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Subfloor heat vs radiators vs combination?

dave123
dave123 Member Posts: 55
I've been looking for a discussion like this, but maybe I'm not looking in the right places.

I'm considering switching to hydronic heat in my 1951 ranch house, currently using hot air.

1800 SF, but nearly 800 SF is above a garage, with good insulation and a ceiling only 8 years old, so not ideal to remove that ceiling to add subloor heat beneath the rooms above. Remainder of house is over a walkout basement, and could add tubing there w/o trouble.

So would most people recommend using radiant panels in the rooms above the garage, and tubing beneath the floors throughout the rest of the house? The floors are all original oak hardwood, I believe with asphalt paper beneath.

Or rather, use radiators throughout the whole house? This seems more straightforward than combining two types of heating.

Thanks.

Comments

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,039
    I prefer floor heat in areas where you congregate, kitchens, baths for example.

    Panel radiators with individual TRVs are nice in sleeping and sitting areas as each can be dialed in or set back in unused rooms.

    Properly designed and installed the radiant floors and panels combine nicely.

    A heat load calc, room by room, then a design by someone familiar with blending the two type of emitters.

    There are a few experienced designers that hang around here, it may be worth having them do the design for you. You need a good "road map" to have a successful, comfortable, efficient system.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    BrewbeerCanucker
  • dave123
    dave123 Member Posts: 55
    edited December 2017
    It's a 3 bedroom house, but half the master and both additional bedrooms are above the garage, as are both bathrooms.

    LR/DR/kitchen/laundry/foyer are above the basement.

    But no one would advocate, I'm guessing, removing and replacing the 800 SF garage ceiling, just to put in subfloor heat, right?

    What about radiant ceiling on those rooms above the garage though?
  • Brewbeer
    Brewbeer Member Posts: 616
    dave123 said:


    And no one would advocate, I'm guessing, removing and replacing the 800 SF garage ceiling, just to put in subfloor heat, right?

    IMO, this really depends on the comfort of the floor. Is the floor icy cold when it gets really cold out, suggesting that there is inadequate insulation between the garage and the living space above?
    Hydronics inspired homeowner with self-designed high efficiency low temperature baseboard system and professionally installed mod-con boiler with indirect DHW. My system design thread: http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/154385
    System Photo: https://us.v-cdn.net/5021738/uploads/FileUpload/79/451e1f19a1e5b345e0951fbe1ff6ca.jpg
  • dave123
    dave123 Member Posts: 55
    Brewbeer said:

    dave123 said:


    And no one would advocate, I'm guessing, removing and replacing the 800 SF garage ceiling, just to put in subfloor heat, right?

    IMO, this really depends on the comfort of the floor. Is the floor icy cold when it gets really cold out, suggesting that there is inadequate insulation between the garage and the living space above?
    There is R30 fiberglass above the garage--i know cause I put it there when I redid the ceiling 8-9 years ago, and put foam over the rim joists and air sealed it well. The garage is pretty well sealed for air, generally only gets as cold as 40-50 degrees in the winter.

    The tile bathroom floors are cold even in the summer, but last year as a test I installed electric radiant in the bathroom ceilings, and that made a huge improvement even with central heat off.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,039
    I would not drop a ceiling just to install radiant. Either use an over the top product like Uponor or Viega thin panels, or the panel rads. If the bedrooms are carpeted radiant is not my favorite heat distribution.

    As you know there are dozens of way to do hydronic, ceilings, walls, floor wet or dry, below the floor options and all sorts of radiators and baseboards. It really comes down to your preference and of course $$. Most anything is possible.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Canucker