One of the biggest expenses for any homeowner is heating a home. With winter coming up in the next few months many DIY homeowners are preparing for winterizing, cleaning out duct work, replacing filters, and doing everything they can to ensure that as many heating dollars as possible can be saved from flying off into the cold air. Forced air is the most common home heating source in North America, but there is another option that is saving money and energy: radiant floor heating.
Benefits of Radiant Floor Heating Systems
The science of heated flooring is very simple. A heat source of some kind (cables, pads, or pipes) is installed under the flooring of your home. The heat travels through the flooring through the natural convection of heat rising. The heat travels from the floor up through the air of the home, typically topping out at approximately 5.5 to 6 ft. in height.
The benefits of radiant floor heat systems are many and can have a positive effect in a homeowner’s life. Here are a few of the benefits:
- Radiant flooring heats the part of your home you actually live in, the space near the floor. Your hard earned dollars aren’t spent keeping your ceiling nice and toasty.
- Radiant flooring naturally takes care of “cold spaces” in your home. Because the floor is heated, other objects in the room are naturally drawing warmth from them. Tiles, tables, and doors tend to be warmer to the touch.
- Radiant flooring is basically draft free. There are no heat registers or ductwork to worry about and less heat is lost around windows and doors without that push and pull of warm and cold air.
- Hydronic radiant systems (the pipe kind) can save homeowners quite a bit of money. The thermostat can be kept at a much lower temperature without losing the feeling of warmth in the home. This results in money saved.
- Hydronic systems can also save money by being supplied by an energy efficient, hot water boiler that is run at a lower temperature. Because the entire floor is basically a radiator the water doesn’t need to be heated very high. This extends the life of the boiler, which also saves money.
- Modern plumbing supplies, such as PEX pipes, can be used with great ease to create a heated floor.
- Hydronic systems can utilize solar heating units to great efficiency. Utilizing the sun to heat the water rather than a boiler.
- Some radiant floor systems are easy for DIY homeowners to install on their own.
While not every home is a perfect fit for radiant flooring, any new construction and some retrofitting remodels are perfect for this money saving heat source.