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Modern Usonian: Radiant heat options?

 
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Jon Autry
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 1:38 am    Post subject: Modern Usonian: Radiant heat options? Reply with quote

Any thoughts on pros/cons of Hydronic vs. Electrical radiant floor heating?
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dkottum



Joined: 09 Jan 2005
Posts: 417
Location: Battle Lake, MN

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 9:28 am    Post subject: Radiant heat Reply with quote

We are at that point in our own project, so have been reading. If it's going into concrete, it must be durable. This seems to favor hot water. The other thing that comes to mind is that hydronic heat gives you many fuel choices to heat the water, gas, oil, wood, or solar. There is also an installation method that circulates the household hot water through the system. In summer, water from the city supply line is routed through the system on the way to the household hot water heater. This takes heat from the floors, making them cooler, and warms the water before it reaches the heater, thereby requiring less energy to bring the water up to desirable temperature. With this method, there is only one hot water heater (or boiler), that provides both household hot water and heat.
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wrightfanbob
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 12:34 pm    Post subject: radiant heat Reply with quote

I agree with the previous post. I should think that the hydronic route might be more cost effective and a greener way to go about it. Be certain to have a qualified installer do this, as leaks are a result of poor installation. I would not rely on the floor adding any cooling factor in the summer. Once you experience this method of heat, you will never settle for anything else!
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ScottG
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2005 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We installed radiant floor heat in our house. There is nothing better and it exceeded our expectations. We'll never go back.



FLW was a genius!
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed about the radiant heat. We had it in a 1954 house designed by a Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice, Robert Carroll May. It is hard to describe a better feeling than walking barefoot on warm stone floors in the middle of winter while viewing a snowstorm through large glass windows...
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KevinW



Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 1273

PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 6:19 pm    Post subject: Bob May Reply with quote

Bob May was an excellent Architect, another former apprentice who took what he learned from Wright and created beautiful work with happy clients! Contrary to popular belief, There are and were many quality apprentices.
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KevinW
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. They are good quality. Just not as good as FLW. If I wanted to live in the best house....if would be a FLW. If I wanted a lesser design....an appretice would do.



But then again....who wants sloppy seconds!
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NickSpellman
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 11:20 am    Post subject: Robert May Reply with quote

There are several Robert May houses near where I live (Storrs & Suffield, CT) and they are absolutely delightful. They are not FLLW copies. Mr. May developed his own unique expression of the organic house.
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 4159
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 9:23 pm    Post subject: Radiant Heat Reply with quote

I found a very unique product for electric radiant heat called StepWarmfloor by Electro Plastics, Inc., St. Louis, MO
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 7:52 pm    Post subject: Electric radiant heat Reply with quote

I heard that electric radiant heat is better for small surface areas, such as bathrooms, which need to heat up quickly.
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Mobius



Joined: 24 Feb 2005
Posts: 149
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Electrical heating in a bathroom is typically placed OVER the concrete slab but UNDER the tiles on the floor. In this way, the floor can be heated in 15 minutes or so. But the heat is not long-lived, as is obvious because you are not heating the floor slab.



I have heard horror stories from an electrical contractor friend about electric underfloor heating - particularly on floors which have the concrete as the final surface. If construction cuts sever a wire, then your floor is probably going to have to come up. The highest repair cost I have heard is $40,000 and I do not know who ended up paying.



If you plan on underfloor heating, then you must use contractors and concrete placers who are not only familiar with their products, but also with each other, and the scrutineering of the placement of elements/pipes must be minutely examined before the concrete is laid. A cut pipe or element is just guaranteed to ruin your decade.
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