronic air cleaners can.

    If you're having a central ac system installed, I'd highly recommend upgrading to a heat pump with a fossil fuel kit to give you the option of using it for heat either some or all of the time if you grow weary of paying for fossil fuels. A ducted system can also improve the indoor air quality with the aforementioned IAQ items and with todays equipment can easily be zoned for a well balanced system. Of course the heat pump also provides the cool air and dehumidification in the summer to give you all year 'round comfort.

    Our company does both wet and dry heat, dual fuel systems, geo-thermal and mini-splits. So these are just the standard questions and suggestions we pose to people so they know all the options they truly have. We sell neither fuel oil, natural or propane gas so our only product is our service and we sell and service products for all those fuels, as well as heat pumps.

    Wish you luck and years of comfort in your renovated home.
    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!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    739

    Of course the main concern is comfort!

    The answer to your question is an unqualified yes.

    You should use a softener if you water is hard. As for sediment, indirects do not transfer heat from the bottom up and are uneffected by sediment.

    Consider castiron baseboard or European style radiation for the rooms that can't have the unmatched comfort of radiant floor heating.

    A.C. is not related to heating. They achieve two opposite conditions are only combined as a matter of economy and in most cases at the cost of efficiency AND comfort.


    MA

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    5

    Proper size

    Thanks for feedback. One additional question. Man J suggest we need 100kbtu boiler. Contractor is suggesting we install one size up, in the event that we add on to the house-a distinct possiblity in 5 years. Is there any harm in having an oversized boiler (other than the initial cost)? Thanks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    739
    Size the boiler to the final design. If that is one size up, great.

    MA

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,837
    Quote Originally Posted by BadgerBoiler MN View Post
    A.C. is not related to heating. They achieve two opposite conditions are only combined as a matter of economy and in most cases at the cost of efficiency AND comfort.


    MA
    Couldn't disagree with this comment more. People with biases for either ducted or wet systems issue this kind of blather all the time. Not true, pure and simple. Companies that specialize in all types of heating and cooling can easily deliver extraordinary comfort from ducted systems. That's not to detract from properly designed and installed wet sytems (we do those too) but the wet sytems neither cool nor dehumidify a home during the summer. That, IMO, is discomfort. I wouldn't debate for one second the comfort of a properly designed and installed radiant floor heating system but then, I've put them in walls and ceilings, also with excellent results. On the other hand, our warm air systems have thermostats that are sensitve to 1/10th of a degree and track trends up or down and can operate the equipment long before a conventional t-stat even senses a temperature swing. So I stick by my statement, it all depends on how educated the installing company is and whether they have any biases or not. Plumber (I'm a master plumber myself) are normally biased to water systems or at best, high velocity air systems. Radiant floor specialty companies are equally biased. Companies that do just ducted systems are also biased. What's a good solution for one client is not necessarily the right solutuion for another. And yes, economy is frequently involved in the process. I've yet to meet the person, no matter how well heeled, who willingly sacrifices 2, 5 or 15,000 dollars for comfort no greater than they could achieve for the lower cost.
    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!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    739
    I also have been designing and installing both systems for 20 years. In the vast majority of cases my statements rings true. Contractors sell themselves and their customers short when stuck on tin.

    I give my customers choices because it is their money, whether they have very little or an endless supply.

    You will never convince someone who has lived on a radiant floor that tin or even radiant ceilings are acceptable. I am one of those people.

    And your humble servant,

    MA

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,324
    Once the Thermopride is pulled from your house, its lifetime heat exchanger warranty is gone.
    So it has no great value after that.
    Its still a good furnace. Advertise it in the paper, you might get someone willing to give you a few bucks for it.



    How is your contractor controling different water temp for the radiant zone, and the baseboard zones.
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