Re: In floor radiant heating - can't beat it.
From: OCC11NG (
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2005 21:53:19 -0800 (PST)

Forced-air systems are often designed with HRV or ERV heat exchangers so that fresh air entering the building can be heated by hot stale air exiting the building. How do systems using radiant heat introduce fresh air into the house and get rid of stale air? So far, I have heard about heating, but not about ventilation nor cooling.

I think the problems with forced air systems are primarily due to the single speed fan (it either blows hard or is off). In variable speed systems, air can be continuously circulated at low variable speeds so that drafts are minimized.

Norm Gauss

----- Original Message ----- From: "Chris ScottHanson" <chris [at]>
To: "Cohousing-L" <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Monday, November 14, 2005 8:53 AM
Subject: [C-L]_ In floor radiant heating - can't beat it.

In floor radiant heat in a concrete slab is a GREAT way to heat your home, or your common house! It does cost a little more, but it can pay back in most situations, depending on energy costs and usage patterns in your area. Required room air temperatures are lower, lowering heating (and energy) requirements. Comfort is incredible.

Baseboard heaters suck, in my humble opinion - hydronic or otherwise. And I believe that the claimed cost savings is not as great as claimed, either. They look ugly, never fit quite the way they were intended, and always seem to be in the wrong place when you want to place furniture. Check with those folks currently living with baseboard heat to see what they think. (eg: JP Cohousing)

Winslow Cohousing is all radiant concrete (slab on grade) on the main floor and hydronic baseboards upstairs. I helped install the system in 1991 when I took a job with the subcontractor. I assume they are still working well.?! Anyone from WCG able to comment?

In about 1998 I built one unit (#29) at Trillium Hollow (the adaptive reuse of the 1200 sf hexagonal gymnasium) and we installed radiant in floor using light weight concrete over plywood sub floors in a wood frame structure. It worked extremely well. WE LOVED THE CONCRETE AS A FINISHED FLOOR. We had it acid washed 30 days after the pour, and then sealed with 5 coats of gloss sealer. It came out with gorgeous blues and greens and rust colors. We chose no crack control because we wanted it to look natural when it cracked. The result was astonishing, and wonderful, and very easy to keep clean. The heat source sufficient for heating the entire 1500 sf (300 sf loft, if you're counting) was a single domestic hot water heater (in addition to the water heater supplying domestic hot water). We truly hated to leave there. (Only my dying father pulled us away.)

We have a forced air system with a heat pump where we are now, and we don't like it. Primarily because of the dust and noise.

Next house we build for ourselves will definitely be in floor radiant heat, with finished concrete floors on the main floor. And the bathroom loops will be spaced at 6 or 8 inches and will run on their own thermostats, and will provide ALL the heat for the house in the shoulder seasons, keeping towels dry and your feet warm when you walk into the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Can't beat it.

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