Radiant floor heating depends on heat to warm your floor instead of using baseboard heaters and air ducts. Since it requires hot water pipes and underground wiring, this heating system is more expensive than others. However, it offers greater comfort and higher energy efficiency.
The Department of Energy estimates that nearly half of all household energy bills are for space heating needs. The number is significant, but many homeowners apparently see heating systems with higher efficiency and better performance as a wise investment.
Types of Radiant Floor Heating
Unlike furnaces, radiant floor heating does not require constant air circulation. Currently, this is available in two different types.
- Electric System
This heating system relies on electricity as this flows through a series of cables set beneath the home floor. The cables are often heated first, then the floor. Radiant floor heating may appear affordable because no boiler or central heating unit is used. However, this is only true if your electricity rates are low and only one room is being heated. Another method of radiant heating involves heat-conducting mats. These are filled with coils, which are copper-based resistance wires that are wrapped in water-resistant plastic. These wires are spread through the mat, where they get wired for electricity.
- Hydronic Systems
These radiant heating systems can heat entire houses and use water heated in a boiler set at temperatures between 100 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The generated heat is then circulated under the floors through pipes or tubes. The tubes can be placed in three different ways. One, they can be stapled underneath a subflooring. Two, the cables can be embedded in concrete slabs. Three, they can be set inside channels made for subfloor panels. Hydronic systems are ideal for houses that are under construction. Existing houses can also have these systems installed, but the flooring will likely have to be replaced. Needless to say, the idea is not only expensive, but it can also be time-consuming.
How Does Radiant Floor Heating Work?
Radiant floor heating generates heat through thermal radiation. It is where heat is radiated upwards from the floor rather than from the air surrounding a place. Different objects absorb the radiated heat, and these, in turn, warm the targeted area. Radiation can also transmit heat through electromagnetic waves. When the waves encounter obstacles, they release energy as heat, which you, your furniture, the walls, or the floors will absorb. This allows heat to be uniformly distributed, providing you with comfort even when the outside temperatures are low.
Benefits of Radiant Floor Heating
Radiant heating is often costly, but you can gain the following:
- Lower Energy Costs
Radiant heating is more energy efficient and can help you reduce your monthly energy bill by up to 15%. Traditional radiators need to heat a room between 149 and 163 degrees Fahrenheit. For its part, radiant floor heating only requires 84 degrees Fahrenheit temperature.
- More Room Space
This heating system is usually installed underneath your flooring and frees up space that traditional radiators normally occupy. The extra space can be used for other household items.
- Less Accidents
Radiant floor heating is a lot safer when compared to radiators. It is typically installed under the floors and well-hidden. This ensures you are not at risk of tripping on an extended wire.
- Increased Comfort
Radiant heating is more comfortable than other systems because it heats directly from the floor. The system does not dry out the air, which could lead to dryness of the nasal membranes. It also prevents mold growth by preventing air leakage from occurring in your doors and windows.
- Better Air Quality
VOCs or volatile organic compounds (VOCs), allergens, and other airborne germs are not found in radiant floor heating systems. This allows you to enjoy improved air quality.
- Ease of Operation
A thermostat can be used to control radiant heating. This can help you set the desired temperature and the heating schedule without much difficulty. Most radiant heating models also carry a 30-year warranty, practically providing you with lifetime service.
- Simple Installation
According to an HVAC company San Jose experts, pre-fitted subflooring has made radiant floor heating installation much simpler these days. The system panel can also be purchased in a pre-spaced format so that it can be attached to the mesh before you roll this out.
Heating systems are essential lifestyle items that enable modern man to live comfortably. Although they come in many forms, radiant floor heating is considered among the most preferred. This is because of the many advantages that this heating system carries. It’s important to understand that radiant floor heating can be quite expensive, especially if you intend to warm all the floors in your house. Nevertheless, there are options worth looking into. It’s best to start by searching for companies that offer affordable but efficient floor heating services.