Thank you all for taking time to comment on my earlier thread on this topic which I am continuing under this new thread for convenience of you all.
I should mention, this will be new timber frame/SIP structure located in Wyoming at 6,500 elevation and 50 miles to the nearest nail; I will be using wood as a floor finish; and I will be my own general contractor by default as no one nearby has more experience with the type of construction.
I am trying to keep the installation as simple as possible and keeping the number of different trades to a minimum. I recognize the expense of Warmboard, the framing should not be a significant issue as one mentioned, but I wonder whether the added expense is worth it, I am hesitant to go to a wet system, and although I recognize that wood is not a good conductor, I wonder why I cannot just lay more piping under the floor with suitable reflection and insulation to achieve the same result at a lesser cost.
I am also assuming that because the SIP panels offer a well-insulated tight envelope and the floor area is not exceptionally large, a "staple up" system should be possible even though I will get heat loss through extensive windowing.
But, I recognize a heat load calculation should be done. But where do I get the info as to how? I have general engineering knowledge but no experience in this area. Is there any place on the web that offers software or a manner of doing this?
Again, I appreciate your taking the time to comment.
Originally posted by radiant homeowner
Is there any place on the web that offers software or a manner of doing this?
They have a one time use version at a discounted price, sounds like just what you need
It will be tough to find radiant heat loss software. It is not the same deal as your regular Manual J heat loss. You are dealing with different dynamics with radiant heating.
I would find a radiant contractor that uses software specifically designed for calculating radiant systems. Most radiant manufacturers offer them, and the good guys pony up the big bux to have the tools to design a proper system for you.. Tubing lengths, pressure drop, flow rates, Delta T's, floor loading, possible supplemental heating are all crucial to a good design-the stuff ain't as simple as it seems. You get one shot at getting it right!
check with wielmclain
we use thier products on all of our infloor
or staple up
alumaplex and plates do a great job and you can get a lose done by thier tech support and a list of what you will need
at least your contractor can not sure about diy
If you have alot of windows and not much floor space you are going to have to put in some baseboard or tubing in the wall. Again the gypcrete overpour would help out. You could put the tubing closer together and have better upward heat. If you try to go through the wood floor it just dosn't get through as well. With typical 16" floor joist span you can only get tubing on 8" centers. The warmboard only uses 5/16 tubing on 7" centers. I still bet you would have to use some supplimental heat. Find a contractor that has the Wirsbo program. Maybe you can get someone to help out.
If it ain't broke don't fix it!!
I currently am constructing a 2500 SF home and am using Warmboard for all my floors except the basement, which is concrete. The entire home including the basement and garage will be heated by radiant. As far as determining your heating requirements, any good heat-loss/heat-gain analysis could be used - try http://www.hvaccomputer.com as an example. Once you know what your loads are going to be, then you determine what type of heating system you want. In my case, I like the feel of warm floors, and after researching the various methods radiant floors types, I selected the Warmboard. The key reason was that the tubing is directly under the finished floor and that the "subfloor" Warmboard panel has an aluminum sheet glued to the top surface with grooves where the tubing is installed. This allows for good heat transfer, a fairly even temperature in the aluminum and a required water temperature, 10 to 20 degrees lower that the other installation methods. Warmboard is expensive, but, once the subfloor panels are put in place, install the tubing in the grooves using silicon. No staples, holes to drill in the joists, no concrete to pour, no wire tieing the tube to mesh, etc. I can get you in touch with a Warmboard Rep who will take your plans and heat load and do a panel layout plan for you, then provide you with all the materials, panels, tubing, manifolds for you to install.
I'll say it again.
Just any old heat loss program CANNOT provide accurate details WRT radiant heating. The parameters are different, radiant heat loss and conventional heat loss are two different animals. You MUST use a program for radiant. There are downward losses and infiltration specific to radiant heating that need to be addressed as well as other things.
It ain't as easy as it looks!
Thanks for the Good Advice
Thank you all for the good advice. It will be carefully considered. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any qualified local radiant heat contractor who has the software and expertise to design a radiant heat analysis. But I do agree with the philosophy "GET IT RIGHT"