Radiant heat with a redundant furnace

shmealJune 3, 2012

DH & I are building a new house, a rambler with a walk-out basement, in northern Utah. Cold winters, hot summers. We are installing radiant heat in the basement slab and dry radiant in the joists below the main floor. We are going to have a/c run in the attic for the main floor only. No a/c in the basement.

Our builder talked us into installing a furnace/air exchanger because he said it doesn't add much to the cost of the system and it's nice to have a back-up in case something goes wrong with the boiler. He is building a sealed room above the garage for this unit.

DH feels we should be getting some kind of credit back since we aren't running the duct work to the basement. I think there won't be a difference in the cost because the ducts that would be run in the floor joists to heat the basement and the main floor have been moved to the attic. The little money we would save by not needing vents in the basement ceilings is more than offset by the need to insulate the ducts since they will be in the attic.

He wants to go to the builder and "hash this out". I don't want to turn this into a game of who's right, but I also don't want to waste our time or our builder's time in a meeting where there is nothing to resolve. Should we be looking for a credit here?

I do question whether the redundant furnace is a waste of our money. DH on the other hand quite likes the idea of the back-up heat (he's a computer guy and lives for back-ups).

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You will need an air handler (blower fan) and cooling coil for your AC.
It is not much different in cost to add the furnace vs just the blower. I think it is a good idea as you have laid out.
As I understand what is proposed....Since your AC isn't ducted to the basement, I am assuming that this heat won't be either. So no difference in ductwork, so nothing to credit.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 7:05PM
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Thank you. It's nice to hear a second opinion on both questions. DH gets a win (redundant furnace is good) and I get a win (no credit on the hvac installation) so we are both happy. I appreciate you taking the time to answer.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 12:26AM
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