The radiant floor heating system uses heat when warming the floor, rather than settling for baseboard heaters or air ducts. It normally has a higher upfront cost than other systems because it requires hot water piping and wiring that will be installed under the floor. In exchange, however, you can enjoy increased comfort and better energy efficiency.
According to the Department of Energy, space heating accounts for approximately 45% of every household’s energy costs. This indicates that many homeowners give heating systems prime consideration. They know that better heating efficiency and performance is a good and wise investment.
How Does Radiant Floor Heating Work?
Radiant floor heating produces heat by thermal radiation. This radiates heat from below and upwards by warming the floor rather than the surrounding air. The heat is absorbed by different objects in a given area, which warms the target place.
Radiation, meanwhile, transmits heat in the air through electromagnetic waves. The waves contain energy and will release this as heat when they encounter an obstacle, which could be the wall, the floors, furniture, or even you. Thus you experience uniform heat even though there is low temperature outside.
Types of Radiant Floor Heating
Floor heating is an excellent alternative to furnaces that require constant air circulation. There are two types of floor heating systems, and they are listed below.
1. Electric System
This heating system uses electricity that flows through a network of cables or wires installed beneath the floor. Often, the cables are heated first, followed by the floor. No central heating unit or boiler is involved, making the corresponding radiant floor heating costs somewhat manageable. However, this is only applicable if you live in an area with low electricity rates and heating only involves a room or two.
Another form of electric radiant heating is one that involves the use of heat-conducting plastic mats that contain coils. The latter are resistance wires made of copper or nichrome wrapped in water-resistant plastic. They run through the mat, then wired for electricity.
2. Hydronic Systems
These are radiant heating systems capable of warming a whole house. They utilize water that gets heated in a boiler at 100-120 degrees Fahrenheit before this is circulated through pipes or tubes installed under the floors. In a typical radiant floor heating diagram, the tubes can be installed in three ways. First, they can be embedded in concrete or cement slabs; second, they can be stapled under a subflooring; third, the tubes can be fitted inside channels made for subfloor panels.
A hydronic system is best suited for newly-built homes. It could be installed in existing houses, but the flooring will have to be removed and a new one put into place, which can prove to be costly and time-consuming.
Benefits of Radiant Floor Heating
Radiant floor heating offers many benefits, which often make them well worth the price. These include the following:
1. Lower Energy Costs
Traditional radiators must operate between 149 and 167 degrees Fahrenheit to heat a room. Radiant floor heating, meanwhile, requires only a temperature of about 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Since it uses less energy, this system can reduce your monthly energy bills by as much as 15%.
2. Less Accidents
One of the benefits of radiant floor heating is that it’s safer than traditional radiators. It is usually installed securely under the floors and kept well hidden. Thus, you don’t need to be concerned about tripping over an extended wire or encountering other similar accidents.
3. Ease of Operation
Radiant heating can be easily controlled by using a thermostat. The temperature and the heating schedule can be set without difficulty, just like a furnace. The system is easy to maintain, with most models having a 30-year warranty.
4. Simple Installation
The introduction of pre-fitted sub-flooring has made installing radiant floor heating much easier in recent years. Nowadays, the system panel is also available in the pre-spaced form, so it can be readily attached to the mesh before this is rolled out.
5. More Room Space
Since it’s usually installed under your flooring, this heating system frees up space traditional radiators would take up. It is one of the great benefits of radiant floor heating – the free space can even be used to accommodate other household items.
6. Increased Comfort
Radiant heating provides more comfort than other systems, for many reasons. For starters, you feel warmer because heat is delivered to you directly from the floor up. Also, radiant heat doesn’t constantly turn on and off, making it impossible to feel too hot one minute and too cold the next.
The system doesn’t dry out the air, which could eventually dry up the nasal membranes. There is also less air leakage around windows and doors when you use radiant floor heating, effectively preventing molds from coming in and multiplying.
7. Better Air Quality
Radiant floor heating also cannot distribute allergens, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), or other airborne germs. This results in improved air quality, one of the crucial benefits of radiant floor heating.
Heating systems are modern life essentials that allow people to live in comfort. They come in different forms, although radiant floor heating has recently gained tremendous popularity. This is because of the many benefits of radiant floor heating, which are not readily available in other heating systems.
Before finding out how to install radiant floor heating in your home, it’s best to remember that this can be quite expensive. It is particularly true if you’re planning to heat your entire home. Nevertheless, there are options that you can look into. You may want to find companies that provide affordable but effective floor heating services.
For all your home heating requirements, the best choice is DunRite Heating & Air, Inc.
Feeling warm and cozy while at home is what good family living is all about. However, the dream will not come true if you have a defective radiant floor heating. Count on DunRite Heating & Air, Inc to do something about it.
We are a family-owned company, so we know that warmth should come naturally from your home and the people you love. Contact our HVAC San Jose expert now so you can experience the benefits of radiant floor heating.