floors and heating

Look at our beautiful floor! That’s the colour of wet, uncured, Omaha Tan my friends and what will soon be our main floor.

Aug 19 - getting a floor!

It turns out that we didn’t have to wait long to get this poured after all. I nearly forgot to mention what happened before that though – the plumbing for hydronic (aka in-floor) heating.

Aug 19 - getting a floor

We’ve been having quite the dilemma when it comes to deciding what sort of heating to use. From the very beginning we really liked the idea of hydronic heating as it’s much quieter than a forced air furnace (and we sleep right beside a noisy one in our current home) and more importantly, is the cleaner heating option when it comes to indoor air quality. All was well and good until we started to hear about air-tight hydronically heated homes that were too hot and we got the price tag for our dream air to water heat pump system.

The whole topic of heating is complex and I found it really hard to find good information on why other builders went with the options they did as we went through this process. We still haven’t made a firm decision on how things are going to work but we realized it was still better to put the pipes in before having the concrete poured so we could have the option.

Aug 13 - something wrong with this picture

When it comes to warming the hydronic system we’ve narrowed it down to using either an electric boiler or an air to water heat pump. That type of heat pump, while not quite as costly as a ground source heating system, is still really pricey, especially for a small house. The standard choice for many with a hydronic seems to be to use a gas-fired on-demand system but it isn’t something I can muster up a willingness for. For starters I have concerns with in-home emissions. Add to that my experience of THREE gas leaks in my 5 1/2 years of owning homes with natural gas and my distaste with how gas extraction and distribution is managed in our country… natural gas in our new home just doesn’t make sense.

While we’re on the topic of heating I should mention that we’ve also looked at electric baseboards and that’s probably what we’ll have for back up heat upstairs since we’re anticipating that heat will travel up there quite easily on its own. Should we not choose to use the hydronic plumbing the other main alternative we’re investigating is a ductless air to air mini-split heat pump system. When we finally make a decision we’ll have reason to celebrate the end of a many month long struggle about what to do!

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3 thoughts on “floors and heating

  1. I am having the same dilemma. I would appreciate if you can share what was your final decision on heating upstairs?
    I thought of using hydronic downstairs and a panel heater upstairs.

  2. Hi Nawa, We opted to do as you suggested. It came down to space really, although had we had the plumbing done before the electrical (as is usually advised) we may have just gone with electric baseboards upstairs. Does that help?

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