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What is Radiant Floor Heating?

Interior Design and Decor
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What is radiant floor heating? If you have cold floors in your bathroom, kitchen, or other areas of your home, radiant heating could be the answer to your problem. Radiant floor heating gently warms your floors from underneath, and it saves on electricity because it warms the floor directly, instead of using ductwork or heat pumps which is much less efficient. It's easy to install, and in some cases it can be installed under existing floors.

The Types of Radiant Floor Heating

There are two basic types of radiant floor heating – electric and hydronic. Electric is usually much cheaper because the hydronic models use a boiler to heat water in tubes underneath the floor, and installing the boiler is expensive. Hydronic is usually used in large, industrial applications, where it makes more sense, rather than in homes. The electric type is usually cheaper to install and cheaper to run, especially if you only use it during certain parts of the day, and it can be controlled by a thermostat, just like your furnace or air conditioner.

Installing Radiant Floor Heating

There are two types of electric radiant floor heating available, and which one you choose depends on your flooring material. If you have tile or stone floors, you use one type of heating product, while if you have floating floors, like wood, laminate, or engineered flooring, you use another. In most cases, you install the radiant floor heating when you replace your floor, and it goes right underneath the new floor. In some cases, however, it can be installed under your existing flooring, by removing the subfloor, inserting the heating material, and then replacing the subfloor. Many experts believe that installing a radiant heat floor throughout your entire home can effectively heat your home without the need for a forced-air furnace, and it's much more cost-effective than a furnace, too.

Many different companies manufacture radiant floor heating, so it's easy to find. Some manufacturers ship directly from their factories, saving money because there's no middle man markup. Most of these systems have safety precautions built in, like thermostats that don't allow them to overheat, and manual controls that allow the homeowner to set the time of day the floor turns on and off.

What is radiant floor heating? It's a relatively inexpensive solution to cold floors in the morning, and used correctly, it can even heat up your whole home much more effectively than a forced air furnace.

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