Extracting more btu's

Fred61

Minister of Fire
Nov 26, 2008
2,429
Southeastern Vt.
I was involved in putting the final touches on a ski house at Okemo Mountain that had a similar design. The only difference was that there was a mezzanine along one side about 10 feet above the floor that lead to the bedrooms. The way they final worked out the low temperature problem at that height was to install a kickspace heater in the bottom of the wood boxes that were built on either side of the fireplace.
 

DaveBP

Minister of Fire
May 25, 2008
1,157
SW Maine
Any way to get a thermometer up near tho top of the great room to see if it's warmer there than down near occupant level?
If it is significantly warmer up there then ceiling fan/s might help redistribute that heat back down where you can use it before it escapes outside.

Tough situation to heat with radiant floors alone but I can't help but think that aluminum heat transfer plates would help a bunch without disrupting the decor in the room. The thicker the plate the better.

These are thicker than most but not anywhere near the price of the extruded ones. Check out the double plates @ .024" thick. Very well made.
http://www.blueridgecompany.com/radiant/hydronic/316/rht-heat-transfer-plates
 

pbvermont

Member
Nov 16, 2007
89
northcentvermont
IF using plates, use the extruded aluminum ones. Thermofin C from radiantengineering.com. They are .065" thick. Or Joist Trak from Uponor. They are .05" thick. Underneath the floor...its all about "conduction."
If you're doing a radiant floor--don't do things "on the cheap." High cathedral ceilings and radiant floors are not a great match-up. IF you ARE trying to "match them up"... well, then you better give the radiant system ALL the advantages you can. Otherwise, you will always have...substandard heat, in a dramatic room with high ceilings.
 

maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
9,879
Nova Scotia
I'm thinking they are a good match up. The heat is rising up from all over the floor, and occupants and objects they come into contact with are at floor level. Emitters around the outside of the room might get the upper reaches warmer, but if nobody is up there and the lower central room areas & occupants are cooler, that's not helping a whole lot either. Also a reason why big garages & barn areas do good with radiant floors.
 

woodsmaster

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2010
2,878
N.W. Ohio
When your short on heat emitters the only way to get more heat is add more emitters, or use hotter water. If the Garn is 185 F you should easily be able to get 180F water to the house. Hot water won't hurt the rads, but could damage the floor. Run your water through the rads first, then the under floor.
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
936
Northern Canada
Hi
Get rid of the under floor heating,and get some more CI rads.
Our house is 27' from floor to ridge pole,1000 sq ft per floor.Our main floor is all open except our daughters room and bath.Right now all we have heating our main floor is 2 14 row CI rads with TRV controls. We just finished 2 weeks of -40C at nights to 30's during the day.The two rads had no problem keeping us toasty even when it was time to fire the boiler they were still putting out heat.In those temps we would fire the boiler at 3PM to 11PM.120 ft run to house burried 5' down 6" of spray foam around each pipe. I have never seen over 10 degree drop from out going to incoming water temps at the boiler building.
I do plan on hooking up 2 more rads,one will be in out porch area and the other is in a back room/hall. They are at the furthest point away from the existing CI rads.Both areas were warm during the -40 spell but the front door was starting to ice up.I am hoping the rad in the porch will cure that problem.
When it's -40 and the rads are getting supplied with freshly heated water,it's like having a little wood stove in each room.Walking by the 2 14 row rads is like having a barrel stove on the main floor.
My system is simple and seems to work great.At -20C which is the average winter temps we fire from 5PM to 10 PM
Thomas
 

Mike Fromme

Burning Hunk
Apr 18, 2014
213
Maine
When your short on heat emitters the only way to get more heat is add more emitters, or use hotter water. If the Garn is 185 F you should easily be able to get 180F water to the house. Hot water won't hurt the rads, but could damage the floor. Run your water through the rads first, then the under floor.
In the pics there is a mixing valve before radiant supply manifold. 69* floor temps isn't exactly putting out many BTUs
 
The radiant floor is going to keep people on the floor warm.
A staple up system is always going to have to operate at a minimum of 140F and likely more, depending on the heat load of the space.
Although the floor is going to be warm, this room has a fair bit of heat loss surface.
If you are concerned about the floors, get a good wood floor person to pass judgement on this. They either run hotter, or you add tubing or plates.
Plates are not going to do much to damage the floors since they just dissipate more energy at the given operating temp.
You can add convectors or panels but I suspect in such a beautiful space, this is not desirable.

My suspicion is that if this has been in operation for a while with no flooring issues, I would try raising the temp 5 degrees at a time.
Perfect weather for such fun!
An Outdoor reset would mitigate any potential damage to the floor by modulating the temps and only have them hot when really cold out.
 

Woodfarmer1

Member
Nov 10, 2013
231
Bowmanville, On,Can
I won't get rid of the in floor, I really notice when I go to someone's house just how nice my warm floors are.
The mixing valve with the green handle is for the basement slab
The gate valve with the the white handle regulates flow between the rads and the in floor