Radiant floor heating vs. the building enclosure
I see a lot of fancy homes being built in my market that have complicated, expensive radiant floor heating systems. What confuses me is that these homes are built with 2×6 exterior walls with blown-in fiberglass insulation, no exterior insulated sheathing.
An R-20ish wall does not seem efficient enough to start introducing radiant floor systems. Shouldn’t these systems be treated like renewables? Meaning that they only should be specified after the appropriate efficiency levels in the foundation, walls, windows, and roof have been met.
I know that radiant floor heating is an efficient way to heat your home. Comfortable systems but they are not cheap. Shouldn’t the money be spent on the building enclosure first? Then if the budget allows, put in the radiant heating?
I figure its best to have a super tight, efficient envelope with a +90% efficient furnace, as opposed to a not-so-efficient envelope and radiant floor heating.
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