Wednesday, September 29, 2004

My Father-in-Law, the Plumber (and HVAC Guy)

My wonderful, amazing father-in-law volunteered to install radiant floor heat in our house. This is no small job. We are transitioning from forced hot air, oil to a super efficient gas boiler with tubes of warm water running underneath our entire first floor. The second floor will be heated by baseboards. We are also going from one zone to two (that means there will be a thermostat on both floors).

The work started back in August and it has been slow going. Our "contractor" has been driving to our house on Saturdays (from Cape Cod!) to work on it and the past two weeks, he's taken off from his real, paying job, to work on our house during the week. The biggest reason it has been taking so long is because nails from the wood floor had to be grinded down on the underside of the sub-flooring, which is also the basement ceiling, in order to install the plates that hold the tubing. This took forever! Now, the work is going much more quickly.

The other day, Matt's dad gave us a tour of the new system, which is nearly finished. I can't get over how complex it is. It looks like a mad scientist experiement, actually. I also can't believe he actually volunteered to do this for us and I wonder if he's had any moments of regret.

Here are a couple of pictures of the new system:

Pipes and valves leading to boiler below.

Plastic tubing filled with warm water and antifreeze (the pink stuff) running all through the basement ceiling, wich will heat our floors from below.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're lucky to have such a handy father-in-law. What are the benefits of the radiant heat compared to what you had? Other than it looks so cool in the basement! - Ben

5:13 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

I've been told that the benefits of our new heating system as follows:
1. Our 15+ year old oil burning furnace has been replaced with a brand new state of the art 87% efficiency rating, made in the USA, gas boiler, so we should be using less energy and hopefully saving money. There is very little maintenance involved in the upkeep of the boiler where the furnace had to be serviced and cleaned every year.
2. Gas supposedly is cleaner than burning oil - no filters to change with this new boiler.
3. Forced hot air heated our house while the air was blowing out of the vents, but the house cooled off very quickly after the air stoped blowing. Our heating ducts and vents were not designed well to heat the house efficiently. Forced hot air is also a very dry heat.
4. Radiant heat supposedly is more even as it covers the entire surface area of the floor as opposed to air blowing out of one vent in each room. It also doesn't dry out the air. I guess the heat would be similar to the heat that comes from a cast iron radiator, except the radiator is plastic tubing running under the entire floor.

8:26 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Will Matt's dad adopt us? If he helps redo our bathroom we would gladly change our surname to his. :)

1:43 PM  

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