Ecowarm Radiantboard EPS Insulated Radiant Heat Panels

Martha’s Vineyard Mechanical Contractor Incorporates Radiant Heating in His Own Net Zero Strategy

Article featured on Plumbing & Mechanical Engineer Magazine May Edition

Mechanical Engineer Incorporates Radiant Floor Heating In Net Zero Energy Strategy

Matt Millard, owner of Performance Mechanical Inc at his home in Edgartown, Massachusetts

Matt Millard, owner of Performance Mechanical in Edgartown, Massachusetts, loves to experiment with new technologies. His career has spanned commercial piping and mechanical and residential heating systems. He currently installs plenty of efficient air-to-air heat pumps but recently wanted to step up to hydronic radiant heating for his own home addition using an air-to-water heat pump.

Millard added a 1,500-square-foot multi-purpose room and extra bedroom with a bathroom over his attached garage workshop. This is part of his successful grand strategy to make his house Net Zero Energy.

Easy To Install Radiant Floor Heating Panels

Ecowarm RadiantBoard’s versatile two-panel system and “paint by number” floor plans make for fast, intuitive installation.

Radiant heating board helps system operate more effectively at lower supply water temperatures.

Ecowarm’s RadiantBoard is a highly efficient, fast responding radiant heat panel system designed to supply lower water temperatures resulting in lower operating costs to the owner. Its fast response system allows for rapid heating up and cooling down for easy control and comfort.

Radiant Floor Heating Mechanical Room

Radiant Floor Heating Mechanical Room

The Mechanical: Air to Water Heat Pumps

Simple as can be, Millard piped the warm water from the outdoor mono-block air-to-water heat pump into the silver buffer tank, and from there, to the radiant heat above using a variable speed pump.

…the lower supply water temperature requirements of Ecowarm RadiantBoard results in higher heat pump capacity at low ambient temperatures we experience in New England.

“While my company now installs many air-to-air heat pumps, I see that the new propane refrigerants coming down the pipe will severely restrict my ability to put refrigerant lines in a home,” Millard says. “That’s why I wanted to try out the Chiltrix air-to-water heat pump matched with Ecowarm RadiantBoard. The Chiltrix is a monoblock design that keeps the pre-charged refrigerant outside. I think my future may easily be installing hydronic systems indoors with the condenser refrigerants staying outdoors.”

Ecowarm’s RadiantBoard was a great performance a match for the system, Millard notes. “I selected Ecowarm RadiantBoard to match with my air-to-water heat pump because these very low-mass, aluminum-clad panels operate more effectively at lower supply water temperatures than many other types of hydronic distribution,” he explains. “For those who track heat pump performance, the lower supply water temperature requirements of Ecowarm RadiantBoard results in higher heat pump capacity at low ambient temperatures we experience in New England.”

Insulated Radiant Floor Heating Panel System

Insulated Radiant Floor Heating Panel System

Cozy Radiant Floor Heating

Cozy Radiant Floor Heating

The Millard home has 14-foot ceilings in its great room with a couple of big windows. “I’ve found that radiant heat is a more effective and efficient means of heating large volume spaces than forced air, allowing me to avoid ceiling fans to circulate hot air,” Millard says.

There’s nothing better than cozy floors.

“Putting aside my tech head considerations, this room is actually being used largely as big play room for my two young children. There’s nothing better than cozy floors.”

While Millard could have incorporated radiant cooling using Ecowarm’s RadiantBoard, he already committed to an air-to-air heat pump for the space. “The 2.5 ton Chiltrix would have needed to be upsized by a lot to cool the space. In a future project, I will try using an air-to-air heat pump with Ecowarm RadiantBoard in the ceiling for some cooling plus a chilled water air handler for humidity control,” he adds.

