Best heat source for this house?
We recently finished building a super-insulated house in a very cold place. We had to scrape and pinch budgets to get it built, and some important points didn’t get the attention they deserved. Live and learn.
One of those points was, we just didn’t know how much additional heating the structure would need. None? Some? Lots? We installed just a tiny bit and now it seems like we need more.
The house has an ERV in the sealed crawlspace. The ERV has 3 little inline electric heaters, and is activated by a standard thermostat (as well as the particle detector). Those inline heaters are enough to maintain temps on some cold days, but not all, and they have to work really hard.
* If we turn the thermostat down to e.g. 60 overnight, bringing the house back up to 68 might take 12-24 hrs.
* If we leave it at 68, the ERV is blowing nonstop, and it can’t quite keep it there on the really cold days.
And, of course, when the thermostat tells the ERV to start working, that means it’s doing extra ventilating: more cold air in and hot air out.
The house also has 2 heated bathroom floors, which the builder thought might work as “make up heat”. We haven’t tried cranking those way up; maybe that would work, but it doesn’t seem like a terribly safe or efficient way to heat for extended periods. Thoughts?
I am wondering whether it would make sense to install a ducted heat pump in the crawlspace? Maybe it can be integrated with the ERV somehow?
Or I could install some baseboard heat, but since the house has ducts, using them seems smart.
I’m curious if anyone with real experience suggests any other creative ideas to consider?
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