Pondering radiant under floor whole house heat...
Hello! Hubby and I purchased our dream property a year ago here in the Puget Sound area and hope to build in 3 to 5 years. We're taking advantage of this time to figure out exactly what we really need in our new home, and recently I've been researching heating options (including reading lots of posts here on the "Building a Home" forum and "Heating and Cooling" forum) - overwhelming to say the least! Our current home (1400 square feet, built in the mid 1980's) has a natural gas forced air furnace and our average monthly winter power bill (electric and gas combined) runs about $200, so I feel we are spoiled. Our property does not have access to natural gas so we will be dependent on electric and propane for our energy needs at our new home.
We are hoping to keep our new home to around 2000 square feet (one and a half stories with a large crawlspace preferred), and I am dreaming of a very quiet, comfortable heating system. I'm very sensitive to noise, especially low humming noise, and I find the sound of air rushing through our air ducts annoying. So many people seem to be such big fans of heat pumps (my Dad included!), but I'm really concerned about the noise factor. (My neighbor recently ended up removing a heat pump from her back yard, just two weeks after it was installed, due to the noise, even though the unit she bought was sold to her as being one of the quietest models on the market.)
Hubby and I installed electric radiant heat in our bathroom a few years ago and love it, but I'm well aware this would be too expensive to use for a whole house. I'm intrigued by Warmboard - I'm wondering if we go this route, and really go all out on insulating our home, could it be worth the extra expense up front? I've never been in a home with a boiler - are these noisy? We don't need AC - I know a lot of folks abandon radiant heat because they also need AC. While we will place a lot of windows on the south side of our home, the majority of the windows will be on the north side of our home to take advantage of a breath-taking view. We are also likely to install a high efficiency fireplace insert to take advantage of loads of wood we have on our property.
Thanks in advance for reading my lengthy post - any thoughts or experiences you can share will be greatly appreciated!