Author Topic: Help me decide on heating for a rental  (Read 1820 times)

monarda

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Help me decide on heating for a rental
« on: February 21, 2014, 08:50:34 AM »
We're remodeling an attic space to convert it into a rental.

We've been wavering back and forth on the type of heating to put into the new (small, 40 sq ft) bathroom.  Seems like a small amount of $ either way, but we're trying to get a feel for long term appeal and costs.
As a rule we've been trying to go for energy efficiency and investments that will save money in the long term, even though they might cost more now. For example, we've really done a good job with the insulation so heating/cooling costs should be pretty low. This super cold winter, the space remained at about 50 degrees.

The main space, open floor plan, will be heated and cooled by a ductless mini-split system (expensive). This heat won't reach the bathroom. Our options for the bathroom are electric baseboard or electric radiant floor heat.

Here are the costs:

A good oil-filled baseboard is $130, with a programmable thermostat about $50.  750 watts, might run fewer hours per day than the radiant option.

SunTouch or Warmup floor system (the bid came back pretty much the same for both), about $500 including thermostat. They are 300-400 watt systems.  Installation is a bit more complicated and expensive as we'll need to pour a self-leveling cement floor over the mats ($150 for cement alone), instead of regular underlayment

The decision maker might be this: the shower base is installed already, the shower walls will be tiled. Might be really cold stepping into that shower in the winter.   Would stepping into the shower be totally freezing (50 degrees?).  I've not had practical experience with this system and am trying to figure out which option is more mustachian in the long term. 

We envision the apartment we're creating to be a moderately high-end rental. We're getting better quality items used on Craigslist, for example, a heavy frameless shower door, reclaimed hardwood flooring, nice plumbing fixtures, solid surface countertops.

So my question to those experienced:  would the radiant floors in the bathroom have sufficient 'appeal' in a rental that we could factor that into somewhat higher rent? Would they cost less to run?

Thanks for weighing in.


Milspecstache

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Re: Help me decide on heating for a rental
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2014, 09:29:03 AM »
Here's what I did:

I also have the mini-split system which only heats/cools the bedrooms and living room and dining room.  In the bathroom I put a 240v heater in the wall which is powered directly from the panel.

As far as the shower, once you turn the hot water the tile will heat up quick.

monarda

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Re: Help me decide on heating for a rental
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2014, 10:42:55 PM »
Thanks, Milspecstache!  I asked a realtor and they said the same. That's been what we'd been leaning toward. Baseboard it is.

A friend said that her cat is the one who appreciates heated floors the most.  :-)

Milspecstache

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Re: Help me decide on heating for a rental
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2014, 11:17:02 PM »
I never liked the electric baseboards as they always get so dirty.  Mine is located between studs and up and off the floor.  Similar to this:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Stiebel-Eltron-1-000-Watt-Wall-Mounted-Convection-Heater-CNS-100-E/204493099

monarda

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Re: Help me decide on heating for a rental
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2014, 11:42:23 PM »
I like the looks of those, but we're limited to 120V, and it is a shared circuit, can't go above 900 watts.
(hence the 750 watt (~36") baseboard, 120V)
The wiring is done already (and the drywall is up). Too bad we didn't think of this earlier.

I haven't been able to find something like your wall unit coming in a 120V version (we can go up to 900 watts)

Milspecstache

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Re: Help me decide on heating for a rental
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2014, 03:00:29 PM »
120v but 1500w:
http://www.lowes.com/pd_136515-1509-CSC151TW_0__?productId=3598666&Ntt=wall+heater&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dwall%2Bheater&facetInfo=

Baseboard should be fine for your application.  I like being able to turn on instant heat on cold mornings as the bathroom gets very cold.  Plus heating for 30min only doesn't affect your heating bill very much, either.