Features like tall ceilings and ceramic tile floors make great statements and often add to the value of your home. But when winter cold hits, losing precious heat to those tall ceilings and stepping onto cold tile become more than uncomfortable. Before the temperatures drop and the snow arrives, consider using your floors as a source of heat.

What is radiant floor heating?

Radiant floor heating heats the entire floor of a room or areas of the floor, if desired, using either electric or hydronic (liquid-based) systems. In both types of heating, the system is installed beneath the floor and radiates heat through the floor. Electric systems employ underfloor wiring to generate heat. The hydronic radiant systems use hot liquid flowing through pipes beneath the floor to heat the surface.

Is radiant floor heating effective?

Yes! We all know warm air tends to rise. Traditional forced-air heating systems rely on convection – the rising of heated air and the falling of cooled air – to keep the room at a comfortable temperature. Radiators, often used in older homes, tend to heat the air closest to the radiator first, over-heating some areas of the room and leaving cold spots elsewhere. Radiant floor heating, however, evenly warms the floor and allows the heat to rise slowly until the warmth permeates the entire room.

What are some advantages of radiant floor heating?

The Department of Energy reports radiant systems are often more efficient than forced-air systems because radiant systems eliminate heat loss through ductwork. Unlike forced-air heating, radiant systems do not spread dust from air ducts throughout the room, making the floor system preference for allergy sufferers. And hydronic systems frequently use less power to heat the liquid that warms the floor.

What kinds of flooring do well with radiant floor heating?

Porcelain and ceramic tile conduct heat well, which explains why floor heating is desirable in bathrooms, mudrooms, and foyers. But you can install radiant floor heating systems beneath laminate, natural stone, and engineered wood floors also. Carpeting insulates floors, trapping the heat, so you do not want to invest in radiant floor heating for heavily carpeted areas of your home.

Are you building a new home, remodeling an old bathroom, or adding a room? Consider contacting an HVAC professional for an estimate to install radiant floor heating. Your feet will thank you.