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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Southeast Michigan
    Posts
    54

    Radiant floor heat paired with....?

    I'm going to have radiant floor heat installed in my house (yay! warm feet). From what I understand, radiant floor heating reacts "slowly" due the amount of energy required to heat the thermal mass of the floor, etc. Which leads me to my question.

    Should I have an heat pump installed instead of a cooling-only air conditioner for days when "quick heat" is needed? I live in Michigan.

    You'll have to pardon me if my question seems "off", I've only got experience with living in a home with forced heat.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Surrey, BC, Canada
    Posts
    35
    In-floor radiant systems are normally set at one temperature on the thermostat and left there. This way you are not requiring "quick heat" because you are maintaining a warm slab. Tekmar controls does have a system where you can have a sensor installed in the slab. These are good for great rooms where you have a huge sun load on a cold day. This would heat the room with sunlight and when the sun goes down the slab has been off all day and has a hard time to catch up. Most homes do not have this unusual load. A heat pump instead of a air conditioner is a good idea if you were going with the A/C anyways. Get a electrical strip heater in your heat pump blower for quicker heat if you are going this route. It's your money, but I am great at spending other peoples money to give them what they want. You will also need a heat recovery ventilator with the radiant system to bring in fresh air into your home to drop your humidity levels with the in floor heating system.
    Prioritys 1 infloor system.
    2 heat recovery ventilator
    3 air conditioning

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,753
    Heat pumps aren't for quick heat either.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,996

    Your hot water source

    is sometimes used to heat a hydro-coil in the AC ductwork, it you need quick heat
    from a set back.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Southeast Michigan
    Posts
    54
    Thanks for the info. Sounds like I'll be able to do without the HP.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,036
    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsie View Post
    I'm going to have radiant floor heat installed in my house (yay! warm feet). From what I understand, radiant floor heating reacts "slowly" due the amount of energy required to heat the thermal mass of the floor, etc. Which leads me to my question.

    Should I have an heat pump installed instead of a cooling-only air conditioner for days when "quick heat" is needed? I live in Michigan.
    Depends on what type of flooring system your radiant system is going into for one. Second thing to understand is that on most radiant systems it's strongly suggested that you don't do night temperature set backs due to slow recovery times while the floor mass is being recharged.

    Normally only during the milder cool weather will you find a need to supply the "quick heat" if your radiant system is installed with outdoor reset controls. The outdoor reset varies the temperature of the water going into the radiant panel(s) to try and match as closely the amount of heat the home requires according to the outdoor temperature.

    A heat pump can do a very cost effective job of heating the house on those transition times when radiant wouldn't react quick enough on a cool or cold night after summer like weather during the day. If you're putting in the air conditioning anyhow why not step it up to a heat pump and give yourself the added savings in energy bills.
    Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Southeast Michigan
    Posts
    54
    Firecontrol,

    The radiant system will be retrofit below hardwoord floor (3/4" hardwood with 3/4" subfloor) in the majority of the floor area.

    For the summer day and cold nights, can the heat pump supply cool and then heat just from a thermostat command? I have no experience with them, but from what I've read it seems like they don't switch between modes that easily.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,763
    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsie View Post

    For the summer day and cold nights, can the heat pump supply cool and then heat just from a thermostat command? I have no experience with them, but from what I've read it seems like they don't switch between modes that easily.

    switching from heat to cool is just a flip of the switch on thermostat.

    for your situation i think the heat pump would be a smart investment.

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