Posted on: 29 April 2016
Have you ever noticed that your feet are cold when in your home's basement or bathroom? That's because heat will rise, and when you combine that with a cold flooring surface, it can make your home feel uncomfortable. Thankfully there is a heating solution that will make your home feel comfortable in the winter by having it originate from the floor.
Radiant Heat vs. Forced Air
A traditional furnace works by heating the air and blowing it through ductwork into every room of your home. The problem with this heating method is that there are cold and hot spots in your rooms. If you are near the vent, you may feel too hot, while a corner could not be getting the heat you need. Furniture can block return air vents and not allow the heat to circulate as intended. The heated air will rise to your ceiling and stay there. The heating system may be good enough to meet your needs, but it certainly won't be as comfortable as it could.
Radiant heating elements live underneath the floor and cause air to slowly rise. The lower part of your room, which is the part that you are actually occupying, is what stays warm. Air cools off one it reaches your ceiling, where it falls to your floor and gets warmed up again. The airflow is gentle and not noticeable, which feels comfortable when it is in use.
Kinds of Radiant Heat
There are several methods of radiant heating systems that can be installed under your floor.
Electric cables – A contractor will place electrical cables on your sub floor with a spacing that is designed to be efficient when it comes to heating a room. It can be placed under wood, stone, or tile flooring. Depending on how much heat you need, the electrical cables are available in different voltages to give you mild or strong heating. The electrical cables work with a thermostat, with each room having its own thermostat.
Electric mats – While very similar to using electrical cables, these mats are typically low voltage. It makes it a great choice for a small space like a bathroom. Connecting the mat to a timer can help limit the amount of usage, and make your floor nice and warm for when you step out of the shower.
Water pipes – This heating system is much more complicated to install, since it involves a series of water pipes being installed beneath your flooring. It is ideal for new construction, but can be difficult to add to an existing home. They are placed using a similar spaced out pattern like the electrical cable method, with there also being zones for specific rooms. The heat produced by the hot water pipes is moist heat that can add moisture to a home that is dry. It also requires a hard flooring for it to work properly, like tile or hardwood.
For help installing any of these radiant heat systems, contact an HVAC services contractor in your area.Share