Radiant Floor Heating Benefits
Radiant heat is becoming an increasingly popular type of heating system because it offers unique benefits that homeowners appreciate. Here are some of the main benefits that make radiant floor heating a sought after home upgrade:
- Added Comfort — Radiant heat keeps your feet warm during the coldest winter days. Plus, since heat naturally rises, the feeling of warmth is even and natural.
- Ultra-Quiet — Since radiant heat keeps you toasty without ducts, fans, or blowers, it creates an air of noiseless tranquility.
- Energy Efficient — A radiant system can use 30% less fuel than the average forced air system.
- Zoning Flexibility — Like all truly deluxe heating systems, radiant heat allows you the ability to set different temperatures for different areas of your house. While other heating systems can be upgraded to include zoning, it comes naturally here.
- Reduced Allergens — Since radiant heat doesn’t need air flow to heat your home, it reduces dust mites and airborne allergens by 60-90%.
- Added Home Value — Due to all of these options, radiant floor heating systems are sought after and add value to your home on the open market.
Radiant Heat FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Does a radiant heat system cost less to operate than the alternatives?
Yes they do. The amount of savings will vary depending on the heat loss, how well the structure is built, how well the building is insulated and the natural fuel source being used. For the most part, radiant floors will operate anywhere from 25% to 40% more efficiently than other forms of forced air heating.
What type of maintenance is required for my radiant heating system?
Most maintenance items center on the pumps and boilers. For the most part, the pumps used today are maintenance free. They use water to lubricate the bearings, which allow for quieter, efficient life span. In general, these pumps have an estimated life span of 10 years. Different boiler types require different maintenance.
Can I use any kind of fuel source in my radiant heating system?
Any natural resource can be used to fire the heat source, natural gas, propane, electric, wood, etc. It does not matter what the heat source is, as long as it can provide the necessary BTU’s (energy) at the required design temperatures. There will be a variance between heat sources based on efficiency, response, cost and capacity.
Can my radiant system also melt snow and ice?
Yes. Snow melt systems are becoming more and more popular, especially in areas where nature conservation is important. Snow melt systems eliminate all of the other necessary chemicals and pollutants used today to keep areas free of ice and snow. No more salt to track indoors. No more uneven melting. Streams and rivers no longer get polluted with unnecessary additives. Snow melt systems also protect your investment. Slabs last longer. Salt and other chemical additives will begin to break down the surface of a concrete slab over the years. For brick paver applications, snowmelt systems provide a certain amount of physical protection.
Does a radiant house take a long time to heat up from a cold start?
Most radiant floor heat systems take about a day to come up to full temperature. The reason for this is due to how the radiant heating system stores energy. Before a radiant floor can emit energy (heat) into a space, it first has to raise the floor temperature. Depending on the floor construction and the initial floor temperature, this start up time may be anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Slab on grade floors will see the largest start up time, mainly because they will have the highest mass value.
Does a radiant heating system have any impact on air circulation or cleanliness?
Yes. Since the air is not carrying the heating and is not being forced to move through the house, less dust and mold is being distributed. This helps to keep allergies and other ailments to a minimum.
What type of floor construction should I use?
Any type of floor construction can be used with a radiant heat system. The most common will be a slab on grade, or a frame floor. Some variations of these may include a thin slab over a frame floor or a Sandwich application. It is better to design the building for what is required structurally and let the radiant system be designed around the construction details.
What type of floor coverings can be used over a radiant heat system?
Most floor coverings can be used over a hydronic heating system, keeping in mind that the system is designed for that particular covering. Tile is the most efficient, since it is the most conductive. Hardwoods come next and then carpet and pad. Even vinyl or linoleum can be used. Typically the only design variance between these three common floor coverings is supply temperature.
How many zones can I have with my radiant heat system?
A hydronic heating system can be designed with as many or as few zones as desired. Some systems will have one zone per floor, while others will have each individual room as a zone. Keep in mind, the more zones there are, generally the higher the radiant heat system cost.
Radiant Floor Heating Experts in Lancaster, Berks, & Chester Counties
If you think radiant floor heating might be the solution for your home, you need an expert heating company to install and service it. Vertex Mechanical is the experienced radiant heat contractor to trust in Lancaster, Berks, and beyond.
Contact us today to learn more about this heating system and to schedule your service or maintenance.