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New ICF House and need someone to assist with Radiant heat design

KLaughKLaugh Posts: 9Member
After spending several hours studying the post on this site, I have come to the conclusion that there is a lot of mis-information on the internet. I am in the process of building a new house with ICF blocks. I am going to use 8" concrete for the basement and 6" walls for the floor level. I am planning on the basement slab to have insulation under and tubing in the slab. The floor level will have the tubing mounted to the floor and overlayed with light concrete. The basement will be unfinished for some period of time so will probably not need to be heated too warm. I will be using propane for the heat source.

I am not opposed to paying someone to do a design that will in my situation. I live in Northern Colorado where it does get pretty cold. I am very capable of doing all of the work myself. Just need the plans or guidance. The closest company that I can find is over 75 miles away.

Comments

  • KLaughKLaugh Posts: 9Member
    Here is the layout of the main floor. The basement would basically be the same with no walls and 3) 3'x'4 egress windows.


  • IronmanIronman Posts: 4,370Member
    Have you done an accurate heat loss calc like a Manual J?
    Bob Boan







    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • KLaughKLaugh Posts: 9Member
    Ironman said:

    Have you done an accurate heat loss calc like a Manual J?

    What is a manual J? New term for me. I have attemped to do one without any success. I have read one thread on here that the calculations on ICF do not calculate well.

    Here is the link. My design is very close. https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/164957/figuring-heatloss-on-a-super-tight-home
  • Tim PotterTim Potter Posts: 229Member
    edited October 9
    A great source of info would be @Mark Eatherton in Denver, contact him through this site, he is a wealth if info.

    You will love radiant done right!

    Tim
    Winter Park, CO & Lenexa, KS
  • IronmanIronman Posts: 4,370Member
    A Manal J is the approved method of heat loss/gain calculation. It's published by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). There are several programs that calculated based on it.

    SlantFin has a free app that you can download. If ICF construction data is not in it, just use something that's close to it with a similar R value.
    Bob Boan







    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • nibsnibs Posts: 52Member
    Will leave the radiant heating comments to the experts, will say that ICF is a really good way to build. If I was starting now on my house build, it would be all ICF right up to the roof.
  • RichRich Posts: 2,494Member
    If you'd like give us a call . This attachment is from an ICF home in Ann Arbor , Michigan .
    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
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • KLaughKLaugh Posts: 9Member
    @Ironman I did download the slantfin software and will be doing some calculating in the next few days. Thank you to everyone for the excellent repies.
  • GordyGordy Posts: 8,029Member
    edited October 9
    Rich Mcgrath is one you wont be sorry to be on point for your project design.
  • hot rodhot rod Posts: 8,603Member
    No reason your designer needs to be in Colorado, Rich could be your guy.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • IronmanIronman Posts: 4,370Member
    You won't get any better than Rich to design it for you.
    Bob Boan







    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • DZoroDZoro Posts: 361Member
    Love those houses, Don't forget the air-air exchanger. Super efficient and tight. Will be interesting to see your load calcs.
  • hot rodhot rod Posts: 8,603Member
    edited October 10
    Don't expect warm floors necessarily in a super insulated with low, low heat loads. I did several years ago and the floors didn't run much, appliance and lighting kept the home warm.

    Mrs homeowner expected the slabs to be warm all the time in the heating season, she was a bit disappointed.

    If I were to do another I'd consider panel rads, radiant floor in baths maybe kitchen.

    https://www.pmmag.com/articles/83903-heating-a-thermos-bottle-house-br-john-siegenthaler
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • DZoroDZoro Posts: 361Member
    True to that @hot rod I have done with success staple up zoned on main level. Basement radiant, but yes the HO's say the basement zones rarely come on. Can keep low water temps with very good efficiencies.
  • KLaughKLaugh Posts: 9Member
    @Hotrod The link you shared is very insightful. This heating project is in the vary early stages so can be changed. Is there a better alternative to in floor radiant that I should look at.
  • RichRich Posts: 2,494Member
    KLaugh said:

    @Hotrod The link you shared is very insightful. This heating project is in the vary early stages so can be changed. Is there a better alternative to in floor radiant that I should look at.

    Radiant ceilings are a very good option . Floors will be within a couple degrees of what they'd be if they were tubed . Panel radiators work well too , but if you want true radiant comfort you'll only get it with a radiant solution . While keeping Tair good , it is still not MRT comfort and you will use higher water temps .


    https://www.pmmag.com/articles/96488-radiant-ceilings-are-a-great-option-in-many-systems
    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
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • hot rodhot rod Posts: 8,603Member
    KLaugh said:

    @Hotrod The link you shared is very insightful. This heating project is in the vary early stages so can be changed. Is there a better alternative to in floor radiant that I should look at.

    It will come down to personal preference, panel rads heat mainly by radiation also, so in front of them you get that same radiant comfort. With a radiant ceiling you get that effect everywhere.

    I like panel rads in bedrooms as you can set them back and they speed up quickly for keeping the bedroom cool at night, warm when you get up and setback again during the day. Each radiator can have a thermostatic valve and be temperature controlled. Most homes and buildings across the pond are heated with panel radiators and there are hundreds of styles and choices.

    Radiant slabs are slow responders, so if you see wide temperature swings, of have a lot of passive gain from south windows, they can be hard to manage, and keep a comfortable space.

    You can mix and match, radiant ceilings in living areas, radiant floors in tile showers and bathrooms, panels rads elsewhere. That is the beauty of hydronic heating, many controllable options.

    In a tight home you will want some air change and movement with a HVR or something to allow fresh air in. A warm stale home, not so comfortable. Humidity control is crucial in your area also, very dry in winter.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • KLaughKLaugh Posts: 9Member
    @Hotrod I do kind of like the idea of panel radiators in the bedrooms. The turn down/up option is nice. Would this style work well in a basement also?
    Now if I do radiant tubing in the living areas and concentrate the tubing in the walking area's and less in the other areas to get the complete coverage would that make the walking areas warmer? Am i thinking wrong?
    The quick heat loss calculations I have done are around 27,000 BTU/hr. These are pretty rough but 2 online calculators came up with the same thing.
  • hot rodhot rod Posts: 8,603Member
    Exactly right, a clever designer could manipulate to tubing to provide just the correct amount of output in the ideal areas. Load the tube in the areas where you congregate. Or whatever you call it :)

    Typically we load tube around windows and exterior walls, with a low load system like yours, assuming it is a low load home, pull the tubing in a couple feet perhaps. Nobody stands around by the windows all day. Put the tube where you want to "feel" the radiant warmth.

    Here are a few of the custom radiators I have built. The dog is 400 lbs of concrete with CSST tube inside connected to the bathroom loop, a large towel bar that I welded also, about 4x2"
    I also have tube in some concrete counter tops in the bathroom.

    The "J Garcia" bus is an old solar absorber plate from a Revere collected 1978 vintage. Reach out of bed and crank up the TRV "hitch" to start the warm up.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • hot rodhot rod Posts: 8,603Member
    You'd be a fool not to have a copper hydronic bed frame in a home like that, the pantry radiator is also on the radiant loop
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • KLaughKLaugh Posts: 9Member
    @Hotrod Those are some really cool ideas. Not sure how the bed frame is going to work with someone that likes to rearrange furniture often.
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