The answer to this question varies with the type of home you are buying. First, let’s discuss manufactured homes. These homes come with a factory installed heating system. This system is a forced air system with an oil, gas or electric furnace option. By Federal law, these systems cannot be removed or modified. You will be able to purchase a furnace that is air conditioner or heat pump ready and have the ability to install an air conditioner or heat pump system on site. These homes do not have an option for radiant floor heat.
If you are purchasing a modular home, you have a wider range of options. You can put radiant floor heat in a modular home. You will need to install the radiant tubing under the main floor of the house between the floor joists. This will be done from the basement after the home is installed by your HVAC contractor. For the best result, you should install a layer of insulation below the tubing to force the heat to rise to your first floor space. You will also need to verify that the carpet pad and vinyl are compatible with radiant floor heat. Additionally, you will require a boiler system in your basement to heat the water circulating through the tubing. Radiant floor heating is a wonderful, warm heat. Since you are heating the floor and lower areas of the room, this works great for houses with high vaulted ceilings where you want to minimize heating the unusable space. One negative with radiant floor heat is that you will need to install a completely separate system if you want air conditioning. This can be accomplished with a variety of forced air or split system options.
As always, our housing consultants are able to guide you through this and any other questions you may have.