New Const Heating advice (x-post)

jen11kMarch 31, 2014

Hi - Our architect did not specify heating and cooling on the plans for tight budget 5500sf new const in NJ. one hvac bid i'm looking at is for 4 zone forced hot+a/c not including basement (full).
I want to price out some selective radiant or hydronic forced air but it's hard to compared mechanicals and cost. plumbing # goes up and hvac # goes down? what would you rec i do is the best way to explore my options?
Radiant is top on my list for any extra spending on the house but now i see i should maybe look at increasing the standard insulation r-19 walls we are spec'd. that is not costly right?

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If I were in your situation and had a tight budget and concern for operating costs (and didn't have 6+ kids to house) I'd do the following in priority order:

1) reduce the size of the house by at least 2000 sf and use the money to:
2) seal the heck out of it at every possible penetration and add mechanical ventilation with a HRV or ERV
3) use blown-in cellulose to get the attic up to ~r60
4) Use cellulose in the walls and then wrap and tape the exterior with 2" of rigid foam to increase the R value and stop thermal bridging at the framing
5) insulate the basement and slab to a similar level
6) buy a much smaller, simpler heating/cooling plant of whatever sort
7) consider upgrading windows
8) plan several nice vacation trips to exotic locations
9) fund a retirement plan with the money left over

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 12:57PM
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