Combining radiant heat with alternative energy/ultra high efficiency heat sources puts "the best of both worlds" together. When homeowners want the ultimate in energy efficiency and can put more up-front money into it, they're rewarded with
uncompromised comfort, off-the-charts energy efficiency, and steroidal payback! Leading-edge contractors are harnessing the warmth of the sun, or abundant thermal energy stored below the ground.
The Oren Atchley Co., a mechanical contracting firm based in Fort Smith, AR, recently completed am 8,000 s.f. home that was under construction for 38 months. For the job, they linked six geothermal heat pumps with an extensive 10-zone radiant heat system with all the bells and whistles.
According to Mike Atchley, president of the Oren Atchley Co.
The home includes spectacular woodwork, a large spiral staircase, and sufficient room to entertain groups of up to 100 people. The Siegenthaler-inspired constant circulation radiant heat system assures uncompromised comfort.
The two-story home sits atop an expansive basement. Most of the first floor receives in-floor radiant heat through a tubed, standard-weight concrete slab. About 12,000 lineal feet of Watts Radiant's RadiantPEX tubing, divided into 10 radiant zones (sourced through four mechanical rooms), was used to distribute the 121, 000 BTUs of green, earth-generated heat.
According to Mike Atchley, company president, Tekmar stats are remote-mounted as opposed to being on the finished room walls. The control system is pretty deep. The radiant heat is the first stage of heat. If a cold snap kicks in and the radiant can't keep up, the system automatically switches to heat pump-generated forced air. Then, when the thermostat is satisfied on air temperature, the system automatically switches back to heating the floor. If for some reason a heat pump fails, electric back-up heat takes over with variable speed fan coils.
The floor of the home's large sun room is made of brick pavers; Atchley Co. placed radiant tubing in the concrete slab below the pavers. "We also fabricated a radiant wall for this room that has 1/2" RadiantPEX mounted in aluminum plates," added Mike Atchley.
Another interesting challenge was the master bathroom in which a large, whirlpool tub was installed. "We used a RadiantPEX with plates for the floor and the tub-surround, which is marble," added Tom Atchley.
Go big. Go radiant.Go green.