Homeowner goes green with radiant floor heating

Wed, 04/24/2013 - 22:10

Every homeowner has his or her own quirks that can impact a buying decision. For some it's the flooring material, the direction the house is facing or even the temperature of the home. For Jim Crabtree, he was most concerned with the temperature of his future home as he searched the housing market.
Diagnosed with cryophobia, the persistent fear of the cold, Crabtree wanted to ensure that whatever home he decided to move in would be consistently warm without breaking the bank. San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports that Crabtree chose to build a home from scratch to make sure the right blend of energy efficiency and comfort was attained.
Following the Los Angeles County green building code, Crabtree read articles and books to learn what combination of technologies and materials would be best.
"I read all the books. I read all the information. And I read just about everything," said Crabtree, who is a registered nurse with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. 
Crabtree decided to use steel framing for the 4,000-square-foot home to remove any need for wood. According to the news source, Stucco exterior walls were made 10-inches thick and filled with two different kind of insulation - both with high R-values. This allowed Crabtree to keep the home at a consistent high temperature without worrying about heat loss impacting the efficiency of the home. 
A radiant floor heating system was installed in the home to provide Crabtree with the desired level of warmth. The ability to keep the house consistently heated without straining the system was crucial.
"I hate the cold," Crabtree told the news source. 
Radiant floor heating can run off less energy than more traditional systems like baseboard, radiators or ventilation systems. In addition, Crabtree told the news source that feeling heat on his feet as he walked around the home made him feel more comfortable in the house.