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Old 11-03-2019, 06:36 PM   #1
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Wood vs. Radiant Floor Heating

Hello, I'm brand new to the forum and I can't seem to find what I'm looking for. I'm in the pre-pre-planning stages and budgeting for my build (goal:Spring 2021). I'm trying to find out which form of heating is more efficient, wood or radiant floors.

Details: I am a part-time wheelchair user. Meaning I'm on prosthetic legs all day and a wheelchair once I'm home. My leg time runs out around 10-12 hours. I mention this because I genuinely don't care about rolling out of bed and stepping on a warm floor. Ice cold is fine with me because I'll never feel it.

Does radiant floor heating heat up the entire space as well as wood heating. I know there are a lot of energy efficiency factors and all of that, but if you had one option for staying warm which would you choose? I'm willing to put in the work for wood stove heating and really like the dry heat, but I have a tiny dog and am super concerned with the bus getting cold if I'm at work.

I'm in MN so I'm planning on a 4 season build (hopefully I'll move and it won't be necessary, but that's what I'm planning for).
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Old 11-03-2019, 08:47 PM   #2
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Others will speak to the technical...
The obvious part is that heat rises -- so a radiant floor heats everything evenly.
(I have no doubt a small wood stove will heat a bus -- but it's nice to stir the air a bit to even the heat out...)
I have a dog -- he's getting older -- he would not appreciate a cold metal floor in winter -- he's also 60 pounds -- he does not sleep in bed with me...

So, is your "little" dog welcome on the furniture, bed, etc? I can tell you having lived a year in a small camper you could follow the thermoclines inside the camper by where the ice on the wall turned to liquid...
The floor would be 30'F while waist height was 60'F. We had a cat at the time -- he curled up on the down comforter on the bed -- I never saw him on the ground except to eat!

You don't care about the warm floor -- will you be entertaining guests who might care?
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Old 11-04-2019, 02:43 AM   #3
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I am just now insulating the floor on my bus. Because I don't want to lose much headroom I will only be installing 2 inches of foam board. Residential building codes now call for something like R-30 in the floor if the space below is uninsulated. 2 inches of foam board will get me R-12. If I was heating with in-floor radiant I would want really good insulation on the floor below the heated elements. That might mean three or 4 inches of foam.
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