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6 hours ago, GlennWest said:

I found a heat pump water heater made up in 2 part system. Looks like a mini split outside unit. So fans, compressor outside. Uses CO2 for refrigerant. Works down to -20 F. https://smallplanetsupply.us/sanden-sanco2-heat-pump-water-heater-3rd-gen-43-gal-system/

My mini split is working well in the +20's, will be 4 this weekend. Will see what happens then. If you are staying put as I think you are, why not use Geothermal for all?

Rod

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More I research geothermal heating and cooling it looks good. Wonder if radiant floor would heat home by itself. I am talking about Huntsville tx. Don't stay cold here. I will have a plain concrete floor when contractor finish. So be easy to add the lines. 

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1 minute ago, Joe Spiker said:

Glenn,

 

I have radiant floor heat in my garage and it works fantastic.  I put the lines down before they poured the concrete floor using PEX tubing.  Have never regretted it.

 

Joe

thanks joe. You stated garage so not like a living space. How comfortable is it. 70ish degrees?

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We had a house (quad-level)  in Michigan where some of the hot water heat ran in lines laid in the floor on the ground floor level.  Worked wonderfully for that area EXCEPT the copper piping developed pin holes and eventually we found a small damp area on the floor after a box sat in one place for 2 days.  Only remedies were  jackhammer the floor out, or reroute the piping so that it wasn't one loop for the whole floor, which is what we did.  Of course the house was built in the late '60s, things have improved since then😉.   I did love the radiant heating from the registers, no fans blowing, just warmth in the house and we are talking about Michigan in the winter - especially after we replaced all of the windows with thermopane ones.   

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Ya'll have me seriously considering this. Also no fan helps with my wife's allergies. I can get a backhoe fairly reasonably. The geothermal heat pump with hot water option priced right in line with ac plus hot water conventional. The extra cost is the pex tubing for floors and yard. I can put the underground loops in the clearing. 200' from home. Mini splits are very efficient but I have to have hot water also and a heat pump hot water system is expensive. About price of the geothermal unit. Need to decide before I have home built. He can put the pex in the concrete when pouring concrete.

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1 hour ago, GlennWest said:

thanks joe. You stated garage so not like a living space. How comfortable is it. 70ish degrees?

Glenn,

I have heated the garage to the low 60's at times, generally keep it in the low 50's though.  Since I'm moving around it's not uncomfortable and my feet stay warm because the floor is around 65 degrees.  This is in a standard pole barn construction garage that has 3 14foot tall RV doors in it and is 25 feet to the peak of the roof. 

I have a 16 X 20 room built in it though that I use for doing finish work on wood projects and that stays at 67.  Only because that is where I have the thermostat set.  For a heat sourse I am using a commercial Rinnai on demand water heater that is propane fired.

Hope this helps.

 

Joe

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Considering my home will only be 750 sq ft I really don't see an advantage in geotherm. I will have 6" walls so can achieve 30r in them. Seal roof well and about 45r and a 12k mini split should suffice. It only pulls like 5 amps running. With the circulating pumps on geotherm might actually pull more. Now in a large home, yes, geotherm way to go. 

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Hi Glenn - my last home and garage (20 years) was radiant floor heating in Alberta plains winter. It’s -25F here today...

Anyway we always insulate with styrofoam with provision to snap the heating pex in then slab on top. Heat flows to cold on any direction so insulation stops your system from trying to heat the ground under your home to room temperature. Also if you are under building codes check to see if your hydronic heating system needs to be engineered. 

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1 hour ago, noteven said:

Hi Glenn - my last home and garage (20 years) was radiant floor heating in Alberta plains winter. It’s -25F here today...

Anyway we always insulate with styrofoam with provision to snap the heating pex in then slab on top. Heat flows to cold on any direction so insulation stops your system from trying to heat the ground under your home to room temperature. Also if you are under building codes check to see if your hydronic heating system needs to be engineered. 

So you heating the concrete slab instead of the floor. Had not considered that. All pics I saw was on top of floor. What did you use for heating the water? I want to keep operating cost as low as possible. 

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We used stoker coal firing a modern external hot water furnace. 500,000btu output.

Radiant heat is the most efficient. You choice of how the heat is supplied should be made by initial cost vs operating cost over time based in the efficiency of the heating plant. 

 

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Even the geothermal system uses a heat pump water heater. Just uses water instead of outside air. As long as the heat pump water heater is inside with temps in 70s, seems it would just as effective. If it was outside where temps get cold, geothermal would be better. Need to figure what size needed. Years ago, in a double wide, I installed a 75k gas hot water heater and pumped water Thur a coil, heat exchanger. Blower in duct blowing thru coil. Heated hole house in NC. It did use right much LP I remember. But I also had to keep that heater at 185 also. 

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My BIL recycled the heat from the dishwasher back into the system. I'm pretty sure he used air instead of water for the heat transfer, though, since he circulated it through concrete ducts. Like I-beams but with open centers that ran along the ceiling of the basement to become the base of the main floor. That was back in the 1970s so all his technology was still experimental then. His house was so unique it was written up in the Home & Garden section of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He now lives in Idaho and built a unique house there, too. His former wife still lives in that first house.

Linda

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1 hour ago, GlennWest said:

I know they make them. I build such working maintenance while in NC. Who makes the one you looking at?

I put radiant in floor heat in our present house and it is great.  I looped 1/2" pex every 10" in the concrete slab before it was poured.  It uses a high efficiency propane hot water heater to heat the water.  This is a stainless tank heater with over 100,000 btu's.  This water heater is so efficient it uses plastic pipe for the air inlet and exhaust.  A small pump circulates the water.  This system also has solar assist with hot water solar panels incorporated into it   In floor heat is by far the most comfortable heat.  Our annual propane bill for hot water and heat runs about $200 in Colorado.  That is less than $20 a month.  I would never want to go back to forced air heat or even hot water radiators.  This system is planned for our new house also. As has been posted insulation under the slab is very important.  New insulation standards require this now for any concrete floor in a house.  I saw an ad for a heat pump that will heat water for infloor heat for moderate climates.  It is a mini split type of setup and should be very efficient.  It will cool some but in floor cooling doesn't work very well.  Since heating requirements are not significant for Glenn's climate a simple mini split will be hard to beat.

Edited by Randyretired
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6 hours ago, GlennWest said:

Oh, I fairly sure I will go with radiant floor heat. 

Do you have to be careful with running hard water in a radiant floor system? I know hard water ruined my AZ neighbor's swamp cooler.

On another note, I'm looking into installing a DITRA electric floor heating system in part of our manufactured home.

Edited by Zulu
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9 minutes ago, Zulu said:

Do you have to be careful with running hard water in a radiant floor system? I know hard water ruined my AZ neighbor's swamp cooler.

Well the water is city of Riverside supplied. Have not checked it for hardness. I could put a softner if needed. Thanks for the info.

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