radiant in-floor heat
Posted by jcaine (+42) 10 years ago
I am curious if anyone out there has radiant in-floor heat in there house. We are building soon and are considering this option. The constant comfortable heat is very appealing, however, cooling the house in summer months is concerning. I would hate to have to install a forced air system just to cool the house, seems redundant. Does anyone know of any other options or have some experience or relevant knowledge?
Your input is much appreciated.
Top
Posted by Steve Allison (+975) 10 years ago
When I was young, long long ago in a galaxy far far away, they had radiant floors. There was a problem then the the piping for the hot water corroded from it's contact with the cement mastic that held it in place. Modern materials have fixed this problem. I was old enough to enjoy the warm floor on bare or stocking feet but not old enough to know about cost of operating it and how that compares. So I know it is enjoyable but the other facts I can not talk about.
Top
Posted by Duncan Bonine (+282) 10 years ago
Top
supporter
sponsor
Posted by atomicg (+1009) 10 years ago
Mini split would also be my recommendation.

You may look into little things to help keep heat down during months like awnings over south facing windows and shade trees. Insulating your attic will also help as will adding ventilation to your attic or installing a whole house fan or attic fan(s).

I'm a big fan of radiant floor heat, a friend of mine has it in an addition she had built. It works well anywhere you're going to have a concrete slab (basement floor, garage/shop pad, etc.). There are ways of using the hot water heat underneath floor joists as well but I'd recommend looking into this and seeing what sort of results people have had with that compared to in-slab installations.

Make sure you zone your boiler or hot water heater system if you're heating multiple areas with a single unit. You can often only heat so many sq ft with a single zone before the end of the line isn't receiving enough heat before it comes back through the heating unit.
Top
Posted by Duncan Bonine (+282) 10 years ago
http://www.infloor.com/floorheating.html

I'm not specifically endorsing this product line, but it is a good resource for the different types of floor heating.

For new construction, I would stay away from the under floor systems. They are OK to retrofit existing construction, but the gypcrete systems(Therma-Floor)or the Infloorboard systems are much more efficient.
Top
Posted by MTgal (+146) 10 years ago
We built a home in 2003 and put in radiant floor heat under tile floors, but didn't find it very cost-efficient even though we invested in an efficient boiler. The floors stayed warm - but anywhere the pipes didn't run, the floor was cold. We also had to plan for pantries or cold storage areas that we didn't want heated. The plumber that we used assured us he had experience in floor heat, but as it turned out we had to do the research and educate him - plus troubleshoot any post-installation issues (I'd get several references). It cost us a whole bunch of money, and if we were to do it again with radiant heat, we'd go for baseboards, as in previous homes we found that heat more cost efficient and more constant. Might consider geo-thermal if you're looking at heating and cooling.
Top
Posted by gypsykim (+1561) 10 years ago
My parents put radiant floor heat in their bathroom, kitchen and laundry room when they removed linoleum and went to tile. It is wonderful!! It is on a thermostat and doesn't run at all in the summer. The colder it gets, the warmer you can make the floor.
Top
Posted by BD (+336) 10 years ago
It is wonderful, had it in our first house. Loved it the floors were always nice and warm. It was cheap too.
Top
supporter
Posted by Jody Collis (+222) 10 years ago
We have in-floor heat throughout our entire house (and garage!) in the concrete in the basement and under the wood floors or tile on the other floors. My husband is in the HVAC business, so we have a great system that he installed when the house was build in 2004. We do have forced air conditioning and an air handler, so we have the duct work. It costs more to install, but we see a savings in the utility bills.

The radiant heat is great, but it still can feel a bit chilly in the house at times in the dead of winter. Radiant heat doesn't rise like forced air. Your feet are toasty, but your nose may feel a bit cold. It's not quite as nice as forced air heat, but it's not as drying to your skin either. We always have tons of warm water for the showers (due to the large tank that runs the whole system) and our heating bills are a lot less than the neighbors. Our house is concrete, so that helps reduce our bills too. Tons of European homes use radiant heat. If you do it, you definitely want someone with a lot of knowledge to do it.
Top
Posted by jcaine (+42) 10 years ago
I appreciate all the info. The mini-split system by Mitsubishi is new to me. I am going to look into it more. Thanks
Top