Installing a Preassembled Whole-House Radiant Heating System

Project: Modern Colonial, Episode 4, Part 1

A new radiant heating system is being installed in the basement in this episode. Bob and Erling Andersen discuss the features of the "Boiler Room in a Box", a new compact, energy-efficient way to heat your home. Upstairs, Bob gets a look at how HVAC ductwork is assembled and run through the attic to an air handler. Finally, Bob takes a tour of a historic doctor's office in the scaled-down colonial Julia Wood House in Falmouth, MA.
Part 1: Installing a Preassembled Whole-House Radiant Heating System
Bob meets with Erling Andersen of AIM (Andersen International Marketing) in the basement of the modern Colonial to discuss the heating system. The Boiler Room in a Box has just arrived in its crate, fully assembled and ready to hang on the wall. Although this gas-fired system has a very small footprint, it has a 175,000 btu boiler and can heat a 4,000 sq. ft. New England home.

The water heated by the boiler is distributed throughout the house in two ways: through radiant baseboard and in-floor radiant tubing. The slimline baseboard is made of aluminum and copper with the water distributed through PEX tubing. In rooms with no space for baseboard, such as the kitchen, the heated water runs through special PEX tubing with an aluminum core that is suspended between the floor joists using plastic nail clips.

Bob points out that the home's structural system comes with pre-drilled holes to facilitate the tubing installation. Once the radiant tubing has been run between all the joists, reflexive insulation is nailed up into each void effectively creating heat ducts between the joists.
Part 2: Tour of the Julia Wood House in Falmouth, MA
Part 3: Running HVAC Ductwork, Part 1
Part 4: Running HVAC Ductwork, Part 2