What is the best way to make a row house in Montreal Quebec more energy efficient?

Elizabeth Brown
Updated: Aug. 3, 2020

Background: House attached on both sides, built in 1875, in Montreal. Two stories and a basement. Main and 2nd floor have wood floors that I don't intend to change. Stone foundation. Basement floor is a cement pour in the 70s or 80s? Each floor is about 20'x40'. Total of 2400 sq.ft. Flat roof. Pretty big backyard. Ceiling height on main floor is 10.5' and a little lower on 2nd floor and basement.

Current heating/cooling:  extra-old electric baseboards, and one Samsung mini-split heat pump (sounding sick and old and noisy) at the top of the stairwell, one woodburning fireplace on the main floor. There is no ductwork in the house (and no room for big ducts), but I imagine there are lots of pipes from previous hot water radiator system. Embarking on major renovations.

How would you approach the heating/cooling of this house? I should have two heating sources, I've heard. 

Some options:

-Mr. Slim ductless system with a zone for each floor?

-hydronic underfloor heating for the main floor (seems feasible to install from basement ceiling)

-new electric baseboards

-geothermal system with some kind of hydronic system (underfloor/baseboards/radiators)?

-epa certified wood fireplace insert (or pellet)/or woodstove (I intend to get one of these anyway)

Would it be enough to get a Mr.Slim type system which is good to -25 and supplement with the fireplace if needed? Is it better to keep my one mini-split and have lots of baseboard heaters? Or should I get a bigger multi-zone mini-split system and supplement with a minimal number of baseboard heaters? Is it ever worth it to break up the concrete basement floor to put in underfloor heating and insulate?

Looking for heat efficiency and cost efficiency and eco-friedliness.

What would ecohome do?!







Responses (3)

Manny Carsgrove
Manny Carsgrove 5 years ago