Energy efficient and comfortable, a radiant floor heating system is a popular alternative to more traditional heating solutions such as forced-air systems. Radiant heating systems do more with less — so you save on energy expenses without sacrificing comfort.
There are three main types of radiant floor heating systems: air-heated radiant floors, electric radiant floors, and hydronic radiant floors.
Of these, hydronic radiant systems are the most cost-effective and popular. These systems incorporate a series of tubes under the floor through which heated liquid is pumped. The flow of liquid through the tubes is regulated by the set temperature on the thermostat. The heat moves, or radiates, from the floor to people and objects in the room, making them feel warm.
Air-heated systems are less cost-effective, because air can’t contain very significant amounts of heat. Electric systems can have prohibitively high operating costs for residential systems.
A radiant floor heating system can be installed in two ways: “wet” installation and “dry” installation. A wet installation embeds the tubes (or cables in electric systems) in a large concrete slab in your basement or under your floors. Dry installations don’t have a thick slab but instead simply put the tubing or cables in an air space beneath the floor. These installations are quicker and less expensive but require the operating temperature to be higher because they have to heat the entire space.
Talk with an HVAC expert about your options in radiant heating systems. Contact All Year Heating, Air Conditioning & Solar with questions.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about radiant floor heating systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.