There are many different options when it comes to heating your home, and radiant heat is one that is growing in popularity because it is efficient and effective. If you are considering swapping out your old forced-air furnace with a radiant heating system, check out these four facts you need to know to help you determine if it is the right choice for your home.
They Are an Energy-Efficient Option
Radiant heating systems are an energy-efficient alternative to forced air systems, but there are three different types of heat sources from which you can choose: hot water, electricity, and hot air. Hot air systems are rare because they are the least efficient option. Electric radiant heat systems use electric coils that heat the floor, and they are also not the most efficient option. Hot water systems use tubes filled with hot water, and they are the most energy-efficient radiant heating system available.
They Have Lower Operational Costs
Radiant heating systems are expensive to install. You’ll pay about $6 to $15 a square foot for installation, which ends up being about 50 percent more than installation of a forced-air furnace. However, you’ll recoup that initial investment on monthly savings because the operational costs are so low. Of course, different systems and options will have higher efficiency ratings than others, so it’s best to discuss efficiency options with the contractor. Some hydronic systems require water to be heated more than others for the system to actually work, which means it uses more energy.
They Work Better on Certain Types of Floors
The great thing about radiant heating is that it works with any type of floor, but there are flooring materials that actually increase the efficiency of the system. Typically, materials that have thermal-conducting properties do best with radiant heat systems. This includes materials like stone and ceramic tile. These materials do a better job of transferring and holding heat effectively. The system can also work on wood, but may cause some shrinking and expanding. Other types of flooring materials, such as vinyl, may not be able to get as hot as needed.
They Create Constant, Even Temperature
Hot air naturally rises, which is why you usually see forced-air heating vents on the floor. However, that system still isn’t very effective at creating even temperatures, because instead of expanding through the room, the heat just heads for the ceiling. Radiant heating systems create extremely even heat throughout your home because the heating coils or tubes take up the entire floor. The heat still rises, but it remains in your living space longer, preventing drafts. However, radiant heat systems can’t usually get as hot as forced-air systems, but you might not even notice because more of the heat remains where you want it.
If you think a radiant heating system is a good fit for your heating needs, contact a professional in your area today. Request a quote or just get more information on how a radiant system can help you.