Unique situation for a hydronic floor system
I am about half way through a whole house renovation of a 1888 2 story Victorian over a ventilated crawl space in New Orleans. We have been upgrading the insulation as we go with R36 closed cell insulation along the roofline in the conditioned attic and R3 zip sheathing and R15 mineral wool batts on the walls. I am ordering Indow-windows for the old single pane windows.
The last line item is the floors. The first floor of the house is 3″ tounge and grove heart of pine wood flooring 1.25″ thick over 2×12 joists. Nothing else, zero insulation. You can see the crawlspace in spots. Due to flood zones, creating a conditioned crawl space is out of the question.
The first floor is not comfortable in either season, cooling or heating, but much more so during the winter. This likely due to the lack of any air barrier and insulation on the floor and the fact that house was designed for passive cooling prior to HVAC.
We have 2 separate variable speed forced air heat pump systems. One sized for each floor.
The question is, would installing a hydronic floor system over this crawl space increase our comort level over just spraying 2″ of closed cell foam under the floor and joists in the crawl space.
I feel like now with the forced air system and 12 foot ceilings we can not get comfortable on the first floor because all the forced air heat rises and the little bit that is left escapes to the cold crawl space though the sub-optimal floor.
I am looking at this strickly from a comfort perspecitve. My only experince with heated floors was in a small bathroom and they were nice. The system would likely only be useful for about 3 months out of the year.
My thoughts on potentially putting it in would be:
1. I could set it at a set temperature and I wouln’t need to run the first floor heat pump as much and lose as much hot air to the ceiling. We turn off the first floor heat at night b/c all the bedrooms are on the second floor.
2. I would be closer to the source of the heat.
3. All the other selling points of “radient heat”. Less forced air/dust/noise/better overall comfort.
4. I could zone it to be just the rooms we spend most of our time in. Living room/kitchen. I wouldn’t have to include all the formal rooms b/c they are mostly unused unless a party when people are overheated anyway.
I know our comfort will improve simply with insulating and air sealing the floor. Would the Hyronic Floor system really add to the comfort during our three damp cold months?
any thoughts ?
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