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How Radiant Floor Heating Works

One of the reasons that radiant heating has been gaining in popularity in recent years is because it provides a service behind the scenes quietly and effectively. Unlike radiators that make banging noises all night or HVAC systems that blow allergens and contaminants through the air, the radiant floor heating works quietly and effectively to heat your home and control energy costs.

What is Radiant Floor Heating?

The basic premise behind radiant floor heating is the warmth travels through electric wires or hot water tubes that are installed under the flooring in your home. The heat rises through the floor and warms anything it comes in contact with. The air temperature in the room stays stable, and no heat is drawn from your body when you contact the cold floor any longer. The reason this radiant floor heating is so much more effective than a traditional forced air system is the radiant temperature remains constant. The room in a home with forced air is hot near the ceiling and cold near the floor. You have a more constant room temperature when the heating is coming from under the floor.

What Types of Floor Heating are There?

The two basic types of radiant floor heating are electrical and hot water. They both utilize the same principle of heating from beneath the flooring, although each uses different elements to maintain that radiant heat. In the electrical radiant, zig-zag loops of resistance wiring run under the floor. In the hot water radiant system, half inch polyethylene tubes carry hot water under the floor and create the warmth needed. Once either system is installed in the floor, you can cover it with either tile or hardwood flooring.

How Does it Heat My Home?

By heating the room from the bottom up, you can in fact have the same room temperature as you would with a forced air system but the room can feel completely different. The thermostat might say 72 degrees, but in one house it feels like 80 and the other feels like 60. In the radiant floor heating system, your feet and body instantly feel the heat, making a room at 72 degrees feel quite warm. The person in a home with forced air at set to 72 degrees might feel cold because all the eat is rising to the roof and not low where they are in contact with it.

One of the biggest benefits to the radiant floor heating system is your energy savings. Your body will feel warmer at lower temperatures, allowing you to run the system less often. When your feet are warm, the rest of your body begins to feel warm even if the temperature is lower than you are used to. Your feet will be in contact with the warm flooring, immediately taking the chill out of your body on those cold mornings.

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