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Anyone have a Messana radiant ceiling system?

mjezzi | Posted in Mechanicals on

I’m considering a Messana radiant ceiling heating and cooling system. I’m looking for some feedback from anyone that has any sort of experience or second hand opinion of it. Especially regarding the integrated HRV+Dehumidifier. How does their HRV compare to a Zehnder?

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  1. charlie_sullivan | | #1

    I think radiant ceiling heating is great. It's a little counter intuitive to have the heat source on the ceiling, but the lack of furniture of clutter on the ceiling, and the clear view from the ceiling to human bodies sitting on couches makes it work well.

    Radiant cooling makes a lot of sense in a dry climate, but in a humid climate, and especially in a well-insulated building, a conventional cooling system basically gives you more cooling than you need by the time you have done enough cooling to dehumidify. So it makes more sense to focus on making sure the ventilation and dehumidification is done as efficiently as possible, and not worry about the sensible cooling load so much. I didn't find specs on the dehumidification energy use of the Messana system, and the fact that it's only available with an HRV core and not an ERV core, makes me doubt that it's stellar in that regard.

    But now I see that you are in Colorado, so maybe the dehumidification isn't a big problem, similar to the climate that system was originally designed for. So it might work very well for you. It's presumably expensive, but could provide excellent comfort.

    On the other hand, if you are going to go with a chilled/heated water system, which might for example be supplied by the highly efficient Chiltrix heat-pump unit, you could instead use it with the Chiltrix slim, quiet fan coils that can be run at temperatures below dew point, unlike ceiling panels, so you don't need the fancy control system, and you can use an ordinary HRV or ERV system.

    1. mjezzi | | #2

      Thanks for the reply. Hmm, I didn't really think about the HRV vs ERV. If I’m understanding this right, an ERV would be ideal in the winter since it would help retain humidity generated in the home. So that sounds like it would be a disadvantage with the Messana HRV. I’m I understanding this correctly?

    2. Jon_R | | #3

      Using some guesses (dew points = 10F/37F, 100 CFM), I get 32 pints/day being removed by a HRV. Your water vapor production will vary, but typical for 4 people is equal to that. This would be perfect - an ERV would result in too high interior humidity.

  2. sctmcd | | #4

    Hi Mike,

    Curious which supplier you're working with? I installed a system 3 years ago in California with very mixed results. While the system works great for heating it's been pretty much a failure at cooling. I run one HRV/humidifier and another single humidifier and I really can't keep up on hot days. There is also the problem of systems inability to rapidly remove warm air. If we have a summer pool party say and open up our house the interior temp will get in the 80' then takes about two days to get system back in balance with room temps in the low 70's. I'm about to pull the trigger now on a split ductless to cool my main rooms. FYI I've also had leak and maintenance issue with the system.

    1. mjezzi | | #5

      Interesting. I'd like to hear more about your project. And I can share what I've learned so far. There's a few points that seems relevant for your situation. Email me at [email protected] and maybe we can exchange phone numbers and have a conversation.

    2. Messana_Hydronic_Technologies | | #6

      Hi there!

      In situations when our clients would like to expose a large zone to outdoor conditions for an extended period of time, we typically recommend installing a hydronic fan coil system in tandem with our panels to provide quicker supplementary cooling.

      We try to design our systems based on each client's unique applications. In this case, extra panels, dehumidification, and fan coil units would help ensure that expectations are met. This is all made easy using our controls, which can often be updated and reconfigured to manage all aspects of a hydronic system.

      If you'd still be interested in adding an air aspect to your hydronic system, we'd be more than happy to discuss your project! You can reach out to us at [email protected]. Take care!

      - The Messana Team

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