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First Radiant Heating System Quote Came in Today

by Chad Ludeman on December 20, 2007 · 6 comments

in budget,Building Science,Development,HVAC

We received our first quote today from Steve Haldi at Hannel Steve quoted pretty much everything needed for a closed system using an electric water heater. The entire package came in at just under $2,500 and included the following items:

  • 1 – PaceMaker E3R electric water heater)
  • 1 Trim Kit
  • 2 Loop Supply and Return Manifold with PEX adapters
  • 1 Circ. Pump
  • 2 Extra PEX Repair Couplings
  • 1000′ 1/2″ “MR. PEX” Tubing
  • 1 Tubing Cutter
  • 1 Control Panel
  • T&P Valve and Drain Line
  • Tubing Layout if needed
  • Trim Kit – Manifold and Controls Assembled and Mounted, Pre-Wired, Pre-Plumbed
  • 1 Thermostat
  • 400 Ties
  • 4 Elbow
  • Closed System Kit
  • Pressure Testing Kit
  • Complete Instructions for Installation
  • Delivery with Lift gate is Included (within the contiguous U.S.) for complete packages.

That’s a lot of stuff for a small price in my opinion!

Tempra 20 Tankless Water Heater - Stiebel EltronNow I would want to make this and open or indirect system in order to use the same water heater for both the domestic hot water and the radiant system. The kit to do this would run us an extra $800. I would also want to use an electric tankless water heater to improve efficiencies, reduce installation costs and save valuable square footage. I’m still not sure if a tankless unit will work in this application, especially if we intend to add a solar hot water supply in the future, but we’ll figure that out later. The unit I like the most is a Stiebel Eltron Tempra 20 unit that looks quite sexy and retails for about $500.

So we add $800 to the quote, subtract $600 for the water heater and add another $500 for the Tempra unit and we end up around $3,200 for the entire radiant heating system and our domestic hot water source! Not bad. Not bad at all. Let’s assume the house will be 1,100 square feet and that is a measly $2.90 psf for glorious radiant heating that will keep our feet toasty warm all winter long!

Let’s go back to the water heater for a second. I love the look of this Tempra unit. I see no reason why this unit could not be openly displayed in the home and eliminate the need for any utility closet whatsoever. That will save a good 3′ x 5′ of floor space minimum as well as the walls and doors that would have to accompany it. It could make a great discussion piece as well as visible advertisement for some of the green features of the home. See hypothetical conversation between homeowner and guest below.

“Where’s your water heater?”

“Right there.”

“Where’s your heater?”

“That’s it also.”



Special thanks to Steve Haldi from Radiant Direct for providing us with our first radiant heating quote!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michael Sikora April 5, 2008 at 10:58 pm

That seems like a great system, but I’ve read that for radiant heating electric is a pricy way to go. Since you think you are going to do the “on demand” Tempura system does that also save on electricity for the radiant heat? I was under the impression that for radiant heat the water is almost continueously circulated. I am all for saving money on the installation and the on demand system is truly brilliant, but I don’t want to save a little money up front simply to have a large electric bill each month.

2 chad April 7, 2008 at 1:15 pm

You are correct Michael. We are now looking at gas hot water heaters due to this fact.

3 Michael Sikora April 7, 2008 at 3:15 pm

The other option that I’ve come across, to give you the best of both worlds, is to do either a tankless electric system for the house hot water or point of use (especially good if you only have one bathroom) tankless and then a tank for the radiant system. I know this kinda defeats the purpose of an open system but it’s less wear and tear on the tank plus you get the benefits of the tankless. Furthermore, should be able to recoup your energy costs by using the electric tankless instead of all electric or all gas. It does seem that gas tankless, overall, it quite a bit more of an investment as it requires a vent and installation seems to be a little higher. I’d be interested in where your research leads you.

4 Michael Sikora April 7, 2008 at 4:47 pm

Thought I would give you a quick update as to what the customer service individual confirmed to me. The Tempura 24 tankless system uses 18KW/hr at 208v. What this equates to is $2.70 per hour of hot water based on $.15 per KW. This is not too bad if you are single or it’s you and your wife. Once you start adding in kids, multiple loads of wash, etc it can add up pretty quickly. Typical usage is (I assume) no less than 2 hours (husband/wife/one child) of hot water per day which is about $5.50 per day in electric X 30 days is $165/mth with the potential to be much more with company or taking that extra long shower you really need. As was pointed out on a website I visited, this type of (electric) system is perfect for those that use hot water infrequently (pool house, weekend house, etc). Seems like for most typical family applications it will eat a hole in your wallet. I am still trying to figure out if gas is more efficient. Looks like the Bosch 2400ES is popular allowing two concurrent flows, but some people may need the 2700 which is capable of three (ie 2 showers and a washer or dishwasher going). Let me know what you go with.

5 Ray January 11, 2009 at 11:52 am

I am looking at building this Spring. I am in the process of researching the idea of Solar electricity to run radiant heat and home use hot water. Can it be done with the tankless units out in the market?

6 chad January 12, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Ray – It can but it is much less efficient than heating the water directly (or indirectly) with a solar thermal system. I don’t have the figures in front of me, but it’s really not even close…

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