ICF and radiant heat construction - What is more energy efficient

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Posted by: from Canso
1/29/2011 at 9:29:26 PM

What is more energy efficient in eastern Nova Scotia (Guysborough county) which has oil or electric heat available, radiant heat floors or a heat pump?

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Date/Time1/31/2011 at 6:12:01 PM

Hi Dee,

From my experice it is always cost effective to go with oil forced air, but if you have the money heat pump is the way to go the most cost effective way to run the home. Hope these helps.

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Date/Time1/31/2011 at 6:25:00 PM

It depends on your own personal taste. Have you ever felt the heat from a heat pump?

I have experienced it and I prefer the warmth of an oil forced air furnace. If you like to be warm, oil is the way to go. Radiant floor heating is great for your bathroom, there's nothing like stepping out of the shower onto a warm floor.

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Rod. from Artall R.M. in Toronto
Date/Time2/1/2011 at 1:35:25 AM

Hello Dee,

If there is only one question (efficiency), the answer is easy:

Radiant floor heating via heat pump. The ground is around 12 deg. Celsius few meters under, so this is also green reusable energy.

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Darwin from Sniper Developments in Acme
Date/Time2/1/2011 at 2:41:42 PM

Hi Dee,

Your question has several levels to consider, oil heat is relatively inexpensive to install vs radiant heat and a heat pump.

The question also need to be asked is this new construction or a renovation project.

Radiant heat is a fantastic way to heat your home and it can be installed on every floor and separated in to as mant separately controlled zones as you like, the other side of this equasion is it is very expensive to installl, the heat comes from underground where the temperature sits consistantly around 11 degrees and your heat pump generally doubles this output so a circulating temperature of 22 degrees can be achieved at all times, there has to be many meters of pipping both supply and return buried below the frost line and excavation or drilling piling holes is a costly venture also the heat pump itself not to mention several circulation pumps, a control system (computer controlled is best) and a manifold system to control zones. Now once it is in place the heating costs are exponentially less than oil, but it is recommended that a second source of heat be in place as radiant heat temperature regulation is slow, as forced air heating is almost instant.

So in conclusion there are many factors to consider and not to be taken lightly as this could be an involved process. my recommendation would be to spend a few dollars and have a qualified installer come out to your home or project and walk you through all aspects of the options.


Darwin Eaket

Sniper Exteriors & Renovations

Good Luck.

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Date/Time2/2/2011 at 10:04:04 AM

Darwin's post is bang on. In floor radiant heating over the long run is more energy efficient. However, as Darwin mentioned there are many factors to consider such as the installation cost of such a system and a cost benefit and comparison should be done by a heating consultant or contractor so you have all of the facts.


Kingsway Construction Inc.

Glenn Rosborough

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