Radiant Floor Heating

 Radiant floor heating is a concept that was introduced by the Romans. It is an under-the-floor heating system that conducts heat through the floor instead of transmitting the heat through the air like in most of the forced air-heating systems. The concept of radiant floor heating has more than just aesthetic application. One of the most prominent features of radiant floor heating is that it is highly efficient and comfortable without putting into use much energy. Despite the name being radiant heating the process largely depends on convection as the air circulates naturally within the room when the hot air, warmed by the floor rises above.

 There are mainly three types of radiant floor heating. They are radiant air floors, electric radiant floors, and hot water radiant floors. However, these can further be categorized as wet and dry installations. If we get into the details of each of these kinds of radiant heating we will get to know that as air cannot hold large amount of heat, radiant air floor is not a very cost-effective option and so is not commonly installed in residential buildings. Sometimes, radiant air floors are combined with solar air heating systems.

 In case of electric radiant floors electric cables are built under the floors. As electricity is comparatively expensive such modes of floor heating becomes feasible only if it includes a significant thermal mass like a thick concrete floor and the electricity company offers a time-of use rates.

On the other hand hydronic or liquid systems are the mostly popularly used forms of radiant floor heating. The reason being they are highly cost-effective and efficient. In this system heated water is pumped from a boiler through a tubing laid in a pattern under the floor. Sometimes it is noticed that by controlling the flow of hot water through each of the tubing loop by using zoning valves or pumps and thermostats it regulates the room temperature.

 There are several advantages of radiant floor heating. First of all, this mode of heating not only keeps your toe warm but also ensures that the entire body maintains a comfortable temperature. In this method, waves of infrared radiation rise up the floor, heating up the entire building mass gradually. The process ensures that no heat is lost to the surrounding surfaces. On the contrary in the conventional forced- air heating system, heated air rises up the ceiling and drops back down once its temperature lower. In the process it becomes really difficult to keep the feet warm though everything above the shoulder is at a pretty high temperature.

 Initially one might feel that radiant floor heating is a costly alternative but with time it will soon be realized that it is more efficient than the conventional modes of heating. Most of the flooring kind works well with radiant floor heating. However, there are some which performs better than the others. The rule of the thumb is that materials with high heat conducting properties like stone, concrete or ceramic tile would do better than the others. Last but not the least, employ an experienced floor installer for the purpose.

 

 

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