In Floor Heating Options

in floor heating options, radiant floor heating, electric radiant heat, floor heating systems, radiant floor heat

In-Floor Heating Options to Consider

Find out if this great energy-efficient and incredibly comfortable heat is for you and your family.

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One of the most comfortable options for central heating used in home designs is the in-floor heating system. By using radiant heating to regulate the temperature indoors, it is most often referred to as radiant heat flooring.

Most of the systems that are used for either under floor or in-floor heating are hydronic systems or electric systems.

You can utilize each of these systems alone or in combination as a supplemental type heat or they can be used as a whole-building or centralized heating system as well.

Most often, when one of these systems is used in the home, they are installed to supplement an already existing central heating systems or to provide a heating option for a very difficult space to heat, such as a large window area, solarium or an on-grade poured concrete floor.

Radiant Floor Heating - In Concrete Floor Installation:

In-Floor Heating Options - Hydronic System

Hydronic Systems For In-Floor Heating Options:

The first system we will investigate is the hydronic system, or a recirculated liquid system. This type of in-floor heating system uses water or another liquid, such as propylene glycol, and is circulated through specially designed and reinforced tubing and is usually embedded within a poured concrete floor.

This system is also called a closed loop system in that the liquid is not supplemented as it is circulated through a boiler for heating.

Due to the complexity of these systems, they are best installed by a professional installer who is very familiar with their systems, as they consist of many controls, specialized equipment, requiring the expertise of a professional.

Radiant Floor Heating - InFloorBoard Installation:

In-Floor Heating Options - Electric Radiant Heating Cables

Electrical Systems For In-Floor Heating Options :

Flexible cables, mat or mesh films are used for the electrical in-floor heating options.

They are installed either directly beneath the floor finishes, such as carpet, hardwood, tile, or laminate, or beneath the floor and attached to the underside of the structure.

Another popular installation option for these systems is to cast them within a concrete floor. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, installation of an electrical system may be for you as they are typically much easier for the homeowner to install themselves.

What Are The Advantages of Radiant Underfloor Heating?

For the most part, homes utilize a convective form of central heating, such as forced-air heating system. These systems operated by blowing heated air into a room, and as the heated air rises it typically leave the ceiling space much warmer than the floor.

More uniform heating within the living spaces.

One of the great benefits of an in-floor heating system is the temperatures are much more uniform, with a variation between the floor and ceiling typically varying less than between 2 to 4 degrees.

Additionally, homeowners who have installed in-floor heating options have experienced thermostat settings up to 6-8 degrees cooler than a home using forced-air heating systems.

What this means is drastically reduced energy usage and lower energy bills. Secondly, a characteristic of an in-floor heating systems is that it doesn't require humidification systems.

In-floor heating options require little or no humidification systems.

Because a typical forced-air heating system uses heated air delivered to the living spaces, the gas used to heat the air also removed the humidity from the air.

Radiant heating systems do not affect the humidification in the air of the home. So by eliminating the need for electric humidification, this further reduces cost of the system and give increased comfort.

These systems are typically very quiet.

Also radiant floor heating is much quieter than most force-air heating systems. Only warm radiant air radiates from the floor, without the need of a circulation fan, blowing heated air throughout the floor.

These systems are extremely comfortable.

Probably the biggest advantage of radiant floor heating systems, and the reason most people are drawn to these systems are the very comfortable environment they produce within the home.

Room air is very uniform, drafts are eliminated and floor and nice and warm on the feet in the morning.

Radiant Floor Heating - InFloorBoard Installation:

Radiant Floor Heating - InFloorBoard Installation:

Radiant Underfloor Heat - Some Of The Disadvantages

Although radiant floor heating options do provide the possibility of reduced energy usage and very comfortable heat, there are a few things you should know about before deciding to use these systems in your new green home.

Typically maintenance of these in-floor heating options can be difficult and expensive.

This is especially true if the systems are embedded within a concrete floor, or located directly beneath the finish flooring material, which would require tear-out of part or most of the finish flooring.

Usually these systems are quite expensive.

For even a moderately sized residence the installed costs can exceed $8,000 for an underfloor heating system.

Even though an in floor heating option could be an excellent fit for a localized area in a new home or for use in an existing home, it may not be the best choice for some green homes.

If you are intent on building a super-efficient, green home, an in-floor heating option may produce much more heat than your home can use, resulting in an overheating condition.

There is an often a lag time for an in floor heat system to heat the flooring system and begin supplying radiant heat to a space.

For instance if a home uses passive solar heating techniques in its' design, the in-floor heating system can easily overheat the space and the system cannot be easily turned down when the sun comes from behind a cloud.

If a green home is well-built and well designed, it will require very little energy to heat, making the expense of a radiant heating system unnecessary.

You would be better off spending your money on triple-glazed windows that utilize the newest gas-filled technologies, super insulated walls and ceilings, and passive solar design techniques.

By utilizing some of these green home features you will spend far less money of smaller, less-expensive, very energy efficient heating and cooling systems, and reduce the first-cost of your green home.