Another heating season has come and gone. Our thoughts go to warmer day, outside fun and vacations. One sign that winter hasn’t total gone is when you wake up in the morning, trudge into the bathroom and when you step with your bare feet onto the cold floor it feels like, will, winter.
There is a way to change that. It’s called radiant heating. A radiant heating system is an efficient way to provide heat from below the floor and warmth to very specific areas, such as bathroom or kitchen floors.
Radiant heating, which can be supplement to your existing HVAC system, also has other advantages. It is silent. It is invisible, with no need to install baseboards, ducts or grills. And it is energy efficient. Think about it. When your feet are cold, the rest of the body gets cold too, meaning you need to turn your thermostat higher to stay warm. Warmer feet…lower temperatures…lower energy costs.
Two Types of Radiant Heat
There are two ways of providing radiant heat: electricity or hot water.
Electric radiant heat systems are popular choice for smaller areas as in bathrooms or kitchens. Available in kit form, these systems allow you to space wiring to meet your specifications and control the temperature through a thermostat. Typically installed under tile they can also be imbedded in concrete allowing different types of flooring to be installed above them. Electric radiant floor heating is an excellent remodelers do it yourself project.
Hot Water Systems
Hot water systems (hydronic) are ideal for larger or multiple areas, such as large kitchens, basement floors or the entire house. These systems are efficient, but generally more expensive to install. These systems circulate heated water from a boiler, heat pump or water heater through polyethylene tubing. These systems can be covered by any type of flooring, including hardwood and tile.
No matter which type of system you install, keep in mind when considering flooring:
- Tile is probably the best choice because it both conducts and stores heat best.
- Carpeting is not as good at conducting heat, but it does store heat better than hardwood or laminate. If using carpet consider a thin carpet with dense padding
- Hardwood flooring is possible, but keep surface temperatures below 80 degrees to avoid warping the floor.
Radiant heating can be installed in both new and existing homes. Call Sunworks today for more information about radiant heating for your home.