Radiant floor heating more comfortable, efficient than alternatives

For the most part, your home was designed with reason in mind. Your bedroom might be on the second floor to cut down on noise to help you sleep, while hundreds of feet of electrical wiring have been tucked out of sight inside your walls. Many homeowners will do whatever it takes to create a comfortable environment, which begs the question: Why do so many people put up with forced air heating?

Not only is forced air heating inefficient, but radiant floor heating systems create a more comfortable living environment at a fraction of the cost. By combining state-of-the-art home design and a smarter way to heat rooms, radiant floor heating helps you heat your home more quickly and for fewer of your hard-earned dollars.

An even flame
Many homes across the country employ forced air heating through elevated ducts or baseboard elements. But just like the old saying, "Quantity over quality," market share doesn't tell the whole story about how radiant floor heating can make your home a better place to live.

ThisOldHouse.com explained that, because radiant floor heating elements are located under the floor, the air of the room is heated from the bottom. Every elementary school student learns that hot air rises while cold air falls to the ground. Radiant floor heating warms up the coldest part of your room from the very moment you flip the switch. Rising hot air also forces cool drafts to the ground, where they are then warmed by the floor.

Also, because heating elements are spread evenly across the entire floor, rooms reach desired temperatures more quickly. Forced air units might heat the area right around the duct opening, and baseboard heating only affects the areas along the perimeter of the room in question. Fluctuating temperatures in homes with these heating systems may cause you to crank the thermostat and guzzle more energy just to feel warm. 

Storing heat
If you just throw a radiant floor heating system under your floor panels in true do-it-yourself fashion, you'll still see a lot of benefits to both your sense of comfort and your monthly heating bill. However, if you are building a new home or are willing to start a remodeling project, Scientific American magazine explained that you can take full advantage of how luxurious and cost-effective radiant floor heating can really be.

SA noted that, when installed properly, radiant floor heating goes beneath the subfloor. Depending on the flooring materials of your home, you might be able to "charge" your floor for several hours during the early morning when many utility companies sell electricity for lower rates. Imagine waking up to a heated house during the winter and knowing that your floor will continue giving off warmth for most of the day.

SA recommended this type of setup for homes with dense flooring materials, such as tile and any type of stone. Not only do these materials resist expanding and contracting when heated, but they can also absorb enough energy to warm every room of your house for much of the day.

Switching to radiant floor heating may seem like a big jump for the average homeowner, but when you think about the improvements to comfort and energy efficiency for your home, it seems like an easy choice. Ditch your forced air or baseboard heating system today for radiant floor heating and a more comfortable home this winter.

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