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Open question. Dear & I are designing our final house. We have lived in 6 houses now three with forced air one with electric baseboard and two with hydronic baseboard. We know we want hydronic for level temp and better humidity. Builder is pushing radiant in-floor - PEX in gyp-crete. I've done some reading but would like your thoughts. It's the house at issue not the garage, barn, aprons, shop areas with concrete foors, those will be PEX radiant plus forced air supplement. The house issues are the relative efficiecy of floor heat transfer through carpet/wood/vinyl/tile vs baseboard radiators. Cost is part of the equation. Boiler is to be biomass with LP start and backup; no vendor decided. Other HVAC is forced air A/C w LP burner sections, to satisfy code these are nominated to be the primary heat but will in usage be supplement for shoulder season and boost when desired. Zoning in house will be each bed and full bath separate zones, living/dining separate, one zone for remaining spaces (kitchen, halls, lavs, laundry, and family room). Currently we do not actively heat a full basement which is insulated but used as additional living space, sufficient heat is supplied by the 3 circulator mains (there is a 4th main to supply 4 radiators in the basement) and we are considering the same for the new build, I haven't discussed this specifically with the builder yet so not sure about code issues.
 

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I'm with you on hydronic heat. I prefer it as the way to heat my home.

I've never heard anyone say they didn't like radiant floor heat that has had it. It's not ideal for every floor covering or every room as you have pointed out.

As an alternative to fin tube baseboard heaters in other rooms I would strong suggest panel radiators. I just installed two of them as part of a remodel project and we absolutely love them. They put out a ton of heat and have high thermal mass so the heat from them is very even. They also take up less space on the wall. I replaced a 10ft long fintube baseboard with a 36l"x20h" radiator. Of course a down side is that they are about double the cost of fin tube baseboard.

The tile in front of the shower gets nice and toasty warm when the heater is on. You would swear there was a heater in the floor.

784410
 

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We have hot water heat with baseboard radiators. Wy wife wishes we had another option. I even had the body shop make them the color she wanted.

rob
 

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The baseboard units always seem to look in rough shape, whether they are or not. They can take a beating over time and when you think about it, you're probably expecting to get at least 20 years out of this. If it were me, I'd avoid baseboards at all cost. I just don't like the looks of them. I'm not sure I would go for radiators, either.

We have the PEX in floor heating for the walkout basement level of our home. So it is installed beneath the slab. We laid 2" foam board down first, then the PEX, and 2" of dirt on top of the PEX. We didn't want the PEX in the concrete as it was going to have to expand and contract. It's been in for over 20 years without an issue.

Short of the bedroom in the basement, which is carpet, all the other floor surfaces are vinyl tile, ceramic tile and stone. We did have to utilize a special pad under the carpet, so it doesn't have the squish as the other bedrooms.

It works OK and does what we wanted---no cold floors in stocking feet. I'm not so sure how energy efficient it is. There is only 2" of foam between the heat source and the earth, which even with super dry sandy soil is still a big heat sink. I've replaced a zone valve, the temperature/pressure gauge in the boiler, and the flu draft fan in 20 years.

We utilize forced air (x2) for the upper levels, as central A/C was mandatory. So we had the duct work anyway. We also have central humidifiers, electronic air cleaners and both furnaces have multiple zones. No complaints. It is comfortable and for the most part relaible. I have replaced the heat exchangers on both furnaces, but they had lifetime warranties. Other than that, I think I've replaced a glow bar and a zone controller discharge air sensor. We have electric heating cables beneath the rooms with ceramic tile on the upper floors, also.
 

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We live in a pole barn house or shouse as some call them, built in 2016, we have infloor heat in the house and garage and live in Minnesota, our house is about 1600 sqft and about 50% carpet and 50% tile, this past winter was the coldest winter since we had it built, I was amazed how toasty warm we were all winter.
 
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We have a hybrid heating system that has evolved over the last forty years that started out in 1980 as a combination wood and oil fired boiler with base board heat (remember the oil embargo, late seventies). As our situation changed we added a heat pump and an air handling system so air condition was possible (never regretted that). The wood/oil combination boiler was replaced by a new oil fired boiler and an OWB that I still use today. When the OWB was added we put under floor heat in all areas of the house that had tile or wood floors, now warm floors on a cold mornings is real luxury and comfort.

So yes I love hydronic heat and under the floor is great.
We live in a pole barn house or shouse as some call them
They are called barndominiums (sp) and are very popular in my area.
 

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We have a hybrid heating system that has evolved over the last forty years that started out in 1980 as a combination wood and oil fired boiler with base board heat (remember the oil embargo, late seventies). As our situation changed we added a heat pump and an air handling system so air condition was possible (never regretted that). The wood/oil combination boiler was replaced by a new oil fired boiler and an OWB that I still use today. When the OWB was added we put under floor heat in all areas of the house that had tile or wood floors, now warm floors on a cold mornings is real luxury and comfort.

So yes I love hydronic heat and under the floor is great.


They are called barndominiums (sp) and are very popular in my area.
Barndominiums sounds like a huge place, ours is not huge, huge garage compared to all off my neighbors though.

There are a couple professional snowcross racers about 5 miles from me that have barndominiums though
 
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