Village Green

It’s true that sometimes “was” or “used to be” is confused with “ought to be,” but it’s very hard to argue with The Kinks’ efforts to save the Village Green…

“Village Green Preservation Society,” from the similarly titled masterpiece of an album - an ode to simpler time.  Village Green kinda got lost in the shuffle though, due to bad timing – it was released the same day as The Beatles White Album.

So far we’ve looked at two “simple” solutions to this particularly vexing radiant design problem:

The single biggest goal of a simple solution is to actually solve something.  With that in mind, let’s review our options.

Option 1 (click here to review):  145-degree water with one zone – uses the simplest control strategy and the fewest parts (read: least expensive), but just doesn’t cut it.  Some rooms will be too hot, some rooms will be too cold and the one area that has the thermostat will be just right.

Fine for Goldilocks, but no matter how much you try to manage customer expectations, my gut feeling is your customer won’t be singing the praises of radiant comfort.

And “tweaking” the flow through each loop in hopes of “balancing” it all out?  Good luck with that.  It’s simple to say, but impossible to do, for several reasons:

  • Any flow adjustment will take hours to show any impact
  • Any flow adjustment to one loop affects flow to all the others
  • How much time are you planning to invest in “tweaking?”
  • “Tweaking” is another word for “guessing”
  • “Guessing” is another word for “hoping”
  • “Hope” is not a viable control strategy

Option 2 (click here to review): three separate water temperatures – works.  It provides the right water temperature to each area, and each area is its own zone.  However, now you’re dealing with three tempering valves, three manifolds, three relays, three circulators…

It’s like cutting butter with a chain saw – it works, but it’s a bit much.  You have more parts, more materials, more wiring, more labor.  We’re trying to make this simple.

Which brings us to the third, best and simplest solution:

Zone the sucker!

This is about as easy as it gets – run 145-degree water to a single manifold, with three or four zones using thermostats and manifold actuators.

Now you have 1 water temperature, 1 manifold, 1 circulator, 1 electronic control, 1 thing to pipe up and 1 control to wire up.

Oh, and it solves the problem.  Each area is just right all winter long.

It’s pretty simple – when the thermostat is satisfied, the manifold actuators close.  When the manifold actuators close, flow to the zone stops.  When flow to the zone stops, the floor surface doesn’t get any warmer.

And when the floor surface doesn’t get any warmer, the room doesn’t get any warmer.

To simplify that equation:  When the thermostat’s satisfied, the room doesn’t get any warmer.

This is the simplest and most effective way to solve the problem.  You don’t have to “tweak” flow.  You don’t need three water temperatures.

You don’t have “manage expectations.”

You don’t have to guess or hope that something will “work” or be “good enough.”

You install the job, you collect your money, you go home.

And other than ignoring the problem, it’s the least expensive way to solve it.

Beautiful simplicity.

And speaking of beautiful simplicity…

“Waterloo Sunset,” #3 on my all-time hit parade.

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