New Construction

Radiant Heat
Radiant Electric Boilers
NorAire A2W HP System
Heat Pump Control
New Construction
Heat Pump Comfort Systems
Duct Heaters
Make-Up Air Heaters
HRV/ERV Heat Exchanger
Load Control Products
WarmFlo Analyzer

House photoThis section is intended to help those people who are considering a new home in the near future.  This site takes EII products along with other manufacturer’s products and recommends fitting these together to provide an economical, efficient, comfortable, and reliable heating source for your new home.  Whether or not you use our products, and realizing we are biased toward our own product line, we would like you to see the benefits of our ideal system.

Combination Heat/Cool Systems

What seems to be homeowners’ key interests:

  • Cooling
  • Warm floor
  • Operating economy (annual cost)
  • Minimum first-time costs or installation costs

If the above is true, the system design then begins with forced air (especially the upper levels) to answer the cooling priority, air conditioning or heat pump. This means one component of the heating system is a gas furnace. To take care of the warm floor or radiant heat consideration, especially lower areas and tile, a boiler is required. The type and fuel for the boiler may be determined by maintaining reasonable first-time cost.

The selection of the gas furnace is further evaluated based upon the comparison of gas cost and electric rate. In the upper Midwest an air source heat pump with comfort added modulated electric resistance (WarmFlo) probably has lower operating cost than straight gas furnace. This is definitely true with today’s LP cost and natural gas is getting close. Realizing the heat pump may provide the best overall operating efficiency, qualifying for interruptible electric rate may provide the incentive for the back-up gas furnace. In many cases the back-up gas furnace, with the approximate one-half electric kWh rate, can provide a very short payback to a general service rate electric heat pump/air handler/duct heater.

Even with the basic electric heat pump, the WarmFlo/Electro-Duct and standard air source heat pump substantially increases comfort and annual operating costs by maintaining the longest possible heat pump run cycles (not overheating with total kW strip heater).

Excluding the unknown cost associated with wood, some special ETS furnace rates, and a complete Geo heat pump/loop system; it is our opinion the combination air source heat pump/Electro-Mate/WarmFlo/gas furnace provides the lowest annual heating cost.

The major item relating to first-time cost is probably the selection of the boiler system for the radiant floor or warm floor portion. The Electro Industries’ Mini-Boiler with its associated minimal support components generally is considered one-third the equipment installation cost of a gas boiler radiant floor system. This one-third initial cost is very significant and becomes a key decision in maintaining competitive building cost. This first-time cost factor is high enough priority to where the electric rate becomes a secondary decision. Even at general service rates this initial savings can often justify the increased annual operating cost. However, where interruptible, off-peak, or time-of-use rates are available the selection of the Mini-Boiler for the radiant floor is a “no brainer”. Because of the heat mass within a concrete/sand-based floor system, the electrical power interrupt associated with off-peak rates presents no problem and essentially has no effect on comfort from the warm floor.

When looking at building a new home, one always wants to balance initial investment, annual cost savings, and most of all the cost of comfort.


Recommendation #1

Radiant Heat (Warm Floors)

As we have had 15+ years experience in the radiant heat industry, we are firm believers in the comfort that radiant heat provides.  It is no longer an unknown fact that consumers that have owned a home with radiant heat (warm floors) will not own another home without it.  At a minimum, it is recommended to have the lower level heated using hydronic radiant heat.  There are different forms of radiant heat available.  Electric cable, hydronic tubing with gas/electric boiler, ceiling cable, and cove heaters.  Many choose to have the whole house radiant heat by installing tubing on all levels of the home.

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Recommendation #2

Heat Pump System (Ground or Air Source)

When taking a long-term approach to owning your home, a heat pump system is a very good choice.  Using your local electric utility’s reduced off-peak rates in combination with a heat pump can provide a very low annual heating cost.  There are two basic types of residential heat pump installations:  Ground Source and Air Source. 

The ground source systems use the earth as a reservoir for extracting heat and cooling from the earth.  These systems typically have a larger initial investment, but can give you great efficiency of