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Adding Zones

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JHZR2
JHZR2 Member Posts: 7
Hi,

Because we do not use all areas of our home at all times, and we sometimes desire different temperatures in different places, what is the best way to add "zones" to the lower level of a home?  Our home is early 1930's with the thermostat in one of the downstairs rooms and that's it.  Closing valves on radiators is OK but not our end intent for maintaining comfort. 

I was thinking that it may be ideal for a few reasons to try to put radiant heat into the floors of our lower level.  The home has old wood floors, but the basement is unfinished, and Id imagine that the PEX and radiant shielding (my understanding of how it works) could be installed fairly easily and then run as another zone or two off our current system.  This leaves the radiator system in tact, and allows us to augment or remove extra heating capability from the same mod/con boiler at will. 



My gut feel is that then we could keep the entire house at a lower temperature (the original zone) and augment in the spaces with this radiant, and have more overall control.  Certain spaces could be programmed differently, etc.

Am I way out here?  Im really thinking out loud as I learn on here.  Thanks!

Comments

  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,573
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    TRV

    What you are describing would certainly work. You would gain some comfort. It would be fairly expensive and assuming your are using a conventional boiler, there would be little or no energy saved.I would suggest adding TRV's to each radiator to help balance out the system.

    Carl
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • JHZR2
    JHZR2 Member Posts: 7
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    expense

    Thanks for your reply.  I assume "expensive" is relative?  I mean, if I want to do this in areas that are say, 24x7, it isnt that much PEX or shielding.  Of course Im not aware of the pricing. 



    Im not looking for more efficiency, we already have that with a nice mod-con boiler.  Im looking for more control.  Is radiant under the floor inherently less efficient than radiators? 



    Thanks again for your insight!
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,573
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    TRV and Infloor

    If you already have a modcon why not do both. You could do infloor on part of the house and balance the other rooms with TRV's. The t-stat locations would be critical. The extruded aluminum plates like joist track are nice. Pex-al-pex would be a good choice for tubing. 
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • JHZR2
    JHZR2 Member Posts: 7
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    TRV

    Thanks, Ill look into the TRV.  I had asked about replacing valves on my 80+ year old hot water piping, and it was advised against... Given who knows what the metals condition are...
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,086
    edited February 2013
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    Don't You Dare

    Get rid of the rads. Your just throwing away money. What brand Mod/Con is installed? What was the heat loss of the home? Has anyone done a comparison as to the rads capable btu/hr outputs at different water temps?



    Best investment is going to be to repipe the rads home run direct, add TRV's and utilize a smart circulator similar to page 19 of the attached. One you start add zones to the existing boiler you may or most likely will end up with a short cycling boiler that would then need to be addressed as well.



    http://www.caleffi.us/en_US/caleffi/Details/Magazines/pdf/idronics_5_us.pdf

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