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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    7

    Default Switch from forced air to radiant floor heating?

    I live in San Francisco, so have fairly mild heating requirements that are currently being met with a forced air furnace in our 1200 sq. ft. home. We are currently starting a renovation that is prompting us to consider switching to radiant floor heating throughout the house. Reasons are:

    - we were intending to install a tankless water heater, so the extra cost to put in a boiler capable of heating the house is minimal.
    - we are constructing 3 rooms in our garage that will be on a new concrete slab. We have to find some way to heat these rooms, either by putting in more ducting and registers off the existing forced air system or going the radiant floor route.
    - in an ideal world, we would like to eliminate the existing ducting for the forced air system, especially in the area that will be taken up by the 3 new rooms so we won't have unsightly soffits covering up the ducts.
    - our furnace is fairly old (guessing it's circa 1960 or so), so it should probably be replaced by a higher efficiency unit anyway.
    - we're getting a good price from a contractor that is doing a considerable amount of other work for us ($6000 for the works). That's not much more than the cost to install the tankless water heater and a furnace upgrade combined.

    BTW, the radiant flooring for the existing home will be installed under the existing hardwood flooring since we have full access through the first-level garage.

    Any thoughts? Pros, cons, suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: Switch from forced air to radiant floor heating?

    Pediwent:

    You didn't mention the type of fuel to be used---if it's gas I would recommend you look at installing a HW boiler along with a companion 40 gal. indirect hot water heater for showers, dishwasher, clothes washer, etc.---the IHWH uses the hot boiler water via its heat exchanger to heat the domestic HW so there is no additional flame or flue requirements---an unbeatable combination combo that gives you all the domestic HW you need at very low cost.

    I'm not a fan of the instant hot water heaters for the applications you mention in your post when better alternatives like the above are available.

    With the garage additions you may need 50,000 to 60,000 btu/hr for boiler size to cover radiant or a combination of radiant and HW baseboard---another great advantage with buying a hw boiler is that lo temp radiant tubing and hi temp baseboard (often also installed here & there "to take the chill off", since radiant is slow to react to temp changes) can be installed using the same boiler using a 3-way mixing valve.

    Triangle Tube boilers make condensing boilers that would seem to fit this scenario---Triangle Tube Prestige Solo, or even a Triangle Tube Excellence at about 50k btu/hr with an indirect Triangle Tube Phase 3 IHWH---these boilers are 95% AFUE efficient & have stainless steel combustion chambers.

    See site below for price comparisons and product description---there is also a Biasi B10 Riva boiler and a Peerless Pinnacle Condensing boiler with the same IHWH setup---I also like boilers by Crown, Slant/Fin (Bobcat or Eutectic), Buderus, Burnham, Dunkirk, Utica, Viessmann (expensive), Weil-McLain.

    AC could be done using the existing forced air vents or ductless Sanyo AC or Hitachi, Mitsubishi ductless ACs.


    By all means consult the Yellow Pages under "Heating Contractors" & make it known to friends, family & neighbors that you are in the market for a new heating system---chances are, they'll tell of someone they hired some time ago that was courteous, knowledgeable, did a good job & charged a reasonable price for the install--focus on these qualities & reject anyone who won't do a HEAT LOSS CALCULATION (to size the new equipment) or is impudent in any way.

    Get at least 6 estimates before you decide---the suggested choice of heating equipment and price quotes from the prospective installers will vary widely.


    http://www.pexsupply.com/Triangle-Tu...oilers-1629000
    Last edited by NashuaTech; 10-30-2009 at 12:46 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Switch from forced air to radiant floor heating?

    Quote Originally Posted by NashuaTech View Post
    Pediwent:

    You didn't mention the type of fuel to be used---if it's gas I would recommend you look at installing a HW boiler along with a companion 40 gal. indirect hot water heater for showers, dishwasher, clothes washer, etc.---the IHWH uses the hot boiler water via its heat exchanger to heat the domestic HW so there is no additional flame or flue requirements---an unbeatable combination combo that gives you all the domestic HW you need at very low cost.

    I'm not a fan of the instant hot water heaters for the applications you mention in your post when better alternatives like the above are available.

    With the garage additions you may need 50,000 to 60,000 btu/hr for boiler size to cover radiant or a combination of radiant and HW baseboard---another great advantage with buying a hw boiler is that lo temp radiant tubing and hi temp baseboard (often also installed here & there "to take the chill off", since radiant is slow to react to temp changes) can be installed using the same boiler using a 3-way mixing valve.

    Triangle Tube boilers make condensing boilers that would seem to fit this scenario---Triangle Tube Prestige Solo, or even a Triangle Tube Excellence at about 50k btu/hr with an indirect Triangle Tube Phase 3 IHWH---these boilers are 95% AFUE efficient & have stainless steel combustion chambers.

    See site below for price comparisons and product description---there is also a Biasi B10 Riva boiler and a Peerless Pinnacle Condensing boiler with the same IHWH setup---I also like boilers by Crown, Slant/Fin (Bobcat or Eutectic), Buderus, Burnham, Dunkirk, Utica, Viessmann (expensive), Weil-McLain.

    AC could be done using the existing forced air vents or ductless Sanyo AC or Hitachi, Mitsubishi ductless ACs.


    By all means consult the Yellow Pages under "Heating Contractors" & make it known to friends, family & neighbors that you are in the market for a new heating system---chances are, they'll tell of someone they hired some time ago that was courteous, knowledgeable, did a good job & charged a reasonable price for the install--focus on these qualities & reject anyone who won't do a HEAT LOSS CALCULATION (to size the new equipment) or is impudent in any way.

    Get at least 6 estimates before you decide---the suggested choice of heating equipment and price quotes from the prospective installers will vary widely.


    http://www.pexsupply.com/Triangle-Tu...oilers-1629000
    Such a very amazing link!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Switch from forced air to radiant floor heating?

    Is your climate a good fit for a radian system? I think the colder the climate the better the fit is for radiant. Radiant provides a good constant source of heat and keeps it down low for comfort.


    What it does do well at is quick changes in heat output. If you have many day of cool but not cold nights and warm days then I dont think its a good fit. What I thnik of is needing some warmth needed at night but during the day you might not need any. The radiant heat will keep on heating even after the heat is turned off. When you call for heat it takes a while for the floor to warm and provide heat. This slow heat up and cool off cycle may make it hard to control a comfortable temp. Opening windows just waste the hear.

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