Are you tired of having to walk on a cold floor when you get out of bed or step out of the shower? Radiant heat flooring is not difficult to install and brings warmth to the entire room. It is worth investing in radiant heat flooring, which warms every corner of the home throughout the winter.
Radiant heat flooring is superior to many other methods of warming the home because it makes every object warmer, not just the air. Hydronic base boards actually bring cold air in, leave cold spots and tend to dry out the air. If you install radiant heat flooring, you will feel comfortable at a lower thermostat setting, and you will not have to pay such high heating bills.
If you are building a brand new home, you can consider embedding a radiant floor heating system in the concrete slab foundation.
If you are a fairly skilled handyperson, you can retrofit radiant heat flooring in an existing home, but the actual work is really a two or three person job. Unless you are a HVAC engineer, your system’s overall design, along with the installation of the boiler, its piping and controls should be handled by a contractor.
They will be installing loops of tubing (probably 5/8 inch) underneath your floor, in all places where you will need heat. The most commonly used tubing is a cross-linked polyethylene, known as PEX.
The Energy Savings of Radiant Heat Flooring
Radiant heat flooring is a more efficient means for heating the home. This is because it helps to maintain a constant room temperature while also balancing the distribution of heat in the room. This can be accomplished through either a hydronic radiant heat flooring system or an electric radiant heat flooring system.
Often the hyrdonic radiant heat flooring system is best when used for the entire house, whereas the electric radiant heat flooring system is best for a few rooms or a small house.
A hydronic radiant heat flooring system is best installed by a professional. It involves attaching hot water tubes to the sub floor within the home. The tubes are then covered with a layer of thermal mass flooring. This thin flooring is capable of transferring heat to the room in the same way a radiator transfers heat.
The heat source for the water used in a hydronic radiant heat flooring system can be a geothermal heat pump, a water heater, a boiler, or even solar panels. The water passes through the heat source to be warmed and then passes through the tubes throughout the home. It then returns to the heat source again to be reheated and begins the process over again.
Electric Radiant Heat Flooring Systems
A homeowner with a solid knowledge of electricity could install an electric radiant heat flooring system, although it is a challenging project. First, an electric heating cable roll is purchased and laid out on the sub floor in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions. Next, a layer of thinset cement is applied over the electric roll before installing the flooring.
The new flooring, which can include carpet, vinyl, ceramic tile, or laminate, can than be placed over the electric roll. Then, the only thing left to do is to connect the electrical flooring to an electricity source and thermostat and enjoy the comforts of radiant heat flooring.
An excellent choice for a heat source is solar powered water heating. You can use your existing water heater for your heating needs, but make sure that the water is not at an excessive heat (above 180F), because very high temperatures can cause heat warping on floor surfaces, particularly hardwood. Around 125F degrees is an ideal temperature for your radiant heat flooring.
Your carpet will retard the transfer of heat, so if you are installing radiant heat flooring underneath a carpet, you will want to put a heated slab underneath the carpet. This is not a difficult task, and the slabs can be purchased anywhere supplies for radiant heat flooring are found.
Make sure your tubing is good quality and ensure that it has been inspected for leaks. You will want to run the tubing underneath any surfaces that contain objects you want to heat, including bathtubs and cabinets. It is a good idea not to neglect these objects in your radiant heat flooring installation, because the warm objects actually increase the warmth of your rooms.
You will want to make a detailed plan before installing your radiant heat flooring, and it is best to consult with a friend who is familiar with the installment process or hire a professional.