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Should You Install a Radiant Floor Heating System?

Posted on: October 22, 2010

For many people, the hardest part of waking up in the morning is moving your feet from the warm bed to the cold floor. Imagine if you could wake up to a floor as warm as summer sand on the beach every winter morning. If you live in Montgomery County, Maryland (MD) or Washington, DC, you don’t have to imagine anymore – by installing a radiant floor heating system.

What is radiant floor heating?

Radiant floor heating is a heating system that has been installed since the 1930s, when the world famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright piped hot water through the concrete floors of many buildings he designed. Since then, radiant floor heating technology has made significant technological advances, but the basics of its design have remained the same.

Radiant floor heating systems rely on either electrical tubes or pipes of water laid beneath the floor. These tubes are heated up by a boiler and radiate heat through the floor, warming the floor itself and sending the heat throughout the rest of the room. With this structure, the radiant floor heating system provides much more even and natural heating than a forced air heating system, and totally eliminates hot and cold spots in your rooms.

Radiant floor heating systems are heated by a boiler which is powered by any fuel, including electricity, natural gas, propane, oil or wood. If you use an alternative energy source, such as a geothermal heating system, you can use that to power your radiant floor heating system. In many cases you can use your existing hot water heater to power your radiant floor heating systems, so there is no need to install an additional boiler.

Why should you install radiant floor heating?

In addition to the comfort offered by radiant floor heating, particularly when it is installed under hardwood floors or in a bathroom, radiant floor heating is highly efficient and can help you save money on your heating bills.

Radiant floor heating systems are more efficient – According to the Hydronic Heating Association, a given amount of water can hold 3,500 times as much heat as the same amount of air, meaning that significantly less heat is required to change the temperature of water. As a result, you can get the same amount of heat from a radiant floor heating system at a lower thermostat setting than a forced air system. In fact, studies have shown that a radiant floor heating system can provide the same amount of heat as a forced air heating system even at thermostat settings six to eight degrees lower.

Radiant floor heating systems are more reliable – In homes with forced air heating systems, significant heat loss occurs because the hot air moves up to the top of the room. Radiant floor heating systems do not rely on hot air to provide heat, meaning that all of the heat they provide is concentrated in the lower half of the room where it is most useful.

Also, with radiant floor heat system installations, there is no risk of transferring contaminates throughout your home, since there is no air moving through potentially dirty ducts in a radiant floor heating system. Installing even the best air filters in the world can’t trap every contaminant in your air, but with a radiant floor heating system, you won’t need filters at all.

Radiant floor heating systems are also invisible and totally silent. Since radiant floor heating systems are installed right into the floor, there is no need for complex ductwork in the walls and no need for air vents or wall radiators.

Radiant floor heating systems have lower costs – Radiant floor heating systems can be designed to work in zones, allowing you to focus your radiant floor heating on high traffic rooms such as bedrooms, bathrooms and family rooms while leaving unoccupied rooms unheated.

After installing your radiant heat system, you can save on the cost of operating your radiant floor heating system by taking advantage of your power company’s off-peak rates, by using your radiant floor heating system at night to prepare for the morning.

Ask for total comfort in your home – install a radiant floor heating system today!

Want to experience the comfort of waking up to a heated floor on a cold winter morning? Then, you should install a new radiant floor heating system in your Montgomery County, Maryland (MD) or Washington, DC home. If you want to talk to a heating expert about installing a radiant floor heating system in your home, call James A. Wheat & Sons today!