To radiant or not to radiant…
A little background first:
We are in the process of designing our new home in north Central Vermont. We would like to build as energy efficient home as possible, while balancing a bit of a budget tightrope. Our current design provides approximately 1500 sf of living space for our family. Our site offers us a lifetime of good firewood, which we plan to utilize.
We are considering a wall section that includes drywall, 2×6 stud wall with cellulose insulation, plywood sheathing, 2″ of felt-faced polyiso, felt paper, 1x strapping, siding. Our window selection (based on price point at the moment) has been narrowed down to a wood/fiberglass double pane, low-e window. This will be slab-on-grade construction.
Questions (among many others) that are currently plaguing us:
1. Does a radiant system in our slab makes sense? Our living spaces will be oriented to the South/East. I’m concerned that using our wood stove will mean the radiant never even turns on.
2. Would it make any sense to not put radiant into the living spaces that are nearest the woodstove (and also most likely to receive any passive solar gain benefits), and instead put it only in the floors on the North side?
3. How much insulation should we put under the slab in either case? 2″, 4′?…
Please feel free to question any other of our tentative decisions at the moment. We are very excited about building our new home and are finding it very difficult to weed through all of the different options and approaches…
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