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Thread: PEX radiant sub-floor heating under basement floor

  1. #11
    LHBA Member DanS's Avatar
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    We will put in-floor radiant heat when we build.

    The only question I have for the folks who have installed it in the basement slab (versus in the first floor) is does the basement get excessively hot? The thermostat would obviously be on the main floor, so if it's asking for 60 degrees, will the basement end up at 70 degrees? Or does it work out more even than that?

    We've got two 200 gallon insulated stainless hot water storage tanks, so we're ready for the solar drain back system, the only question to answer is whether to put the radiant in the basement, or in the floor itself. Either way we will have radiant in the bathroom, and probably kitchen, so it will be on the first floor at least a little.

    My parents installed in floor radiant heat powered by the sun, and it's so nice to keep that part of the house at 70 degrees all day long, no matter what is going on outside and not have to worry about the gas bill. And REALLY nice to take a shower with a nice and toasty floor.

    Dan

  2. #12
    You would want two zones for the basement and first floor. It's very easy to have multiple zones

    That is impressive that they get all of their heat from the sun!?!?

  3. #13
    LHBA Member WNYcabinplannin's Avatar
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    I have only the basement with radiant. It's a slow gentle heat. If I put the radiant on, 70 say- the main floor gets there slowly. It doesn't go crazy in the basement. With the basement door open it balanced faster, but not much. Mind you I ended up with three heat sources. The woodstove, and two Mitsubishi ductless: one in the kitchen on main floor and one in the upstairs master. I got them mostly for the AC, but they heat the place fast.
    So let's say I keep the radiant at 58 when I'm gone for a week. I come in, hit the two ductless to 68, hit the radiant to 70, and start the woodstove.
    Within 20 minutes the ductless cut off bc the woodstove is rocking. The basement has come up to 65, and gets to 70 in another hour.
    Woodstove becomes the only thing running fast. I get a 12 hour burn if I pack it...
    If I sleep in and the stove is cold, the radiant will have kicked back on and the whole place is toasty...
    Ok there's my radiant situation over explained...

  4. #14
    LHBA Member DanS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thoner7 View Post
    You would want two zones for the basement and first floor. It's very easy to have multiple zones
    I should have specified: the basement will be just utilities and storage for us.

    That is impressive that they get all of their heat from the sun!?!?
    Very impressive. It's pretty cool being able to leave the house to remain at, say, 68 degrees while you're gone--because the heat just isn't costing anything. ...which is precisely what we're after.

    Quote Originally Posted by WNYcabinplannin View Post
    I have only the basement with radiant. It's a slow gentle heat. If I put the radiant on, 70 say- the main floor gets there slowly. It doesn't go crazy in the basement. With the basement door open it balanced faster, but not much. Mind you I ended up with three heat sources. The woodstove, and two Mitsubishi ductless: one in the kitchen on main floor and one in the upstairs master. I got them mostly for the AC, but they heat the place fast.
    So let's say I keep the radiant at 58 when I'm gone for a week. I come in, hit the two ductless to 68, hit the radiant to 70, and start the woodstove.
    Within 20 minutes the ductless cut off bc the woodstove is rocking. The basement has come up to 65, and gets to 70 in another hour.
    Woodstove becomes the only thing running fast. I get a 12 hour burn if I pack it...
    If I sleep in and the stove is cold, the radiant will have kicked back on and the whole place is toasty...
    Ok there's my radiant situation over explained...
    Gotcha. Good to know. I assume your basement thermostat is located in the basement?

    Dan

  5. #15
    Do you have to be out west where the sun actually shines to get those kind of results?

  6. #16
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thoner7 View Post
    Do you have to be out west where the sun actually shines to get those kind of results?

    Solar heat is mostly for those of us to live out west. There is precipitation heat for anyone who lives near Rod. You may want to back up with a good wood stove to combat the humidity.








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  7. #17
    LHBA Member DanS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thoner7 View Post
    Do you have to be out west where the sun actually shines to get those kind of results?
    I don't know if it's so much an east vs. west issue, or a low vs. high altitude issue. My parents place is at just under 7000 feet, and mine is at roughly 9000. When the sun shines, it is HOT. There's very little atmosphere between us and the sun, so I suspect that makes the solar heat much, much more effective.

    Dan

  8. #18
    I am going to resurrect this thread for a brief moment. We are planning on building a 2 story garage with the foundation starting next fall. I believe we will be using PEX in the garage floor. I read through various links earlier in the thread. I am convinced that is the correct option for the pad. I've read info on the tankless and that seems to be a subject for debate. I do like the "looks" of the water heater on the radiant site.

    Here is question #1. For the upstairs I can not determine if radiant (pex under the 2nd floor/ceiling of the garage) is the most efficient for our application/location. The garage will be located in the central Michigan with in sight of Lake Huron (lower peninsula for those out west). I understand multiple loops, zones and having other sources, hence question 2.

    Question #2. If a wood stove is also part of the equation, can it be located on the slab and the heat routed to the 2nd floor? I am still young and dumb and can carry firewood to the 2nd floor. In 20 years that will not be the case.

    Your thoughts, opinions, experiences, critiques are welcomed. I'm doing it once and want to have the best sources of heat with minimal cost (as does every one else).

  9. #19
    1 we have pex in the 5 inch slab of our basement cement floor. works great to heat the whole garage including the loft

  10. #20
    The loft is heated just from the heated pad? Or is there a heating source in the loft? Is the loft insulated from the garage/slab area? Is there a living area in the loft? What do you use for the PEX heating source ?

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