Radiant Floor Heating

The benefits of radiant floor heating systems

Hot air rises; it's a scientific principle that's been known to human beings for thousands of years. That simple, basic fact is applied to great effect in radiant floor heating, one of the most efficient home heating technologies on the market.

Also known as underfloor heating, radiant floor heating systems consist of three components: a heating source, a heat distribution network and temperature controls. All radiant floor heating systems require these three components, regardless of whether they run on hydronic, electric or air-based technologies.

The Types of Radiant Floor Heating Systems

Underfloor heating systems are defined by the means they use to generate heat. Hydronic radiant floor heating uses hot water, electric radiant floor heating systems draw on electrical resources, and air underfloor heating systems pump pre-heated air from your furnace through the in-floor distribution coils.

All three systems pump heat through a network of coils which are built into your subfloor. Then, the heat rises, seeping into the room and raising the air temperature to the desired level. You can use programmable thermostats to set the temperature.

While it is easier to install radiant floor heating in a new home under construction, you can also adapt an older home to incorporate this technology. To determine which installation method is right for you, a floor heating professional will need to make a detailed assessment of your home. Generally speaking, radiant floor heating works best beneath concrete or tile floors and it is less efficient when the heat has to penetrate an additional layer of fabric, such as a carpet. You can also use radiant floor heating mats for spot heating in confined areas.

Underfloor Heating Installation Costs

On average you should expect an underfloor heating system to cost between $500 and $1,000 per 100 square feet of space. In addition to radiant floor heating, you will also need to have a special home ventilation system set up to ensure byproducts do not collect in your indoor air.

You should also anticipate that your system will need at least annual maintenance to ensure it continues to perform at a high level. If it needs maintenance or repairs, do not attempt to do them yourself. Instead, call the professional who installed the system to ensure you don't risk voiding your warranty.

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