I'm building a new home on Long Island in NY, and am debating wether to install radiant heat. Radiant sounds like a great product, but costs is the issue. I will have air conditioning installed so I can opt for forced hot air using the same system, at a savings close to $20,000. from radiant heat. The house is close to the water with a North wind exposure. The exterior walls will have R-22 insulation and the roof will have R-35 insulation. Im using Anderson400 windows. Is radiant worth the initial cost? Ive read articles on both sides. Some say its not worth it in a well constructed home. What's really true?
Hydronic in floor is great if it is done right , the problem is no one seems to understand the theory of heat which is : Heat travels to cold and the greater the difference between the two the faster the heat travels. There is an often quoted statement ,stop the heat before it comes in, that is why most installers put the greatest amount of btus to the perimeter of the building , if they understood the theory of heat they would put most of the heat in the center and stay away from the perimeter , as the theory states cold goes no where . In floor heat works great as it uses low temperature to put the btu in the room and since it is mostly radiant the objects in the room store the heat and the air is the last thing that is heated and at a low temperature, therefore when it leaves the house it takes less btu with it . For every 3 degrees the medium that is used to deliver the btu to the room is decreased there is a 1% fuel savings. Knowing this the object of any heating system should be to lower the temperature of the water or air as low as possible and still satisfy the thermostat. By lowering the air temperature coming from a hot air system will provide almost the same fuel savings of a properly installed in floor system and a greater comfort level over a hot air system using traditionally high temperature air which results in short cycling of burner and fan delivering the air to house .This then makes other heating systems more competitive in comfort compared to in floor heat .
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