Radiant Floor Heating 101
Nov 22, · Hydronic radiant heating systems are usually designed to heat an entire house. Water is heated to between and degrees Fahrenheit by a Author: Joe Provey. Ceramic tile is the most common and effective floor covering for radiant floor heating, because it conducts heat well and adds thermal storage. Common floor coverings like vinyl and linoleum sheet goods, carpeting, or wood can also be used, but any covering that insulates the floor from the room will decrease the efficiency of the system.
By Joe Provey and Bob Vila. Radiant floor heating is arguably the whzt home heating system. The result is a more even overall heat that warms everything in the room, including surfaces, furnishings, and, most importantly, you. Radiant heat is similar to the heat you feel when you whaat by a window on a sunny cold day. Radiant floors are heated either with electric resistance cables or hot water flowing inside tubing.
Electric radiant heating systems are typically supplemental, not meant to be the sole heat source for a room. The cables, which are often pre-attached to mats for ease of installation, are installed over the subfloor in a bed of thin-set mortar.
Ceramic or stone tile are popular finished floor choices. There are also radiant electric floor heating pads that can be installed under laminate and other floating floors, such as engineered hardwood. One manufacturer, Thermosoftmakes pads that produce 31 BTUs per square foot. Installation is simple. Just roll it out, whatt it in place, cover with floating-type flooring, and make the electrical connections. No mortar is required.
Companies such as SunTouch make electric radiant pads that fit in joist bays under the subfloor. You will, of course, need access to the bays from a basement or crawl space.
Batts of fiberglass insulation are installed under the mats what is a thousand splendid suns about most of the heat goes up, not down.
Hydronic radiant heating systems are usually designed to heat an entire house. Water is heated to between and degrees Fahrenheit by a boiler and circulated through tubing under floors. The tubing can be installed in several ways: embedded in a concrete slab, installed over an existing slab in cement, stapled under subflooring, or fitted inside the channels of specially designed subfloor panels.
Any kind fllor finished flooring, including hardwood strip flooring, vinyl, or carpeting, can be installed above it. Note: Some installers may recommend engineered wood rather than solid wood flooring products in homes with high moisture levels.
Otherwise, changes in moisture content what is a good car for a teenager cause wood planks to cup, bow, or warp. Radiant heating is more comfortable than other systems for a variety heatijg reasons. First and foremost, it feels warmer because the heat is delivered where you live—near the floor. Since all surfaces in the room are also being heated, there are no cold objects to draw heat from you and make you feel cold.
In addition, radiant heat does not constantly cycle on and off, causing you to be too hot one minute and too cool the next. Nor does it dry out the air that in turn dries out what is an arthrogram mri membranes.
Plus, radiant heat is relatively draft-free. There are no supply and return registers or convection-reliant radiators, and there is less air leakage around doors and windows. Finally, the air inside the home tends to be cleaner because dust and allergens are less likely to be stirred up by air currents.
Because electric heat is expensive, electric radiant floors are typically limited to what causes bunions on foot areas, such as a bath or kitchen. Programmable thermostats with both air and floor temperature limits are recommended with such systems, to save on energy costs. Hydronic radiant floor systems save energy and lower fuel bills because radiant heat feels comfortable at lower air what event started korean war, enabling you to lower the thermostat.
Further savings can be realized because running a high-efficiency boiler at lower temperatures will increase its lifespan. In addition, hydronic radiant heat heatinv more efficient than other systems because it uses relatively low water temperatures to heat your home.
Boilers can heat water to lower temperatures more efficiently than they can heat water to higher temperatures. The growing popularity of PEX cross-linked polyethylene tubing during the past 15 to 20 years has made radiant floors easier to install and leak-free. With time, the tubing leaked and the systems were abandoned. Early on, PEX was not without hiccups as heatinh. Tiny amounts of oxygen are able to penetrate the PEX lining, causing corrosion to metal components, such as cast iron boilers.
Newer versions of PEX include an oxygen barrier. The growing popularity of solar heating has also caused builders and homeowners to give radiant floor heat a second look. Solar energy is a good heat source for radiant floors because solar thermal collectors are very efficient at supplying the lower water temperatures that such systems require.
Warmboardfor example, manufactures 4 x 8 radiant floor panels for new construction and 2 x 4 panels for remodeling that are lined with aluminum sheeting for even heat distribution. The panels are more expensive than materials used in some other systems, but they are more efficient and reduce the labor costs, heatinf.
With a conventional forced-air heating system, the same ducts that deliver hot air through ducts from the furnace can be used to introduce cool air from a central air conditioner. A chiller or geothermal heat pump must be inn to supply the cold water. In addition, the tubing for radiant cooling is best run in the ceiling not the floor, fllor better location for heating. And while radiant cooling systems will reduce air temperature, dehumidification may also be needed to make occupants feel cool.
For new construction, a hydronic radiant floor system is likely to cost more than forced hot air ducts and registers or hydronic systems baseboard radiators. In the long run, however, it will save money due to lower thermostat settings and higher efficiency. The cost of retrofitting hydronic radiant flooring varies depending upon whether there is access to the subfloor and the extent to which flooring and ceilings must be torn out and reinstalled.
