Help! Choosing Heating System for New Construction Home
We are in the final stages of design for our new home. Total square footage ~1700 with full basement under 1000 square feet and crawl space under remaining. Trying to plan for energy efficiency. Double 2x4 walls with cellulose insulation, efficient double glazed windows. Some insulation under foundation. Manual J was completed with Total Heating required including ventilation air: 25,116 BTUh. Efficient wood stoves planned for supplemental heat. We have a wood lot as a resource, and I anticipate we'll use the wood heat nearly every night in the winter.
Quotes for heating systems seem so high! We are looking at hydronic radiant floor heat. Quotes for propane boiler or electric boiler with radiant floor heat are in the $20,000 ball park with annual operating costs at ~$3,000. Ground source geothermal at near $30,000 with annual operating costs of ~$1,200.
So, this seems crazy to me. A small well-insulated house should not require a $20-30,000 heating system plus wood stove costs. Where are we going wrong? Should we be giving up radiant floor heat? Should we be putting an additional $10-15,000 in insulation and reducing heating system to perhaps mini-split ductless? Direct vent propane units? We are in a rural area and do not have access to natural gas.
My dream was for a passive house. We now seem to be in an in-between land. Above average insulation,etc. , but not "tight" enough to reduce heating systems.
Thanks for help/advice. We are in Zone 5 northern michigan, so heating is the primary concern vs. cooling.
Posted Jul 5, 2011 12:55 AM ET
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