I am planning an addition to my house. Finally I have blue prints and started talking to HVAC people about heating and A/C option for an addition. I will be installing completely new system for an addition independent of the existing one. I am considering multi zone hydronic radiant heat floors as the only heating option and central A/C in the attic as the only A/C option.
I talked last week with much known and well respected HVAC contractors, half of my neighbors used him for several decades. I showed him my blue prints and told him I am considering hydronic radiant heat floors for the addition and asked his opinion. He told me that it is luxury item and very comfortable it is much more expensive to install (which I knew and do not dispute) and more importantly way more expensive to heat the house then efficient forced air furnace. He does install both forced air and hydronic heat though he said heated floors he usually installs in $2-3 mil. houses. The fact that hydronic heated floor is much more expensive to operate was complete surprise to me. I always thought that in most cases hydronic heated floors powered by natural gas that in my area (NYC metro - Central NJ) is cheapest fuel is the most economic way to heat the house.
I tried to search online for comparison of operation cost of forced air vs. hydronic heat floors but could not find any concrete data supported by evidence that either proves or disproves his estimation.
Separately from that, I have troubles finding knowledgeable contractors in hydronic heating area. Though I live in relative affluent neighborhood (average house is ~$550K) none of my neighbors have any heated floors, either hydronic or electric and maybe because of this almost all HVAC referrals I got from anyone does not know much about hydronic radiant heat. I just don't know where to find someone who can knowledgeably and honestly tell me about various options, costs, etc.