Carl is going the minisplit route in his new home but also will be installing supplemental heating equipment—the question is what kind.
“We are being required to install additional heat sources in each and every bedroom and bathroom for backup,” Carl writes in this recent Q&A post.
There may not be much call for supplemental heat. The house will have double-stud walls, raised heel trusses for added insulation in the roof, and will be carefully air sealed. But have it he must. Carl’s HVAC contractor is planning to install a Cadet in-wall electric resistance heater in each room, with an electric radiant floor in the bathroom.
“The bathrooms will be used for 20-25 minutes each morning and night,” Carl says. “I don’t want to run these things for hours. The bedroom heaters may not ever be used. We set our nighttime temps very low and prefer blankets over whole-house heating for sleeping hours; it’s much more pleasant.”
Would radiant panels in the ceiling work? What about in-floor electric resistance heat? Are there other options to consider? Those are questions for this Q&A Spotlight.
Who is requiring supplemental heat?
Peter Engle, among others, wants to know who exactly is requiring Carl to install backup heat.
“If it is a local jurisdiction and you are confident that you won’t need it, I would go with the cheapest solution and even consider removing it once the house is finished,” Engle says.
Carl himself isn’t entirely sure why supplemental heat would be required.
“Good question,” he replies, “and one I have asked by GC more than once. I may have to chase it down myself. Suffice to say, the minute you say you intend to use a minisplit system and refuse to install forced…
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