floor heating systems
Floor Heating Systems Radiant Floor Heating Under Floor Heating

Radiant Floor Heating

The Answer To The Heating Problems For Your Home Flooring

Radiant floor heating systems are the answer to many problems that have long existed with the usual, forced-air heating system found in most American homes today. Radiant in floor heating is actually nothing new.

The ancient Romans used slaves and heat from wood burning stoves to feed heat through pipes that ran under their floors, heating the floors’ wood, or marble, to keep their typically bare or sandal-wearing feet toast warm. But the system kept the rest of their body warm, too.

Fast forward to 20th century America and Frank Lloyd Wright installs copper pipes to carry heated water beneath concrete or marble floors in the homes he designs. However, when the copper pipes inevitably corroded most of the latter-day homeowners simply abandoned the radiant in floor heating systems that they so loved and switched to the usual method of ventilated forced air. They didn’t think it was worth it to jack-hammer their way through their hard floors to install new pipes.

Well, those poor souls owning those Frank Lloyd Wright homes of latter days missed out on the benefits that he understood and that the first homeowners would have enjoyed, along with those ancient Romans.

Benefits of radiant floor heating systems

The benefits of radiant floor heating  just can’t be beat even if they seem a little pricey to initially install.

  • These in floor heating systems evenly distribute heat all throughout a room. Unike radiant baseboard heating, this heated air naturally rises from the flooring, the system’s heated air rises up and permeates all objects it touches - thus keeping all pieces of furniture in the room toasty warm even on the most frigid of Winter days and nights.
  • The coils of electrical cable or polyethylene hot water piping (no more corrosive copper piping) that are snaking underneath the floor keep the whole floor warm and perfectly comfortable everywhere, even if you go about the house barefoot while there are two feet of snow and ice outside. This even distribution of heat also means no hot and cold air pockets in a room. Since the heat in the room is touching your feet first, the heat passes up through your entire body--and your feet are your body’s own biological thermostat. If your feet are cold, you’re cold, even if you’re wearing a lamb’s wool hat.
  • Since all this radiant underfloor heating is not being wasted as with forced-air ventilations systems that push the air in above the floor to start with, you can lower your thermostat--and your energy bills (by as much as 30%)--even while you increase your comfort with a lower radiant floor heating cost under your floor covering. But there’s even more benefit to these marvels of common sense. One of these additional benefits of the radiant floor heat is the sound of silence.
  • You won’t even know that your radiant heating system is running except for the fact that you and your family, friends, and guests are so comfortable and warm on the coldest Winter’s night. No more whoosh, bang, clang, and whirr. Along with that, there’s no more feverish flux of up-and-down temperature level in the room. Room temperature stays exactly where you want it, and all for no more banging on your eardrums.
  • A radiant heating system is not only silent; it’s invisible, too. Everything stays beneath your floor. This means no more ugly heating vents. Your rooms look better, your furnishings are more conveniently placed. Your greatest concern becomes where or if at all to place any carpets.
  • But this leads to perhaps the greatest benefit of all: cleaner air in your house. The forced air system’s symphony of dust mites, pollen, pet dander, dead bugs, and whatever else that increase the chances of allergic reactions and respiratory infections is gone. Your radiant heat system lets you and your loved ones breathe easy and stay healthy.

Radiant floor heating types

Of the two types of radiant in floor heating systems (hydronic and electric under floor heating), the hydronic radiant floor heating (hot water based), also called hydronic radiant heat, is the more popular. Using a hot water boiler to send hot water through today’s polyethylene tubes is less expensive even than using electrical coils. It’s safer, too; the majority of all house fires in the U.S. result from electrical malfunctions. However, installation is more expensive, running $6 to $15 per square foot. You can see the long term benefits (and savings), however.

radiant floor heatingPerhaps the biggest obstacle to overcome with the installation of an electric hydronic radiant heat heat system is the fact that there’s no one single manufacturer who supplies all the necessary components for hydronic heating. Just look up makers and suppliers of: hydronic radiant-heat controls and parts; and electronic radiant mats (if needed).

If you have concrete floors, no problem. That’s what those radiant mats are for. The pipes (or coils) will just go over the existing floor and then the mats go over those. Oh, and keep in mind that installing these radiant floor heating systems might necessitate raising up the level of your floors a little.

Check out this Youtube video on the benefits of radiant underfloor heating to save energy and money with.


Radiant Floor Heating Articles

Installing Radiant Floor Heating - If you’re considering putting radiant floor heating in your home, read the article to learn how to perform the installation on your own.

Electric Or Hydronic Floor Heating Options - This article will help you decide which floor heating system is best for your personal and home situation.

Radiant Floor Insulation - What is radiant floor insulation and why do we need it? Read this article to learn more about radiant insulation for your home flooring.

How To Convert Old Radiators To Radiant Floor Heating - If you want to convert your old radiator to radiant floor heating, there are certain things you need to know so your floor heaitng conversion is successful. Read this article to learn more.

Radiant Floor Heating Cost - Have you ever wondered how much it would cost you to install radiant floor heating in your home? Read this article to evaluate the installation costs of various heating types, including forced air, electric floor and hydronic floor heating systems.

Radiant Floor Heating Types - Radiant heating is not a new concept, as ancient tribes far and wide would heat their huts and homesteads with a variant of the idea such as hot water on stones. In the 21st century there are two main types of radiant heat used: electric and hydronic (water).