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peterwdrake Member Posts: 11
I posted last week about our failed radiant floor heating system and got a lot of good advice. It seems most people are recommending radiant ceiling heat, which I had never heard of until last week. It seems like a good solution. Our main question is, the house is built on a 16" concrete slab on grade with no thermal break - it's from 1953. Without heat radiating from it, will it become cold and clammy in the winter if we use ceiling heat? I suppose it would be the same question for ANY type of heat other than radiant floor heat. We like the warm floors but the cost and disruption difference with a new radiant floor seems to be enormous. I'm aware that new tubing could be laid over the existing slab and then a thin coat of concrete could be polished, but it seems like a lot more work. I loved the terrazo suggestion on this site but it is out of our budget.Thanks.


  • While a radiant floor is ideal, a radiant ceiling or wall is next in line. If your floor is bare concrete, yes the floor will be cool to the touch, but not cold or clammy unless there's moisture in it.

    And you would have to do more than just laying down tubing with a thin coat of concrete to get it in the floor. Separating the topping slab from the structural slab is mandatory, typically with 1" or more of rigid insulation.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,269
    Exactly what Alan has said.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 19,943
    Radiant systems control the temperature in the rooms. In some cases you may need or want to humidify or dehumidify. Adding an energy recovery unit is another option to keep some air moving for odor, air filtration, etc.

    Ideally you want a comfort system, not just a radiant heating system
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream