What is the best heating system for new home build?

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What is the best heating system for new home build?

Maureen Thompson Oct. 28, 2021

Hi Folks, I’m hoping someone will be able to provide some advice on a choice of heating system for my new build. It will be a 1200sq ft IFC bungalow with a 4’frost-wall slab. It will be located in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  

I am leaning towards radiant in-floor heat (hot water) with a propane boiler, but I’m starting to 2nd guess if that is the right decision. I had an energy assessment done based off my home plan and 12,000 Btu/h Minisplit, HSPF 12 was recommended with a Hybrid Heat Pump water heater based on Region 5.

My concern with the heat pump is I want a heating system that offers even heat distribution, and I especially don’t want cold floors, hence why I’m leaning towards in-floor heating.

Does anyone have advice if my choice of in-floor heating is a good choice? And if so, is a propane boiler a better option over an electric water heater? Or should I go with the heat pump?

Thank you for any advice.

Responses (4)

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Maureen Thompson Nov. 1, 2021, 10 p.m.

Emmanuel, thank you so much for the detailed reply. You helped me make one decision already. It's going to be electric heat. Sounds like the key will be to ensure I have a solid building envelope with no thermal gaps. The Legalett system I brought to my contractor last spring but he wasn't familar with it and I wasn't confident enough of my own knowledge of it so I put it on the backburner. But, I'll read through the articles you suggested and chat with my contractor about it all again. I need to make sure I'm building for the times. Thanks again for your help!

Mike Reynolds Nov. 3, 2021, 10:51 a.m.

Glad to hear it, electric is the way to go. The Legalett slab on grade form kit is not at all complicated, it comes with custom step-by-step plans as well as online training for installers, so any builder who has a sense of how to follow plans can pull it off no problem, but builders are always reluctant to try stuff they don't know. We can't speak to how it compares with other systems price-wise, but these slabs are very well-designed and insulated, so you won't find higher quality at least. 

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Maureen Thompson Nov. 4, 2021, 12:44 a.m.

Mike, thanks for your input. I am going back to my contractor about it. Sticking to my guns:)