Luxury4Play.com banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,721 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So been looking into energy efficient ways to heating a home. I live in Iowa and winters get pretty nasty. It was 32* sat night and its only October :(

It will be a new construction since its gonna be for my future home. It will be around 5,300 sqft and having a traditional furnace is ok, but would like to use more efficient products. It will help with home value and overall health and living experience.

Let me know what you have experience and how it feels.

Electricity going up here soon so maybe just doing Geo thermal too.

LMK
Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,066 Posts
go geothermal without a question, and make sure you install solar panels to run the geo system.

radiant heat is awesome, it feels so nice and is a very efficient way to heat your home. Especially if you have it in mud floors (concrete, either alone or with wood or tile/stone over it). The reason is this creates a giant thermal mass and once you heat the concrete it stays warm for a very long time. Plus right now there are 30% uncapped federal tax credits on geothermal systems. Remember that includes everything associated with the system, the wells, the electric, the plumbing..... and same tax incentive on the solar panels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,639 Posts
I have radiant heated floors in the bathrooms. Nothing beats getting out of a hot shower and not freezing your toes because of a cold floor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,721 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
go geothermal without a question, and make sure you install solar panels to run the geo system.

radiant heat is awesome, it feels so nice and is a very efficient way to heat your home. Especially if you have it in mud floors (concrete, either alone or with wood or tile/stone over it). The reason is this creates a giant thermal mass and once you heat the concrete it stays warm for a very long time. Plus right now there are 30% uncapped federal tax credits on geothermal systems. Remember that includes everything associated with the system, the wells, the electric, the plumbing..... and same tax incentive on the solar panels.
I looked at solar panels, but where i live we can go a whole month with out seeing the sun. Record was like 47 days when i was in hs. So i was thinking more like under ground water lines (hydrowhatever :lol:)...

I have seen them incentives, but im not sure if they will be there next year. I sure hope they are.

What about carpet?? I would like to have a couple of areas with carpet but not sure about radiant heating and carpeting. possible fire? lol

thanks for the info
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,354 Posts
I have 220v electric radiant under tiled surfaces, and it is fantastic. It is nice to have them zoned and programed to turn on and off on schedules, or as needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,066 Posts
I looked at solar panels, but where i live we can go a whole month with out seeing the sun. Record was like 47 days when i was in hs. So i was thinking more like under ground water lines (hydrowhatever :lol:)...

I have seen them incentives, but im not sure if they will be there next year. I sure hope they are.

What about carpet?? I would like to have a couple of areas with carpet but not sure about radiant heating and carpeting. possible fire? lol

thanks for the info
no issue with carpet, especially if done hydronic radiant. Solar panels don't need direct sun to make power. Check out this graph I just made yesterday of a project we did a year ago and tracked the electric usage of a home after installing panels. Cut the electric costs in half

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
I am in Oklahoma and many here are going geothermal. My buddy owns the Ditchwitch franchises in OK and Ark and they are doing it daily with the boring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,721 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
no issue with carpet, especially if done hydronic radiant. Solar panels don't need direct sun to make power. Check out this graph I just made yesterday of a project we did a year ago and tracked the electric usage of a home after installing panels. Cut the electric costs in half

that looks great!!

Now couple questions, what about heavily wooded lots?? I may not have any trees near the house but plenty of tall trees in the perimeter. Also do lines freeze?

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,066 Posts
that looks great!!

Now couple questions, what about heavily wooded lots?? I may not have any trees near the house but plenty of tall trees in the perimeter. Also do lines freeze?

Thanks
This solar is producing electric so there is nothing to freeze. But as far as hot water solar, they don't actually send water to your roof, it's anti-freeze and which transfers heat through a heat exchanger.

As far as trees - the less the better. However you don't need 100% direct sunlight to make power. But obviously the more time in direct sunlight the more power you will make.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,721 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
This solar is producing electric so there is nothing to freeze. But as far as hot water solar, they don't actually send water to your roof, it's anti-freeze and which transfers heat through a heat exchanger.

As far as trees - the less the better. However you don't need 100% direct sunlight to make power. But obviously the more time in direct sunlight the more power you will make.
Oh i c. Will keep this in mind. On the graph, the value that is "being used" is one that the owners payed for? Technically they be using 50% more just thats what the panels generated?

Also saw your website, pretty cool stuff. Have you experienced the use of recycled "jean" fabric for insulation? Would it be cost effective?

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,066 Posts
the graph measures kilowatt hours. The amount of electricity used.

