Dwight Simpson, owner and founder of Simpson Properties Contracting, is an Electrical Technologist by day and Real Estate Investor/Builder by night located in Toronto, Ontario. Dwight and his young family are doing an extensive renovation on their Toronto home which is being documented for his YouTube series titled “Invest.Remodel.Repeat” which will be released in early 2020. He is candidly sharing his experience with us and all the exciting details of renovating their 1960’s backsplit into an innovative modern dream home that features Warmboard radiant floor heating.Read More
In this Warmboard Works we hear from Mario Kani of Sustainable Edge, an Engineering firm in Toronto, Ontario.
For over a decade we have been using hydronic radiant heating and cooling in ceilings. The benefits of a fully hydronic house with moderate heating and cooling water temperatures and no recirculated forced air are many, including:
- Complements low energy envelopes which require lower heating and cooling capacities
- Provides better comfort
- Delivers healthy indoor air
- Promotes minimum noise in living spaces
- Requires minimal and smaller ductwork (ventilation only)
- Results in lower distribution energy (by using a pump instead of a fan)
- Increased flexibility for thermal supply source such as solar or geothermal energy
Locating the radiant cooling on the ceiling provides the maximum output for a specified design surface temperature. While we have designed several projects using concrete radiant ceilings, we have found that for wood construction, Warmboard is a natural match for ceiling installation, placed just behind the drywall. Warmboard is also an ideal candidate for radiant heating in the ceiling as well, able to provide either low- or high-intensity heating during winter months.
The principle of ceiling cooling is based on average surface temperatures between 60ºF to 70ºF over a large surface area, resulting in draft-free, low-intensity cooling. The cooling surface temperature needs to be high to avoid surface condensation. This system only does sensible cooling of the living space (i.e. no moisture removal) so that dehumidification needs to be done separately. For a successful ceiling cooling installation, the project’s attributes should be as follows:
- A high performance thermal envelope to minimize cooling loads through careful glazing selection and summer shading,
- Significant envelope airtightness
- 100% outdoor air ventilation without recirculation (also known as DOAS: dedicated outdoor air system )
- Ventilation heat recovery (preferably an ERV)
- Dehumidification of outdoor air with 45ºF to 50ºF chilled water (e.g. directly from ground water or via ground source heat pump) resulting in drier ventilation air than room air.
We look forward to using Warmboard–R, the thinner retrofit product in our next radiant ceiling project.
Mario Kani, B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc., P.Eng., LEED® AP
President, Sustainable EDGE
124 Merton St., Suite 507
Canada M4S 2Z2
contact [at] s-edge.com
Sustainable EDGE designs using an integrated, holistic approach to system flows. Combining energy, water, air, nutrient and organic resources in their engineering methodology allows their clients to achieve the lowest possible greenhouse gas (GHG) and environmental impact. And where possible the project will make positive contributions to society and the environment.
Sustainable EDGE believes in good design, enlightened by sustainable principles and fitting best to the dynamics of each building goals.
They offer the following Consulting, Designing, Planning and Net Zero engineering services.
In this Warmboard Works we hear Alex Genzer of The Boiler Guys speak about a remodel project in Toronto. They had initially chosen an alternative radiant heating method for their home but decided to make a last minute switch to Warmboard due to several concerns about Staple-up.
“I’ve done a couple of Warmboard jobs now and they’ve all been really good. With this job we were originally asked to do Staple-up throughout the whole house, but there were several concerns with the floor which the original general contractor didn’t notice. The quick and easy solution was to put in Warmboard.
Once we made the switch, it went very smoothly. Probably the quickest install I’ve ever done. The people doing the subfloor were able to put it down in about a day, and then I came in and laid the tubing down.
The great thing about Warmboard is that the tubing took me only a couple of hours to lay down. It literally clips right into the grooves. I ran it to the mechanical room and had it pressurized all within a couple of hours, whereas other systems you usually have to budget the whole day.
The fact that we can install the systems very quickly compared to traditional ways is a definite benefit when using Warmboard. Speed of install is so precious here. You’re not on your knees as long, and the tools are much simpler. We don’t need zip ties, we don’t need staples, and they have that weighted roller for the tubing. It literally takes one person with an unwinder and PEX. It goes down as quick as anything else, and it’s cleaner than anything else. Not to mention it actually looks cooler because the pipe is dead straight, absolutely straight, and then it turns and the radiuses are perfect. Even the ‘Wow Factor’ you get when the customer sees the nice, new job is something you just don’t experience with Staple-up.
I’ve also noticed that the average temperature for water with Warmboard is lower than Staple-up or Onyx systems. We can do around 80 or 90 degree water temperatures with Warmboard whereas any other system you’d have to do up to 140 degrees. Everyone in the hydronics trade knows that the lower the water temperature the more efficient [the system] becomes, and Warmboard has the lowest water temperatures. It just does.
A lot of people are initially deterred by the fact that it is a more expensive product. But then you compare it to other systems that require other stuff. For instance engineering has to be done differently, we need to create bigger joists, we need a floor leveler, etc., – it just becomes a big nightmare. When you really compare it, it’s around the same price at the end of the day.
So when other customers are talking about the price I let them know that when they choose this product early on, the initial part of the job might be a little more than doing in-floor concrete or Staple-up. However, when you consider the fact that we don’t need all of those other trades to accomplish the same thing, it actually ends up being around the same price. And once I install it the customers love it. They love it and we love it.”
The Boiler Guys fulfill jobs of any capacity whether it is boiler repair, Warmboard installation, radiator replacement, in-floor radiant heating, snowmelt or any service to do with hydronic heating. The products they use are of the highest quality. The manufacturers they work with stand by them to provide the best customer service and the most effective solution for cost and energy efficiency. The Boiler Guys’ seasoned knowledge and years of experience is there to help ensure every client makes a wise, informed decision with each project. This is Alex and his team’s mission, and it’s their vision to continue to serve for years to come. Find them at theboilerguys.com or call 1-877-836-6708.