Have you ever stepped onto a heated floor in a friend’s home, at a luxury hotel or in a European bathroom? If you have, you’ve experienced the marvel of radiant heat. If you haven’t, it’s easy to imagine how wonderful it would be to feel a warm, toasty floor instead of bone-chilling tiles. At Conditioned Air, our heating experts are seeing a strong increase in demand for radiant heating. Along with geothermal and solar HVAC options, radiant heat has been one of the most popular trends in home renovations and new constructions for the past few years. The percentage of homes with in-floor heating in at least one room is expected to increase dramatically as more homeowners discover the many attractive features of these systems. Before we talk about the unrivaled warmth, comfort and energy savings, let’s touch on how these heating systems work.
How Radiant Heat Works
Radiant heat works just like the sun. Instead of providing a blast of hot air, in-floor heaters gently transfer warmth to surrounding surfaces via a process called irradiation. This indirect method is comfortable and surprisingly efficient. It relies on a network of electric heating cables or water-filled pipes that travel beneath the floor. Hydronic heating systems that use hot water are the most popular. They’re very efficient when paired with boilers that many homes already use for baseboard heating. However, eco-conscious homeowners are using geothermal equipment or solar systems that produce hot water for heating and domestic use. Geothermal equipment isn’t just useful for generating heat and hot water. These systems provide air conditioning during Sugar Land’s long, hot summers. You can learn more about these technologies by visiting our radiant heating page.
Benefits of Radiant Heat
The unrivaled comfort of a heated floor is the main reason homeowners add radiant heat to bathrooms, kitchens and other rooms, but it has practical benefits too. These are just a few of the reasons why radiant heat might be the perfect addition to your home.
- It’s extremely efficient and costs about 25 percent less than traditional heat.
- You can add solar or geothermal components to further increase efficiency.
- The equipment is out of sight, so it saves space and improves the appearance of your home.
- Because there aren’t any moving parts, systems will last for 50 years or more.
- Maintenance requirements are minimal.
- The heat stays closer to the floor, which improves comfort.
- It works with floors made from wood, tile and other materials.
- It reduces allergens and promotes healthier air quality.
Radiant Heating Installation
Because the pipes or heating coils are placed between the floor and sub-floor, they are typically installed in new homes or during remodeling projects. A great time to have radiant heat installed is when you’re upgrading your kitchen, building an extra bathroom or replacing your current fixtures. These systems are most common in kitchens and bathrooms because these spaces are renovated frequently and tend to have cooler flooring materials. However, you could also install in-floor heat in a sunroom, a bedroom or a living area. Carpet is the only material that doesn’t work well with radiant heat because of its insulating properties. Heating coils can also be installed behind walls.
After installation is complete, you’ll notice the difference immediately. You’ll find that your home is more comfortable because the heat stays closer to the floor where it’s most beneficial. Air quality will improve substantially because allergens aren’t pumped through the ducts continuously. You’ll also receive lower heating bills. That’s because these systems use efficient heat sources, require fairly lower temperatures and have a heating surface as large as the floor. If you add solar or geothermal components, you’ll have the added benefit of reducing your dependence on fossil fuels, which feels almost as good as a warm tile floor on a cold fall day.
To learn more about radiant heat or to see how much a radiant heating installation might cost, call our office in Stafford. A Conditioned Air heating expert will be happy to answer all of your questions.