Why We’re Using It
Clean, quiet, invisible and highly energy-efficient, radiant floors will keep River Vine Vineyards comfortable year-round, with minimal maintenance and virtually no environmental impact. A smart, modern alternative to traditional forced-air heating, a radiant floor system avoids thermal losses common with ducts that are not air-sealed, lowering the home’s energy costs and improving its overall efficiency.
In a radiant system, heat rises from tubing embedded in the floor, warming every object and person in a room and dispersing heat more evenly for greater comfort throughout the home. Because water conducts heat more efficiently than air, River Vine’s radiant flooring will be hydronic, or liquid-based, supplying the home with steady heat while maintaining a balanced humidity level that won’t dry out the air.
How It Works
River Vine Vineyards will feature a multi-zone hydronic radiant heating and cooling system that integrates with a water-to-water geothermal heat pump (GHP) to maintain optimized all-season comfort in each of the home’s five zones.
River Vine’s floors will have high thermal mass, making the system more responsive and comfortable. During the installation process, radiant tubing will be covered with a thick 5 ½” suspended concrete floor system specially formulated to resist breakdown to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The concrete floor will be insulated from the conditioned three-foot crawl space running underneath the house. Humidity sensors will be installed to prevent condensate forming on the floor, a safeguard that will ensure a healthy humidity level at any temperature.
River Vine’s hydronic radiant floor heating system will transfer heat to water, using a GHP to circulate the hot water through pipes installed within the concrete floor, conducting warmth to the surface of the floor and into the home. Instead of a blower, radiant heating relies on convection, the natural circulation of heat within a room as air warmed by the floor rises to warm everything in the room.
To accommodate different ambient temperature in different areas of the house, pipes will be installed in separated radiant heat zones that are networked for centralized control from a single remote or touchpad. Zoning valves will direct the flow of hot water to the circuits of tubing within each of River Vine’s five zones, allowing the temperature of each zone to be regulated independently, based on occupancy, function or time of day.
Instead of traditional central air conditioning, River Vine will utilize radiant cooling, an energy- and cost-saving alternative that uses the same pipes installed in the floor to cool and heat the house. In warmer months, the geothermal heat pump reverses the heat transfer process, pulling heat out of the house and into the radiant tubing loops, where it is cooled and released back into the inside air.
The primary objection to radiant cooling is the risk of condensation, especially in humid climates. In a more moderate, semi-arid climate like Lodi, installing a sensor will measure and control humidity levels. When the level is too high, the sensor will shut down the cooling system before condensation can form. The humidity sensors will also connect to the home’s ventilation system, auto-activating passive ventilation when humidity levels exceed a pre-determined acceptable range.