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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Mendham, NJ

    Default Micro Zoning 3rd Floor Heating

    Hello TOH Forum,
    I am about to begin a 3rd floor renovation to my 200 year old historic home in northern New Jersey. There is no attic as we have cathedral ceilings. Winters are cold and I typically burn 250 gallons of oil per month during the winter (currently no insulation in ceiling or walls). The area will be completely gutted and as part of the renovation, I should be able to access the area underneath the flooring pretty easily. The entire space is a rectangle and is ~31'x25' with 3 bedrooms and a bath with a large closet (see attached floor plan with bath in upper left corner). Each room is ~11'x13'. This floor is primarily for guests and will see limited use except for one bedroom and the bath.

    I am going to place radiators underneath the windows in each of the room. Working on the calculation currently based on it being on the 3rd floor (heat rising) and using sprayed in closed cell insulation (R-value ~ 40 in walls and higher in ceiling) due to the cathedral ceiling being unable to vent and fairly decent windows. We want symmetry so depending on # of radiators needed, we will put them in front of one, two or three of the windows for each bedroom. Contemplating going radiant heat in the floor in the bath as we will be pulling up all the flooring to use as patch work for restoring the other areas. Either that or one large radiator/towel warmer. I like the Myson Select Series as they are slimmer than the old cast iron but don't take away too much of the old world charm and are fairly cost effective.

    My furnace is an oil burner System 2000 installed by the previous owner in 2009, so it's pretty efficient. It currently has 2 zones. The first is for heating the house and the second is for heating hot water for use. It is expandable and is located in the basement.

    So that's the background. Since the area will see minimal use and the house is old, I would like to have control, ultimately down to the room level. Optimal would have programmable thermostat in each of the 4 rooms. In a dream world, this would also be able to be controlled remotely via iPhone. Currently I am reviewing 4 options:

    Option 1: Run radiator in parallel using TRV's control temperature from each radiator.
    Option 2: Run each room in parallel but with the radiators in each room in series using a TRV's to control the temperature of the room. Possibly using remote sensor or remote adjuster.
    Option 3: Using a manifold, with thermostat in each room to control manifold valves as well as furnace.
    Option 4: Run each room as it's own zone directly off furnace.

    Goal is to help keep costs down but with the price of oil, a few hundred dollars would easily pay off in one year if I can get better heating control.

    What are the thoughts on the best way to tackle this? Looking at cost to install, effectiveness and ease of controlling temperature and cost to heat. This project would be done by a contractor, as it's too big and too new to handle as DIY. Help with models/part numbers appreciated. Also willing to skimp on small things as long as I can upgrade at a later date (i.e. thermostats).

    Thanks in advance,
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