When winter’s cold winds are howling outside, does the thought of stepping onto a warm floor inside appeal to you? Underfloor heating, also known as radiant heating, can make that pleasant thought a reality. Some people think radiant heating is an expensive and unnecessary luxury, and that wool socks and area rugs are all that is needed to avoid having to walk across a cold floor. Radiant heating is, in fact, gaining in popularity, and there are many advantages to installing a radiant heating system, especially when building a new home or renovating one or more rooms in an existing home.
Think of radiant heating, whether electric or water-based, as a way to warm an entire room – not just the floor. Radiant floor heating is available in two types: electric and water-based. Water-based underfloor heating systems are comprised of pipes with hot water running through them that warms the floor. Electric underfloor heating works by heating wires that have been installed underneath the floor.
An underfloor heating system can, in fact, replace the radiators in a room. When it comes to heating a room, radiant floor heating does as good a job – or better – than radiators, and it does so more efficiently and with less energy than radiators, which ultimately keeps energy bills lower. How? The average radiator must be set at a very high temperature to thoroughly heat a room, while underfloor heating can be set at a more normal temperature (which can be more or less depending on the type of flooring in the room) to be just as effective. And, because the floor covers the entire space, in contrast to a radiator which runs along a wall, the heat the floor gives off rises and warms the entire room.
Other Radiant Floor Heating Considerations
- A programmable thermostat lets you control and automatically adjust temperature settings.
- Electric radiant heating can be used with any type of flooring surface – stone, tile, laminate, hardwood, even carpet.
- Radiant flooring is safe, long-lasting, and virtually maintenance-free.
- Included in the cost is the flooring installation and the cost for an electrician to connect the heating system.
- A longer installation time may be required due to an additional layer that must be installed between the heating system and the flooring.
- The floor height increases with the added layers underneath – of the heating system itself and insulation boards placed, if any.
Underfloor heating should no longer be considered a luxury or extravagance available in only high-end homes. To the contrary, radiant heating is a safe, effective, and energy-efficient way to heat your home. And, while you
might pay a bit more upfront for installing radiant heating, over time you will see savings reflected in your home heating bills.
If you would like to learn more about how radiant heating can work in your home, speak with a home builder or qualified flooring specialist. Steve Rush, owner of Sovereign Construction Services can help. Steve understands the pros and cons of the different types of flooring that are available and can make a recommendation for the best flooring for any room in your home. Call Steve today at 610-639-2986!