As a starting point, materials and mechanical equipment for installing hydronic radiant heat in a sq. This excludes the heat source and assumes two zones a sq.
Labor costs vary by the job and location. In retrofitstubing is attached to the underside of the first-floor subfloor, assuming there is access to it from a basement or crawl space. Adding radiant heat to second and third levels, when existing floors are to remain in place, may require removing the ceiling of the rooms below to gain access to the underside of the subfloor. Your heat source will also factor into your decision.
If your boiler has seen better days, choose a high-efficiency, condensing, gas-modulating boiler that is capable of heating your domestic hot water, im. Disclosure: BobVila. You agree that BobVila.
All rights reserved. Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY. Major Systems Radiant Floor Heating Radiant floor heating, popular in new construction, has become a viable retrofit option. Find trusted local pros for any home project. Find Pros Now. More From Bob Vila. Newsletter signup: You agree that BobVila.
Cons of Radiant Floor Heating
Jun 21, · 1. Energy Efficient Heating. There are two types of radiant floor heating, electric and water-based systems. Both provide heating in a room from the floor up for consistent, efficient warmth. Warm water systems run hot water through pipes to create heat, whereas electric underfloor heating heats wiring beneath the floor to generate heat.
Pros of Radiant Floor Heating. There are two types of radiant floor heating , electric and water-based systems. Both provide heating in a room from the floor up for consistent, efficient warmth. Warm water systems run hot water through pipes to create heat, whereas electric underfloor heating heats wiring beneath the floor to generate heat.
This usually results in opening a window above the radiator to bring some fresh air in, and there we go again, letting all that energy paid to warm up the house escape out of the window. Radiant heat provides warmth from the floor up throughout the room without any cold spots or stuffiness in the area being heated.
To summarize, unlike traditional radiators which can make a room feel chilly at times and too hot at other times, underfloor heating does not overheat — instead, it achieves the desired temperature set by you using an on-the-wall thermostat.
Once installed, underfloor heating needs virtually no maintenance and comes with a 30 Year Guarantee for total peace of mind. The Warmup heating controllers will ensure that your heating runs in the most efficient manner either automatically with a Smart WiFi Thermostat , or, if you wish, with a programmable thermostat that can be programmed to ensure the heating comes on at certain times, giving you the option to switch it off at night time.
Even the most modern radiators take up room on a wall, so imagine the design freedom you have with heated floors — you can decorate the walls as you wish, to really make a statement or simply achieve the minimalist look, whatever your style, and free from having to plan around radiators. Underfloor heating gives you the freedom to design your home as you wish, making the most of all the wall and floor space. When you have underfloor heating, you no longer need to worry about sharp edges or hot surfaces of radiators when younger family members are in the house.
Radiant heat is also much better for the air quality in a room since it keeps the air fresh and oxygen-rich. On the other hand, high temperatures caused by radiators increase discomfort and reduce oxygen levels. The thermal circulation from air rising to the ceiling and then back gets all the dust going in circles which will not happen with a floor heating system.
Underfloor heating is easy to install, especially if you make it part of a build or renovation project. Water-based systems are usually installed during the build phase and incorporated into the construction or renovation project, usually at a cost two or three times that of installing an electric system. As you usually need to apply a self-leveling compound on top of the electric underfloor heating system, you should factor in the time it takes for this to completely dry before the floor covering can be put in place — this is usually a day or two.
Furthermore, you may want to place insulation boards underneath the heating equipment to maximize efficiency potential by ensuring all the heat goes up rather than down. Insulation boards will increase the height a little further, by approximately an inch. Underfloor heating is an easy and energy efficient way to warm your home and to keep your toes cozy.
When remodeling your bathroom , radiant floor heating is especially worth thinking about. You will save a lot on the labor cost if the flooring is being lifted up and changed anyway.
The comfort and the cost savings of running the system on your heating bills will work out to your advantage in a longer run. The Company. Contact Us.
This blog post discusses the advantages and disadvantages of radiant floor heating. We will start with the pros and move after that to the cons. Find out more about Floor Heating. Pros and Cons at a glance:. Energy Efficient Heating There are two types of radiant floor heating , electric and water-based systems.
Radiators — The Key Differences. View Warmup Thermostat Range. Works with all floor coverings Underfloor heating gives you the freedom to design your home as you wish, making the most of all the wall and floor space. Learn more about Floor Coverings 5. Safety and Comfort When you have underfloor heating, you no longer need to worry about sharp edges or hot surfaces of radiators when younger family members are in the house.
Ease of Installation Underfloor heating is easy to install, especially if you make it part of a build or renovation project. Cons of Radiant Floor Heating 1. Installation Time As you usually need to apply a self-leveling compound on top of the electric underfloor heating system, you should factor in the time it takes for this to completely dry before the floor covering can be put in place — this is usually a day or two. Recommended for you:. Top Home Interior Trends for How to Create a Minimalist Home.
To receive these expert articles straight to your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter here. Email Enter your Email Address. Submit Form. Canadian Site.