Contractors Installing Radiant Floor Heating Systems

Contractors Enjoy Easy to Install Radiant Floor Heating System

The layout and installation

Cliff Meehan Radiant Floor Heating Installer

Cliff Meehan of Long and Meehan Builders

Ecowarm RadiantBoard staff provided a complete CAD layout that made this a paint by number type project that included the panel locations, panel count, PEX requirements and manifold locations. Millard is a plumbing and mechanical contractor by trade, so he had Cliff Meehan of Long and Meehan Builders, also of Edgartown, install the new insulated Ecowarm RadiantBoard EPS panels on the addition subfloor to keep heat from escaping to the workshop below.

The integrated EPS radiant panel spared me the time and expense of insulating under the subfloor.

“The integrated EPS radiant panel spared me the time and expense of insulating under the Subfloor,” Millard says. “While the Ecowarm RadiantBoard EPS is available 1 1/8-inch thick R 2.70 size, we chose the thicker R.5.6 size for this project because of the unconditioned space below.”


Timelapse vidoe of Ecowarm coming up to temperature

Meehan adds, “As a general contractor, I prefer the Ecowarm RadiantBoard solutions. They feature a high-grade plywood substrate that is compatible with all flooring goods we use on our high-end custom homes projects. Plumbers and mechanical guys don’t think about this stuff, but I sure do.”

As a general contractor, I prefer the Ecowarm RadiantBoard solutions.

Meehan notes that using Ecowarm RadiantBoard made the installation easy — without the mess of cement that was previously used. “It’s a dry installation that goes down fast,” he says. “The 3/4-inch plywood substrate portion of the panel allowed me to glue then nail the hardwood directly to the Ecowarm RadiantBoard for this project.”

Radiant Heat Installed In Walls And Shower

Left: Radiant heating installed in shower. Center: Hardwood over Radiant Heating Panels. Right: Radiant Heat Installed in Sunken Bathroom

Radiant Heat in Floors, Walls, and Ceilings

Ecowarm RadiantBoard is a flexible radiant heating tool, allowing installers like Meehan to use different models to create a radiant heating subfloor, radiant wall or radiant ceilings.

“It’s now just part of my radiant problem-solving toolbox. We largely do major remodels of big, custom homes that present challenges we can meet.” Meehan also appreciates the product’s customization.

Versatile Radiant Floor Heat Panel System

Standard R 2.7 and R 5.6 Value: Special order versions with higher R value available.

“They also make the Ecowarm RadiantBoard EPS in custom thicknesses and R values,” he says. “I have a project coming up over concrete where we are more comfortable with R 11 insulation performance. The factory is working with me.

Ecowarm RadiantBoard also features a professional, high impact and high-compression assembly, which is important when I use it over existing concrete floors or in garages.”

Insulated Radiant Heating Panels Over Subfloor And Concrete

Insulated Radiant Heating Panels Over Subfloor And Concrete

The results are in – Ecowarm RadiantBoard made the installation easy

This past winter, Millard’s 1,500-squarefoot addition alone was heated using the 2.5 ton Chiltrix air-to-water heat pump without using the backup electric elements in the buffer tank.

Ecowarm RadiantBoard made the installation easy — without the mess of cement that was previously used.

“My large solar electric system was just connected this past December, so I am waiting to see if solar production this summer can help me approach my goal of annual net zero energy,” he says. “Standing by…”

Morgan Muir has been a hydronic manufacturers representative and new product developer involved in the radiant industry since 1988. He was a member of the board of directors of the previous Radiant Panel Association.

Interested in a Free Quote?

Our panels offer the best balance of high-performance, cost, and environmental responsibility in the radiant floor panel heating market. Give us a call at 866-341-1854 or submit a request for a free quote delivered factory direct to your jobsite.

Understanding the Comfort and Efficiency of Radiant Floor Heating

Understanding the Comfort and Efficiency of Radiant Floor Heating

Article written by Morgan Muir

How does thermal heat affect your level of comfort?

To fully understand the advantages of radiant panel heating, it’s necessary to understand “thermal comfort”. Although most people know when they’re comfortable, few of them know why. “Comfort professionals” need to understand what factors affect thermal comfort and how to create an interior environment that ensures it exists.

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