Everything You Need To Know About Electric Radiant Floor Heating
There is nothing as annoying as stepping out of your warm bed onto an ice-cold floor. Radiant floor heating systems keep a home warm, aren’t noisy, and are energy efficient. You can either heat the entire home or supplement a room or two. Here is everything you need to know about the best electric radiant floor heating.
How Does Radiant Floor Heating Works?
Radiant heating is used to keep a floor warm, especially tile., by transferring heat from the coils or tubes to the surface of the floor. However it actually works to a greater benefit, too. By heating the coils, or the water tubing, under the floor the heat created will radiate through the room and rise to warm the area of your home. This actually creates a much more evenly heated area than a system like forced air will, and is less noisy in your home than forced air systems because you do not have to push air through ducts or deal with a running furnace.
Essentials Facts About Floor Heating
Wire mesh: The wires to be heated are looped and embedded in a special mesh mat that can be easily sliced or trimmed. You can roll out the mat to cover a large floor area.
The right type of floor: All electric radiant heating systems work perfectly when installed under the right floor types such as marble flooring, tile or stone flooring. Note that the system might be inefficient when installed under vinyl and hardwood flooring or wall to wall carpets. You can also read our guide on how to choose the best floor type for heated floor system.
Minimal heat: These systems offer heat under the floor. The heat builds slowly, makes the floor warm, and continues to heat the room up.
Extras: Radiant heating is a perfect way to heat up extras without extending the HVAC ducting. When supplemented with various electric baseboards heaters, this form of heating can offer enough space heating.
Types Of Radiant Floor Heating
There are two main types of radiant floor heating: hydronic and electric. Electric radiant heating is the most popular type of radiant floor heating. In this form of heating, the wire mesh or individual wires are sandwiched between the substrate and the floor finishing (the surface you step on)?
Radiant air floor heating and hydronic floor heating systems are the less popular types of radiant floor heating. The hydronic radiant heating method involves running warm water through pipes installed under the floor. The system works like a hot water space radiator but the pipes are installed under the floor?
Benefits Of Radiant Floor Heating Systems
Radiant floor heating systems work by circulating heat through electric cables or tubing that is installed underneath the floor covering. Heat is evenly distributed across the floor and radiates throughout the room. Since heat is distributed gradually, these systems are more effective and comfortable. We’ll go over some key benefits of radiant flooring in any space.
Radiant floor heating system saves you money in the long run:
To begin with, a radiant floor heating system heats the room from the bottom up. Once the heat moves to other sections of the room, it is maintained for a longer period. With radiant heat, once the system is shut down you still retain the warmth for a while which can help you save on energy. Most radiant heat systems are designed to use little electricity especially the water-based versions.
Heated floors do not produce any noise:
Another reason why heated floors have become more popular over the years is the fact that they offer a quieter alternative to heating a home. Unlike forced air systems which are noisy and inefficient, radiant heat systems have always been designed to guarantee quiet operation. This explains why radiant heat is a greater alternative in commercial spaces like office buildings.
You control the floor heating system:
With a radiant heat system, you can warm separate sections in your home effortlessly. You have the option to choose which areas in your home need heating at different times. Some systems come with programmable thermostats that ensure each space is heated as required without losing energy.
Heated floors provide comfort:
Replace the cold floors in your bathroom with warm and cosy heated floors. With a radiant floor heating system, you enjoy comfort, ease of use, and efficiency. The best part is these radiant heating systems don’t take up any floor space. They remain totally invisible in any space.
Floor heating system has a longer lifespan:
Underfloor heating is quite easy to maintain. If you choose a hydronic radiant heating system, expect it to last for many years with minimal maintenance. You may need to invest in minor repairs and regular upkeep of components such as pumps and boilers, but the system should serve you for many years if well maintained. Radiant floor heating systems don’t have any filters which require regular cleaning. Annual maintenance is required to help identify issues early and ensure the radiant heating system serves you for much longer.
Limitations of radiant floor heating
- Electric radiant heating systems are challenging to install retroactively because the floor covering must be first removed.
- These systems are perfect for heating the floor ‘to the touch’ instead of warming the entire home. But you can still use the radiant heating system as your major indoor heat source.
- It uses electricity as the sole heat source. This makes electric radiant floor heating more expensive than other heating alternatives.
- In case of broken wires, it’s difficult to repair them because they are trapped between the substrate and the floor finishing.
The initial cost of electric radiant floor heating systems is higher than other floor heating options. However, over time, these systems save you money as they operate efficiently.
Overall… is it worth it?
Entire radiant floor heating systems, that is throughout your whole house, are much more cost effective over the long term than alternative heating options, but there are a couple downsides. One: new build homes are the ideal candidates for these systems since they can be installed before anyone is living there, but older homes can definitely have these installed. Some owners of older homes choose to do room by room installations over entire home systems; the most popular selections for rooms being kitchens and bathrooms. The second downside is the initial cost: these systems can be quite pricey to install. So while they will save you operational costs, the initial investment is quite large so it should be considered as well.
Doing a home renovation is a large undertaking, and you want to make sure all of the options and finishes you select are right for your home while working as close to your budget as possible. Radiant floor heating systems are an investment, but imagine not having to walk through a cold kitchen to get your morning coffee anymore or not having to deal with that initial shock of a cold bathroom floor first thing in the morning. Radiant heat is much more cost effective and much more convenient to have in your home. Overall, if you can and want to install this as a heating option, even in just one or two rooms, not only will you enjoy it but it can increase the resale value of your home should you choose to sell in the future. Radiant floor heating is a great addition to your biggest investment: your home.