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Old 02-16-2013, 03:11 AM   #1
danbass
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Default DIY Radiant Heat Ferm Chamber/Basement Heating?! (talk me out of it)

I was curious if someone would be willing to back me down from something I've been researching recently and have found myself dead set on pursuing.

A few important notes:
1. My house was built in 1927 and has boiler/radiator heating.
2. I've got a wide open attic that I hope to refinish to add a new master bedroom and office in the next 5 years.
3. I've got a half finished basement that I want to refinish in preparation of building a new master bedroom and office in < 24 months.
4. I've built three Kal brewing panels from scratch.
5. I'm in love with my new Nest smart thermostat I installed for the rest of my house.

If you've stuck around this long, you're either interested in what I'm thinking about or interested in how poorly this might go, either way, I welcome your interest. My idea:

A. There is *no* way I'm going to be able to get normal heat to my attic if I decide to refinish it. Even if I pay someone, it'll be impossible to get a new radiator installed, so I'll need a different heat source.

B. I've been wanting to refinish my basement since I moved in. It's got plywood walls and a terrible hung ceiling. Another detriment is that the basement is almost unusable in the winter because of the cold temp.

C. I've been brewing 100% electric for 2 years, have built panels for friends, and am quite comfortable with circuit design (my primary panel is a heavily modified Kal panel that allows for 110/220v switching on both RIMS and BK circuits).

Because of these factors, I've convinced myself that I want to work on DIY wall based radiant heating, first to be really implemented in my basement, with eventual goal of having refined turnkey solution for when I complete my attic.

The circuit itself is easy, and I've got spare PIDs. The thought is to prototype with different hosing and heat spreaders on plywood based fermentation chambers with the hope of installing something in my basement prior to next winter.

Have I gone crazy?

I feel like I'm incredibly familiar with RIMS tubes. I'm also only planning on installing this system on the internal walls of the basement so if anything goes wrong I'll have direct access on the unfinished side.

The eventual goal is to allow an additional Nest device to control the DIY radiant heat system so I can program it for when I expect to be in the basement and maintain a baseline heat level for when there's a chance I might be in the basement. This familiarity should allow me to to have faith in doing a similar system once I decide to finish my attic and build a new master bedroom.

Have I gone crazy?

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Old 02-16-2013, 03:24 AM   #2
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I don't get why you wouldn't put the heating in the floor. Otherwise you are just wasting a ton of energy to heat the space.

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Old 02-16-2013, 04:17 AM   #3
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Floor is definitely an option for the attic, but my concern with the basement is that the ceiling is low already, and the amount of space that'd be needed to add the extra few inches above what's currently in place might make the room prohibitively short.

Access is also a factor. This is DIY. It'll be pretty easy for me to get access to the system if I install it on the wall vs. putting it below a finished floor that I'll never want to take apart.

Also, if you look around, wall-based radiant heating is common, not as common as floor based, but a regular option.

Do you think its that cost prohibitive to heat, electrically, when my normal brew days cost < $.75? I probably would use my basement, in the winter, no more than 20 times a year. The entire point of using the Nest device is to tell it that it should only heat on specific times that I tell it to so it doesn't waste excess heat.

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And we also decided to make a Barley Wine this weekend as a starter. (That is probably one of the silliest sentences I've ever written.)
On tap: Russian Imperial Stout (nitro), Imperial Red, Kentucky Common Rye, Ruination Clone.
Secondary: RedWine (Imperial Red x2)
Primary: Chocolate Rye Stout, Utopias Inspired 2nd attempt, Oberon Clone
On Deck: Imperial Red, Kentucky Common. TBD.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:40 PM   #4
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If you only plan on using this only 20 times a year a regular t-stat would be a cheaper option go down turn it on an hour or so before you brew. $200.00/$250.00 for a nest is a little crazy but hey if money isn't that big of a deal to you go for it. I can get a remote access controlled form phone or computer less the that. MHO.

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Old 02-16-2013, 02:47 PM   #5
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I don't think it is necessarily cost prohibitive, because everyone has different opinions about how expensive things are, and by far the most cost-effective thing you can do is insulate the hell out of the space you want to heat, regardless of which energy source you use.

The wastefulness of wall vs floor is that you are automatically losing extra energy because of the heat's natural tendency to rise. If the heating is in the floor, it is more efficient because it is lower and closer to the stuff you want to keep warm.

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