Odds are good that your home has a forced air heating system. It’s the most common type of heating in the US. Yet, despite their common use, forced air systems leave a lot of people unhappy.
These systems become progressively more troublesome as they age, which means ever-rising repair costs. They also do a poor job of heating floors. That can make getting up and walking around in the winter an uncomfortable experience.
One alternative is radiant floor heating. Not familiar with those? Keep reading for some key reasons why radiant floor heating systems are a great idea for any home.
Forced air systems are inefficient. The systems heat and move air around. While that’s fine for a quick boost in temperature, air does an extremely poor job of holding heat.
The warmth in the air dissipates very fast. That means the system must run more often to maintain temperatures, which drives up your utility costs.
Radiant floor heating and hydronic radiant floor heating systems, in particular, are much more efficient. Rather than heating the air, the heat the floor.
The materials of your floor do much a much better job of holding heat. That means the system runs less often and uses up less electricity.
Makes Interior Design Easier
Standard systems use floor vents or radiators to distribute heat in your home. The problem with these is that you must keep them unobstructed.
Put a couch over a floor vent and heat doesn’t get into the room. Put furniture or wall hangings too close to a radiator and it’s a fire hazard. That means your interior design efforts must work around your heating system.
With radiant systems, you don’t have vents or radiators to worry about. The floor itself is your heating system. That leaves you free to design and decorate your home as you see fit.
Anyone who ever caught a toe on a floor vent or desperately yanked a child away from a hot radiator knows that heating systems come with certain perils. Even a single moment of inattention can leave you with a nasty burn from a radiator.
Plus, there is always the potential that someone will leave or drop something too close to a radiator and start a fire.
Radiant floor heating offers a gentle heat. Under normal circumstances, the floor should never grow hot enough to pose a risk of burns or fire. That lets you put at least one safety concern out of mind when it comes to your home.
Relatively Simple Installation
Installing radiant floor heating is a relatively simple matter when compared with installing other kinds of heating systems. The hydronic systems typically use PEX piping or a similar product to move the hot water around. If you’re a DIY enthusiast, you can probably install the piping yourself.
If you decide on radiant heating as a whole home heating solution, though, you will probably want the services of an HVAC professional. Radiant systems for entire house heating work best when set up in zones. You need someone knowledgeable about radiant heating to design the zone system.
Hydronic systems also need a heated water supply. That typically means bringing in a plumber to install a hot water heater or tankless water heater and connect it to your piping. This proves especially true for zone systems that may need water supply at different times.
Electric radiant heating works best as a one-room solution. You often see them in tile floor rooms like bathrooms and kitchens. Electric radiant installation is a very DIY-friendly project and you can find kits online.
Like it or not, forced air systems can harbor allergens, mildew, or even mold. Once you get allergens into the ductwork, the system itself spreads them every time it kicks on. That could happen a dozen times or more each day during the cold winter weather.
Even worse, it’s a very difficult task to fully clean allergens or fungi out of your ductwork once it takes hold. That constant spread of allergens can make any respiratory condition worse.
You don’t face any of those problems with radiant systems. They don’t move air, so they can’t spread allergens.
Little to No Noise
Traditional forced air systems often make a lot of noise when the blower kicks on. While it’s a comparatively minor annoyance for most people, it is still an annoyance.
The loudest thing in any radiant system is the water heater. When was the last time you remember even hearing your hot water heater?
Is Radiant Floor Heating Right for You?
Radiant floor heating offers many benefits, but is it right for you?
Installation on radiant systems is easiest during a new home build since you can install the system in the foundation or in the subfloor. Installing it in an existing home takes a little more work and typically involves tearing up the floor.
If you like your current flooring, you can still get a radiant system. It just goes beneath your floor in between the joists.
Haley Mechanical offers radiant floor installation services. If radiant floor heating sounds like a good fit for your home, contact Haley Mechanical today.