I have come across recycled jeans however I think their are better ways to insulate. Jeans are cool, but it takes so much work to convert them into insulation, including fireproofing the cotton. But at least it's using recycled content. I have never used it on a project it's not cost effective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
539 Posts
I have radiant heated floors in the bathrooms. Nothing beats getting out of a hot shower and not freezing your toes because of a cold floor.
+ 5000

If you have tiles in your house get radiant floor heating asap! Feels so much better than stepping on cold floors without socks early in the morning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,721 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
So if you all have radiant heating, do you still have a conventional furnace? I figure you probably have a AC system since radiant heat cant really cool lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,066 Posts
So if you all have radiant heating, do you still have a conventional furnace? I figure you probably have a AC system since radiant heat cant really cool lol
You may or may not need a conventional furnace. You need to get the hot water from somewhere. It can be from geothermal if you decide, that would be best.

There is such thing as radiant cooling as well. I haven't used it yet, but you need to use it in combination with a dehumidifier. It is important to keep the temperature above the dew point otherwise you'll end up with condensation. But by drying the air out with the dehumidifier it lowers the dew point allowing you to cool the house further with the radiant cooling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,387 Posts
My first experience with radiant floor heating was while living in South Korea. My apartment complex had a one building with a central furnace to heat and distribute hot water. Like others have said, theres nothing like getting out of bed to a comfortable room with warm floors. With my mattress sitting on the floor the bed was always warm. Best part - my village mandated flat rate heating based on the size of the apartment…mine was approx $35USD per month
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,708 Posts
I have a ton of radiant heat in my home on the first floor embedded in concrete mud.. I also have it in all of the bathrooms.

It's unbelievably worth it and efficient!

It's an even temperature with no dry air.

I didn't do a Geothermal system at the time as I am not staying long term and its $$$

I live in NY, my house is about 5100 sq ft and my gas bill is only 225/mo!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I've got electric radiant floor heating under marble floors in the bathroom and under porcelain tiles in the kitchen. I wouldn't ever do a bathroom again with it. The kitchen is nice, since I don't wear slippers, but the bathroom is heavenly. Especially with stone tile on concrete like I have, otherwise a radiator would have been needed. Instead it works great.

Now since you're doing new home construction. I'd recommend building with ICF (isolated concrete forms). Basically styrofoam blocks that are hollow in the middle. You build the foundation/walls with them, then pour concrete in the middle. So you get insulation on the outside and inside. The R rating is up to 30 whereas conventional wood construction can be 13. There's a picture somewhere that shows you via infrared goggles a traditional home at night. It literally bleeds all the heat from everywhere, the ICF home barely bleeds any at all.

Cost wise its almost on par to +7% nowadays and a crew that's worked with it before can get it up quicker than wood construction.

I've spent a couple years planning and I'll be building a small condo building here in Ottawa with it.

Radiant heating via water is by far the neatest. But it is fairly expensive. Newer systems are much more efficient though and recycle the water well. Unless you plan on being home during the day, don't bother getting the solar panels on the roof to heat the water... it works well for businesses but most households are empty during the hours the sun is up heating the water.

Cheers,
Ravi Shanghavi, Ottawa
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,066 Posts
You info about solar water is false. The hot water is stored in an insulated tank for later when you need it. Also R13 is not anywhere close to the maximum for wood framing. Maybe for 2" x 4" walls, but they are rare these days. 2x6 is minimum R19. And SIPs panels are far higher. All of which are cheaper than ICFs. Nothing against ICF's they are a great product.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,721 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Well i was thinking on having the basement/foundation 12inch thick walls, also had debated 10ft or 12ft walls.. Then the top be 16-18inch floor trusses depending on the lengths, with 2x8x10(or 2x10x12) walls. I looked at some r30 insulation which wasnt too bad 6.5in thick by 16.(im looking at 12in spacing though)

Thought about doing a stucco exterior design, but still debating. Winter can be harsh around here.. I will look into that wall design you mentioned though.
Also if i do get solar panels, they will be for electricity, and will use the underground water system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,066 Posts
Well i was thinking on having the basement/foundation 12inch thick walls, also had debated 10ft or 12ft walls.. Then the top be 16-18inch floor trusses depending on the lengths, with 2x8x10(or 2x10x12) walls. I looked at some r30 insulation which wasnt too bad 6.5in thick by 16.(im looking at 12in spacing though)

Thought about doing a stucco exterior design, but still debating. Winter can be harsh around here.. I will look into that wall design you mentioned though.
Also if i do get solar panels, they will be for electricity, and will use the underground water system.
My suggestion is speak with your HVAC about a load count before deciding on R30 in a 6.5" (which I guess in reality would be a 2x8 or 7.5 inch) wall or not. In my experience the difference is negligible and the HVAC requirements do not change. Why 12" spacing? Unless you do something for a thermal break the extra studs take up space where insulation could be instead. Interestingly, if you look at a house with an infrared camera you can see every stud in the wall. Better is to use 24" spacing, not only do you save on wood, but you put more insulation in the wall. Assuming the structure can be structurally sound with this technique. Hard to say without seeing the plans.

As far as basement walls being thicker, this is really just a function of structural requirements for your house.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top