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Cooling options with radiant heat system

I'm planning a new house and want to utilize radiant floor heating and don't really know how that will impact my cooling and ventilation options. Am I limited to conventional AC which means I still need ductwork or are there other options of which I'm not aware? Any help or direction appreciated. Thanks.

Re: Cooling options with radiant heat system

Mike you might want to look into the newer split AC units. Similar to http://www.mrslim.com/Products/subCategory.asp?ProductCategoryID=24&ProductSubCategoryID=152

No ducts.

Re: Cooling options with radiant heat system


I'm in the same boat as you. I live in the Metro Detroit area. Looking to do a teardown and modular build. One of our "want to haves" is a radiant heat system. Even read about it in detail in an older copy of TOH magazine.

Now that we're in the planning stage, I find myself with more questions than answers.

1. Michigan winters can be savage. How does one humidfy their home in the winter if there is a radiant heat system in place?
2. I'm wondering the advantages if duct work is going to be needed for A/C. What is the best A/C solution for our area when a radiant heat system is installed.

Any advice would be most appreciated. Even better, if you could refer a vendor or technology, it would be most appreciated.

Take care and best of luck to us both.

Re: Cooling options with radiant heat system

Kinda wanted to "re-open" this thread and see if anyone had some info. I am just starting tearing into a 1900 victorian in northern illinois. i am going to have radiant heated floors as well but with summer here, A/C is on my mind. did a little bit of googling and found "space-pak" which is a high velocity Central air that runs in smaller tubes instead of ducts. the tubes can be routed in walls and joist spaces. does anyone have a system like this?

Jack - I am not a huge fan of having the split ac unit on the walls. I want something a little more low key.

Re: Cooling options with radiant heat system

High velocity air in not really new, and works great if designed and installed properly. They just increase the velocity and pressure of of the air in order to get the same volume through a smaller duct. The are many companies that make them.

Re: Cooling options with radiant heat system


M first question would be what kind of heating system do you have now, & is there any way to work with what you have, rather than spend big bucks on an entirely new system????

Remember, a heating system is made up of 2 major components---the heating plant itself (boiler,furnace, etc.) and the distribution system (radiators, ducts, baseboard, piping, convectors, tubing)---the distribution system system will cost more in materials & labor, especially in an existing house, as opposed to one under construction.

High velocity air is a viable option to the other types of systems mentioned.

I have heard a number of negative things about "space-pak" & would thus avoid this particular company.

On the other hand, I have heard a lot of good things about the Unico high velocity air system (site below).

The advantages of the hi-velocity is that they have 3" or 4" tubes that they can thread thru the wall studs & floor joists to avoid major demolition of the building's ceilings, walls & floors.

The system provides both heat in winter as well as cooling in summer.

The system has a humidifier component to prevent dry air in the winter.

A Unico system would cost much less than radiant and a separate mini-split AC system, and you might have a problem getting under-joist access for radiant PEX tube installation, especially in 2nd or 3rd floor locations.

By all means consult the Yellow Pages under "Heating Contractors" and get at least 5 or 6 estimates from different contractors as to the best type of system to put into your particular house, & the price quote---at first, you might get a lot of different answers from the installers as to what to put in, but eventually a consensus will appear as to the best system for your needs at the lowest cost.


Re: Cooling options with radiant heat system

Currently I have a boiler with a hole inside and an exploded expansion tank and 11 radiators which i can see two of them have noticeable cracks. the house was a forclosure and the previous owner did not take very good care of it. It has to go. We are gutting the house so all stud spaces and joist spaces will be accessible. I am leaning towards the unico system but will have plenty of questions for my hvac guy when the time comes for the install.

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