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Radiant Ceiling Recommendations?

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Ralphboy
Ralphboy Member Posts: 3
Hi, I am renovating an A-Frame house in Kingston, the Central Hudson area of NY. It currently has hydronic baseboard heat with an oil burner in the crawlspace. The base boards are all damaged and need to be replaced, but the wife doesn't like the way baseboards look and is concerned about furniture placement. Also I am concerned that all the hot air will rise to the peak of the A-Frame. I was considering radiant transfer plates under the sub-floor or radiant panels on top of the sub-floor but am now considering radiant ceiling instead because it is supposedly less expensive to install because you don't need to cover the entire ceiling as you would the floor saving on material and labor. However I have been getting push back from my builder and architect because they have never heard of radiant ceilings and think it is illogical. I have done my research but I need a heating company that has installed them in my area.

Does anyone know of a heating company that has experience installing radiant ceilings in New York's Central Hudson area?

The manufactures I am looking at are Sunboard, Messana, Uponor, Roth Panel and Warmboard. Are there any other manufactures you think I should look at? I am currently leaning toward Sunboard's Sunfoam product because it would be the lightest material and probably the least expensive.

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  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
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    Is this an A frame with cathedral ceilings, and 12:12 to 12:24 pitch on the inside ceiling?

    If so radiant ceilings will not be the best choice.
  • Ralphboy
    Ralphboy Member Posts: 3
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    The kitchen, dining room, bathroom and two bedrooms on first floor have regular 8ft tall ceilings due to enclosed loft above them. The living room in the from of the house with wall of windows has 12:16 pitch ceilings. I figure if I put radiant in the first 4 feet of ceiling on both side walls in that room I should be ok. Still need to have a heat loss calculation done to determine how many BTU/hr are needed. The Master bedroom in the enclosed loft on the second floor also has 12:16 ceilings but the bathroom and bonus room up there will have normal 8ft tall ceilings. I know pitched ceilings aren't ideal but in my research I read radiant ceilings up to 12ft tall can still effectively heat a room?
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
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    The flat ceilings will do well. It isn't so much the height it's the pitch. Doing 4 foot up the ceiling on the high pitch rooms is doable. However you may not notice the radiant effect when sitting directly underneath that assembly against the outside wall/roof. Think of radiant energy waves in straight lines perpendicular from its radiating surface.

    You may want to start lower to the floor with your assembly on the 12/16 pitch rooms.

  • Ralphboy
    Ralphboy Member Posts: 3
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    The seating furniture would be centered in the room and my wife would put credenzas along the outer walls along with the TV. So it sounds like you are confirming my theory that the pitch would direct the radiant heat towards the center of the room where people would be seated. The room is also only 19ft wide so am hoping some of the radiant waves would make it across the room to the opposite wall to some degree.

    In terms of the manufacturer for either transfer plates or panels which would you recommend as the best value for its effectiveness? I am not looking for the best of the best that will cost me a fortune. I want what would give me a comfortable result that I am happy with for a good price that will work in a budget?

    The house house a 2015 Weil Mclain WTGO-3 boiler. It isn't condensing, I am not sure if it is worth converting to a condensing boiler? My understanding is that if I am heating the ceiling the water temps would be higher than radiant floor heating so I m assuming between 120 to 140 degrees. I won't know for sure until a heat loss calculation is done. Would the boiler need to be condensing at these temperatures?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,271
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    http://radiant-design.com/projects.php?type=residential&id=14

    Try John at This link. A top notch designer and installer
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
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    Couple things.

    You will need a mixing valve for the radiant panels since you were using high temp emitters.

    The water temps for radiant panels will be dictated by your heat loss. First step before anything else. Even purchasing anything.

    Radiant ceilings can run as low supply temps as radiant floors depending on the heat loss, and area covered with panels. Ceiling radiant can use higher supply temps than radiant floors if needed. Reason being is you walk on floors so that limits temps of the floor panel. Radiant ceilings are limited by the gypsum board which claims 120 degrees.


    Plates. Well you get what you pay for. Omega groove, and extruded. You want an interlock that tightly fits the tube. Conduction is king in heat transfer. Take it from there. All I can recommend is the cheapest price of the best product. One area you don't want to go cheap.

    Boiler. Hang on to what you have. No sense in changing it out. You just have to use the right control strategy.

    I have lived with radiant ceilings, and floors from the 50's you won't regret it if done right. Liquid sunshine.
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,766
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    Sun Board's SunFoam is a stellar performer for radiant ceilings . Also eliminates thermal bridging quite well . 8" centers will use lowest water temps , compared to other manufactured products it is inexpensive . If and when you order or when you are contacting them make sure Jim knows you are interested in ceilings , not floors . Hot Rod gave you a good designer / installer tip .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833