Underfloor heating - building a comfort system

There’s an old industry saying about concrete and underfloor heating systems. The saying goes, “friends don’t let friends pour concrete without PEX in it”. When I was up in the air on whether or not I was going to install underfloor heating in my basement and garage, one man paid me a visit to talk to me about it.

His name is Dave Holdorf, one of our industry’s foremost experts in underfloor heating and a menagerie of other HVAC topics. Dave’s a residential trainer for Taco Comfort Solutions, where he passes along his knowledge and experience to contractors, reps, service technicians, and business owners and facilitates the growth of a healthy industry.

The foundation of Dave’s knowledge and expertise is in radiant floor heating and cooling. Before Dave worked at Taco, he worked for Uponor for 15 years and knows just about everything when it comes to underfloor heating, PEX plumbing and controls.

As far as the radiant system I’m designing goes, I’m including five zones in the main part of the house. Four will be downstairs, and the fifth is the whole second floor. I don’t plan on doing much with the second floor, since my daughters are grown and the rooms will be mostly unoccupied. I’ve zoned the master suite, master bath, great room/kitchen, dining room, and study/laundry room.

I also have PEX tubes in the garage slab and basement slabs. This is a fairly common and popular feature of radiant systems, since the only additional cost is purchasing the tubes - you’re going to pour the concrete anyways. There’s no better feeling than bare feet on a warm concrete.

There’s more to indoor comfort than radiant heating - cooling, humidity and ventilation will all be part of my system as well. Stay tuned to see what I’ll be doing for the other parts of my system to create comprehensive indoor green comfort!

Showing 4 reactions

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  • Craig Tuffelmire
    Would these floors work for garages (http://www.boernegaragedoorrepair.com/) as well? Asking for a friend
  • Craig Tuffelmire
    Underfloor heating is going to make a huge impact on the HVAC industry. As an HVAC contractor (http://www.texpertsac.com), I’m wondering how I can start applying this system into my own business in San Antonio
  • Dave Sweet
    Thanks Dave! I have a feeling that my family is going to love the underfloor heating. Nothing beats never having to get cold feet when I step out of the shower, or the quiet that comes with not having to deal with noisy system components.
  • David Springer
    Great practical overview, Dave(s). 17 years in our radiant heated and cooled house and very glad we did it. My wife and I laid the tubing. We use the cooling to shift our air conditioner operation to off-peak hours when rates are lower. A concrete slab is a very low cost way to store energy. Enjoy your new house! – Dave Springer