Radiant floor heating is a system to supply heat directly to the floor. Radiant heating system located in the floor is also known as – radiant floor heating, radiant in-floor heating or simply floor heating.
There are 3 types of radiant floor heat:
- Radiant air floors: Where heat is carried by means of air.
- Electric radiant floors; and
- Hydronic or hot water radiant floors.
Unlike forced-air heating, radiant floor heating doesn’t stir up dust or allergens, and it cuts down on heat loss through infiltration radiant floor heat. Performance of radiant floor heating systems also depends on convection, circulation of heat within a room.
Advantages of Radiant Floor Heating
Radiant heating has a number of advantages:
- A forced-air heating system pulls air out of rooms, heats it, and blows it back into the rooms. This pressurizes a house, pushing warm air out through cracks and openings. Because a home heated solely by radiant heat isn’t under pressure, the room air and heat stays inside.
- You don’t have to be concerned much about warm air escaping when you open a door because of the way radiant heating works. Also a room heated radiantly recovers quickly.
- Radiant floor heating it is more efficient than baseboard heating. There is no energy or heat lost through ducts.
- The lack of moving air is advantageous to people with severe allergies.
- Hydronic radiant heating systems use little electricity which is a benefit for homes with high electricity prices. Hydronic radiant heating systems can also be heated with a number of energy sources including – gas or oil-fired boilers, wood-fired boilers, solar water heaters, or some combination of any of these heat sources.
- Radiant heat warms your body and other objects rather than just the room’s air. This allows you to keep the thermostat turned two to three degrees lower than normal without losing comfort.
Radiant Floor Heating Considerations
Radiant floor heating is just for heating. It will not cool your home or clean the air. If you live in a climate where cooling is necessary, you’ll need additional equipment such as zone air conditioners for cooling job. An alternative is to install a radiant heating system that utilizes water warmed by a heat pump, which can also provide cooling during summer.
If you are considering installing a radiant floor heating system, you have 2 choices – Electric and Hydronic (water) systems. Again the choice depends of the fact whether you want the installation to be “wet” or “dry”. In case of wet installation, the system is embedded in a radiant floor heat concrete slab or lightweight concrete. In case of dry installation, the system is attached on top or beneath the subfloor or sandwiched between two layers of subflooring.
The right choices of radiant heating system depends on factors including – new or existing construction, the type of finish floor you have or wish to install, energy costs, and you budget.
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