The traditional method of heating a home involves a series of fans, ducts, and vents to supply heated air to various rooms inside the home. This is called a forced-air system, and while this type of system is better than nothing at all there are much more energy-efficient and cost-effective options out there. One of those options is radiant heat, which is a great way to heat your home evenly and reduce wasted energy. Below we are going to talk about what radiant heating is and a few of the different systems that are available to homeowners like you.
What is Radiant Heating?
Radiant heating is a system that supplies heat to a home from the floor, walls, or ceiling using heating elements that deliver heat directly from the surface by way of infrared radiation. A smaller example of infrared radiation you may be more familiar with is a toaster, which uses coils and infrared radiation to cook food. Radiant heating has a number of advantages over forced-air heating systems and baseboard heating systems because it is unseen, energy-efficient and keeps the air much cleaner inside your home.
Radiant Floor Heating
By far the most common type of radiant heat systems you are going to find installed in homes is radiant floor heat. In the category of radiant floor heat, there are three types of systems which are air-heated radiant floors, hot water, and electric. From those three types, there are various installation methods involving concrete, plywood, and other materials but for the sake of simplicity, we are going to focus primarily on the type of heating system itself.
Air-Heated Radiant Flooring
Using an air heated system is not as common as the two other types of radiant heat simply because air does not hold very much heat. For this reason, the heating system is constantly exchanging heated air which starts to drive energy costs up. That being said, an air heated system is still going to be more energy efficient in the long run that a traditional forced-air system. There are also options that use solar panels on the roof to supply electricity to the system.
Electric Radiant Flooring
This type of radiant flooring used a series of electric cables that are built directly into the floor. When an electric system is installed while the home is being built, great care goes into selecting the flooring. The type of flooring that is used will directly impact the effectiveness of the system. Electric radiant heat systems that are installed in a thick concrete slab will be much more effective because the concrete is able to capture and hold that heat for a number of hours without the need for additional input from the cables.
Hydronic Radiant Flooring
Hydronic as you may have already guessed uses hot water from a boiler that flows through a series of tubes built into the flooring. This is the most popular type of radiant heating system as well as the most cost-effective for areas where heating is required for much of the year. Hydronic systems are also easier to control by way of a thermostat because you can concentrate the use of hot water to specific high traffic zones throughout your home.
If you have been thinking about adding a Radiant Heating system into your home, we are here to help. Contact us anytime to get your questions answered or schedule a consultation to have a system installed.