General FAQs: Radiant Heating Systems
To get a grasp of the benefits and the reasons why radiant floor heating systems are so popular, it is important to fully understand what these systems are, how they work and differ from other heating systems. Here is an overview of this technology:
WHAT IS RADIANT FLOOR HEATING?
This is a form of heating where warm water circulates in specially designed PEX tubing which has been installed beneath the floor. The heat radiates evenly through the floor warming people and objects in the room. It offers a lot of comfort and efficiency resulting in less heating costs.
The comfort from radiant heating comes because of the even distribution of heat. It eliminates drafts usually present in traditional forms of heating while also removing the chill present in tile, wooden and marble floors. The heating is consistent and quiet.
WHAT MAKES THIS FORM OF HEATING SUPERIOR TO TRADITIONAL OPTIONS?
With radiant heating, the heat is passed through the floor to the people and objects in contact with it which are cooler. This ensures even distribution of heat with no currents.
It also enables you to enjoy warmth at low thermostat settings which saves energy consumption and cost. Further, it requires little maintenance and operational cost yet it’s more efficient and comfortable than other alternatives.
RADIATION HEATING INTERACTIONS WITH FLOORING
You also are at no risk of the floor suffering overheating. This is because the heat provided in this system is comfortable enough to allow you to walk on the floor barefoot. Whenever there is need for increased heating, this can be attained by installing the same system in the walls and even the ceiling.
Even with hardwood floors, there is no risk of damage through expansion and contraction of the floor. This is because the systems use low water temperature which has the floor being just warmer than the room temperature. Actually the sun’s heat reaching the floor during summer is far much higher than the temperature from radiant heating. The floor is kept at consistent temperatures throughout the year minimizing the risk of damage.
You can also use this system to heat only one section of the house like say your ceramic floor in the bathroom. This is an added advantage of this new form of house heating. This system can also be used with carpets, though the only shortfall will be the carpet delaying the transfer time of the heat to the room. This is because of the carpets insulation properties. To offset this, the number of aluminum heat transfer plates can be increased to reduce the lag time.
This system can also works well with the home air conditioner without having to deal with the hassle of furnace/ air conditioner repair and modifications . Having separate heating and cooling systems is much more efficient. Each is used where there is much need instead of all being spread out even where they are not necessary.
LATE INSTALLATION OF RADIANT HEATING
You can always add this form of heating to your home at any point of construction. If you are just constructing but cannot afford the cost, you can easily have the PEX tubing installed and later complete the system when you can afford it. It adds little to the cost of your poured floor but offers greater value later.
In case you already have a concrete slab in place you can still have the heating system fitted through using gypsum in remodeling the floor by laying it over the initial slab allowing for tubing installation.