So, we've got this super spiffy radiant heating system in the house that we blogged a ton about..mostly me bitching about how looooooong it took to do the staple up part. Its worked fine so far but with it dipping down into the high 30's at night I'd wake up at 6:30am and...the house would be cold! Like 64 deg F in the front part of the house when the thermostats were set to 72....not good as this front part of the house is where the babies hang during the nanny share....
I called the guys that designed the system and was like WTF? We went thru all the settings to make sure I had them set right and a couple of the loops were not flowing as much as they should of been...fixed that but the next morning the front room-bath-kitchen was cold!
Back again I go to the phone and the nice guys at NRT said basically, DUH! you're only running 1/3 of the system that's designed to be run as a whole so no wonder it can't keep up. But I said ya but its a nice and toasty 68 in the basement and the slab loops arent even on! They said, 'Double Duh, you're heating the basement with the same loops that youre trying to heat the main part of the house with!'
See, here's what the staple up looks like. The wood floor has an R value of ~1 but hey that open air below the plates has an R value of... 0! So which way was the heat going to flow? Yep that's right down into the basement and not up into the house...
When it was 64 deg upstairs it was actually warmer downstairs in the 'unheated' garage! I jacked up the heating parameters to the highest safest points. We had 140 deg water flowing in the loops and it was better but the rooms were still cold in the early mornings and the floors were not evenly warm. In the hallway, front room, bathroom, and baby's room the floors never really felt warm. With 140 deg water all the floors shoulda felt toasty.
To the plans we went and discovered that they called for these under-floor plates to be insulated to R-19.Off to Home Despot I went hoping to find encapsulated R-19 batts. No joy, they don't even stock kraft-faced batts? So, I went on down the road to the local 'real' lumber yard Economy Lumber. They also do not stock encapsulated batts. The counter guy there said it was a 'special order' only item? But they did stock formaldehyde free kraft faced batts and I bought as many as I could fit into the PT Cruiser which was really three but I made a fourth fit. Thank granny goodness that they are seriously compressed by that shrink wrap. Its fun to slice em open and they all pop out and expand like crazy.
Now, when working with non-encapsulated batts ya gots to cover up and wear a real particle filter and eye protection. The itty-bitty glass fibers will get everywhere and into your skin and then itch like crazy. I did pretty good with the itching, I think the kraft facing helped with that...I probably should of been wearing pants though as my legs felt a little itchy afterwards.
We started stuffing the batts in the joist bays. This was bringing back all those horrible memories of working overhead for hours on end grinding nails...ugh.