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Balance setting between Wirsbo and Forced air???

Tri Member Posts: 2
I have a large (4500 sq ft) house with Wirsbo in the basement, forced air individually controlled 2nd and 3rd floors. I have no idea what the "optimal" balance is between the two heating systems. I live in Minnesota (cold). Should I be cranking the radiant and using a lot less forced air? We keep the house at 67 daytime and 58 night. Bedrooms top floor...

P.S open cell Foam wall insulation.



  • zacmobile
    zacmobile Member Posts: 211
    edited December 2010
    I would

    use a two stage thermostat like a tekmar 544 with the radiant as the first stage and if required the air would kick in as the second, would be useful for faster recovery when coming out of nighttime setback or other such thing. The radiant will be the most comfortable, so use it when you can and the air when you need to. If you are using two separate thermostats (which it sounds like you are) you will never be able to achieve a smoothly running system, the air & radiant stats will just be constantly battling each other and turning each other off.
  • Tri
    Tri Member Posts: 2
    I was asking more re #s

    Thanks for the response. I was more wondering along these lines: If I want to keep my second and third floors at 68ish, can I crank up the basement radiant to 75 and keep the forced air at 62? Those are just random numbers, but the general idea is the same..

    i am assuming the radiant heat is more efficient and cost effective, hence the question...

  • zacmobile
    zacmobile Member Posts: 211
    basement heating

    this sounds familiar, i've actually gotten quite a few inquiries along these lines, people who think they can heat their entire house by jacking up the basement to 83 deg. cranking the radiant in the basement will have minimal if any effect on floors above it, radiant floor has an effective range of about 7 ft. great for people walking on it not so good for the floors above. it seems to be a very common misconception that you can somehow cast x-ray heat through structures to adjacent areas.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    people who think they can heat

    I think the person who designed my house thought that way. Actually, I very much doubt it was designed at all. I think the contractor "knew" how a house should be built, and just put it together. I know the second floor had a 3-foot piece of finned-tube in each of the two rooms. I since calculated that each room needs a bit over 3000 BTU/hour. And the heat was all one zone, and with the water supplied at 135F or so (no thermometer; radiant slab downstairs) there is no way that it could heat enough. I would have to put over 220F water in that. Sure, some heat floated up there from downstairs, though it was always cold up there. 
  • furthur
    furthur Member Posts: 25

    if the basement floor is cold, it doesn't matter that the air temp is above 70 deg. from the forced hot air, that radiant transfer makes the room cold...
    Just a doit yourselfer, learning the hard way, as usual.
This discussion has been closed.