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Radiant Floor Heating/radiant heat in a new/old house


I need to install a heating system in my new house.
The dinosaur oil fired sumer winter hookup is shot.
I just bought the house and am renovating from head to toe...
I want to install a wood stove and a backup source of heat, considering radiant under the existing floors but no thermal mass of concrete to hold the heat and emanate...
Just pex and some heat reflectors(foil faced ridged insulation

I also considered electric hydronic baseboards in the bedrooms

Please advise,
I don't want cold kids and an angry wife


Badger Radiant Designs sub-floor plates
Badger Radiant Designs  
We design retrofit radiant floors and use some of the same methods we used 20 years ago with a few high-tech upgrades.

First, a room-by-room Manual 'J' heat load analysis, performed on radiant floor dedicated software.

Once we know the load we can choose the boiler. In your case I would consider an indoor wood boiler with an alternate backup. This is typically oil, propane or electricity and may be built-in to the boiler and automatically controlled.

With the type of boiler in mind and the operating temperatures it is capable or most efficient with we have to look to the heat emitter e.g. radiation. Some older homes lend themselves to sub-floor radiant panels, some to radiant ceilings and others to European style wall-hung steel radiators.

Of course it is nearly ideal to install PEX in concrete in case where you are going to pour a slab. But this is certainly not the only way to get the comfort that only radiant heat can supply. You will need an experienced designer to help you with the many hydronic radiant heating products on the market today.  

Radiant Floor Heating

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Morgan M. Audetat


Radiant panel heating design, including floors and ceilings, European wall panels and snow melting for residential and light commercial buildings..............................................................-Master of Steam and Hot Water,City of Minneapolis....................................................--- Master Plumber, State of Minnesota...........


30 years..... Charter Board Member - Radiant Panel Association, former manufacturer of condensing boilers, former national distributor of radiant floor products, son and apprentice of mechanical & plumbing contractor. Current mechanical/plumbing contractor specializing in hydronic based, integrated HVAC systems. Radiant floor heating/cooling. Snow Melting. Condensing Boilers. Indirect water heaters. System design, consulting and technical training world-wide. Licensed contractor, designer, installer and consultant.

B.S. University WI 1981 CONTINUING EDUCATION: Viessmann Condensing boiler and Solar water heating certification 2010, N.D.S.U. Lead Worker RRP certification 2010, Knight condensing boiler certification 2009, Wrightsoft Manual J CAD certification 2009, RPA Designer & Installer Certification 2008, Nate Hydronic/Forced Air Certification 2008, Uponor/Wirsbo advanced design school certification 2007, Buderus Wall-hung certification 2007, Power Limited License (low voltage controls) 40 CE credits 2005, Basic Hydronic Certification IPEX & Northern Alberta Institute of Technology 1998, Charter Board Member - Radiant Panel Association 1994, Residential Off-Electric to Hydronic Conversion Heating School Canadian Hydronics Council 1994, B&G Little Red School House 1993, Rood Utilities (now Auburn Technical Institute) Oil Burner School 1993 ,Tekmar Controls residential and commercial 1993, Division Manager and Advanced Hydronic Seminar Instructor for the first Exclusively Hydronic Radiant Floor Distributor in the USA 1990, Hydronic Radiant Heating Association Workshop participant with Richard c. Bourne, PE spring 1988, Master Plumbing, Hydronic, Solar Course Red Rocks Community College 1987.

Awards and Honors
2009 System Showcase Award - Radiant Panel Association

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