By Carollyn Farrar, NW Natural Marketing Program Manager
The homes at this year’s NW Natural Street of Dreams include several kinds of natural gas heating systems. The BC Custom Construction Home, Private Reserve, showcases a radiant floor heating system. The main floor is heated by a natural gas Lochinvar Noble combi boiler that circulates heated water through tubes, called PEX, installed under a concrete floor.
Heating of concrete floors isn’t new. It was introduced in the 1930s by Frank Lloyd Wright.Others looked to radiant floors during the 1950s. Joseph Eichler and Robert Rummer developed systems that piped heated water through steel or copper pipes under a concrete slab.Those systems over time failed because metal pipes corroded and leaked.
Today’s material is flexible plastic that is laid over rigid insulation in serpentine loops that bends around corners. Embedded in 5 inches of concrete, the radiant system’s life expectancy is more than 100 years, is corrosion resistant, and quiet because PEX quiets the moving water sound with a tight seal.
When asked why he chose to install a radiant floor heating system, Scott Bowles, VP of Operations, BC Custom Construction said, “People who experience a radiant floor system enjoy how it warms the entire room with ambient temperature comfort. This also eliminates drafts from air blowing into the room creating cold or hot spots.”
The benefits of a radiant floor system: warm floors, silent, and efficient:
- The temperature is a consistent even heat with no drafts
- No blowing air that brings dust and allergens through the vents
- Concrete radiant floors consume less energy with lower utility costs
Zone Heating. When rooms require different heating needs, radiant heating zones can heat a particular area of the home by the amount of water sent to a zone, the temperature of the water sent, or by controlling the pulse of the flow. “With five zones in this home, the radiant floor system can regulate the level of heat called for in each zone,” Bowles explained.“And to cool the main floor, we’ve installed a variable speed Lennox system for air conditioning. In addition, a variable speed Lennox 98% efficient natural gas furnace and air conditioner heat and cool the upstairs rooms.”
Private Reserve is an Earth Advantage Silver certified home including energy efficiency that promotes a healthier and environmentally friendly home. Earth Advantage Home certification significantly exceeds code requirements in energy efficiency, healthy indoor air quality, resource efficiency, environmental responsibility, and water conservation – earned over the course of two verification visits.The home will also include an Energy Performance Score (EPS™) for homes built well above code.
Earth Advantage Home Certification