Radiant Heat Options
I’ve never had radiant heat. However, this site has me sold on it being the most comfortable heat. Therefore, I’m considering installing it in a new home to be built in central Indiana. It looks like we’ve found a lot that meets our needs but it does not have natural gas available. Is there a reasonable method to operate radiant heat on electricity or would LP or oil be a better choice?
What would you recommend to specify installation of the PEX in the basement floor and the first floor?
What other items should be considered while talking to local contractors to install the system so it works properly and efficiently?
We use the electric pad heating in bath areas under tile only and still run a hot air duct there to warm the space,the heat only warms the tile. I think to do a LARGE area with the PAD would be costly to run.
It's NOT the BRAND,it's the company that installs it!!!!!
Electric radiant is cheaper to put in. But seldom cheaper to use.
Compare your utility cost. To see if LP, or oil would be cheaper.
Is your area bountiful with hydronic heating specialists? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to install a nice system, any my dear home owner, unless you're the exception to the common man, you will never know if you're buying a lame system or a top-notch system.
There are many ways to controls the radiant systems... cheesy to awesome.
Many plumbers/heating guys refuse to read the manufacturer's installation directions when it comes to wall-hung 90-plus boilers.
Electric may be nice for floor warming, but most people just want HEAT. Propane is a much better choice, but I don't know what you're paying for KW and LP. Plus you can get a much better indirect water heter or a tankless.
Many plumbers/heating guys refuse to read the manufacturer's installation directions when it comes to wall-hung 90-plus boilers. Or don't understand them.
I think the same guy that wrote the install instructions for some 90+ condensing boilers, also wrote the instructions for the IAQ.
Electric boilers are available
And some systems have been done with electric water heaters. This might make sense if you're rates are under 10 cents a KW/hr. While it would be the cheapest install costs for a radiant system, I wouldn't want the whole house to be electric if power goes out. Having an LP boiler, you could power the whole heating system on a small backup generator. I'm not a fan of putting tubing in basement slabs with all the insullation requirements. I would put reflective insulation over the slab with a warmboard type product that would hold the tubing. Then put flooring in on top of it all. If you're planning large carpeted areas, it might make more sense to use panel rads or baseboard for some
sections of the house.
Radiant with a mod/cond boiler with proper design and set up can get up to 96% eff., 10 more then the nearest oil boiler without the extra piping and valves you need to protect an oil boiler with radiant heat return water, paired with an indirect water heater which all mod/cond boiler are set up to wirk with you'll have a very comfortable and efficient system
if the area may someday get natural gas then i would go with lp boiler that could be converted.
if that will never happen then you might be better off with oil...
unless your like me and HATE oil heat then just stick with the lp.
You might want to look into one of those Vertex Water tank made by AOSmith there alittle bit more than your typical hot water tank but you can use it to give your home potable water as well as radiant heat for your home and get a efficence of 96%. And to make the floor heating system even more efficent and better is to put down a nice tile floor will enable you to keep the stat turned down and still give you great comfort. I was in a guys home a few years back he had a kitchen which was a new addition and the size was about 14' X 30' all tile had one wall that faced east I think and he said it was the best and most comfortable heating he has ever had, he also mention at that time he kept the stat at about 64* and was quite comfortable year round during even the coldest days here in Wisconsin !! Just something to think about for your flooring choice.
with oil and radiant
I would get high efficency 2 or 3 pass boiler and an indirect with 2 coils or a reverse indirect like an ergomax so you get a built-in buffer tank for the heating system.
Boiler can safely heat to 160+ to keep the tank @ 120 for the DHW and the second set of tapping feed the radiant loops.
follow-up question to johnsp
I've been thinking about installing radiant heating in my house this summer while renovating.
We have 900 sq ft per floor for the main floor and 2nd floor. The basement will only be heated for 1/2 the space.
How bad/inefficient is it to use an A O Smith Vertex with a recirculating heat exchanger for the radiant heat?
(I didn't really understand your last reply here but would like to.)
Your response here seems to say to go w/ a boiler and an indirect water heater.