There is a lot of information out there with regards to keeping an energy-efficient home to cut back on your carbon footprint. And also for saving money on your home heating bills. And all of the advice is valid but it seems there is something missing.
In addition to doing things to curb your energy use, it also should be mentioned that there is a way to heat your home that puts many other methods to shame. And that is through radiant floor heating.
The concept is simple. It is a hydronic heat system in which tubes are installed underneath the floor. Then, hot water circulates around and heats the floor. Then the heat rises and the entire room is a comfortable temperature.
If you use a thermal imaging camera to find hidden moisture and hot spots, you will see how your home is much more evenly heated.
In this article, I will go over several of the benefits and even a downside or two of having radiant floor heating.
Uses less energy
Many heating systems are so inefficient that you need to put your boiler temperature up to over 150°F to get your house to a comfortable temperature. There is so much heat loss through the process that much of the energy is wasted.
With radiant floor heating, you only need the water set to around 85°F to get your house to a toasty temperature that lasts a long time.
A combi boiler is the best way to go to have hot water for domestic use and an energy efficient heater for the hydronic system.
No cold spots
When you have radiators scattered around the house, they heat the area where they are located first. So it is very hot right next to the radiator and then cool everywhere else. Then to get it warm all over, you have to have the heat on for a long time.
If your thermostat is near the radiator, the heat turns off before the room is heated. When your thermostat is in a cold spot, your heat is running all day and you end up with hot spots that are unbearably hot. This is when people will open a window to let in some cool air which ends up wasting even more energy.
With a radiant floor system, the entire floor is heated to the same temperature and the heat rises evenly everywhere. There are no cold spots anywhere in that room. As the heat rises, the air in the entire room is warmed so even though the heat will collect towards the ceiling, you will still feel the warmth everywhere.
Easy to run
Once your under floor heating system is installed, there is virtually no maintenance required after that. Many of these systems are guaranteed for 30 years, but you likely will get more than that before any issues arise.
Your boiler will likely need maintenance long before the floor system does and those boilers are built to last.
When you set up your system to work with a smart thermostat, then your life is made even easier as you don’t have to do much to set up the perfect schedule for heating. Many of these thermostats can set your temperature for you based on your usage using AI so it remembers your settings and turns on and off itself without needing to be programmed.
More floor space
Imagine not having any radiators around. All that floor space is now freed up. Not only that, but you would have to be careful about how you set up your room as some things wouldn’t be good right next to a radiator. Things like plants or a TV for example, can now be placed anywhere that you want.
Not every system is perfect and radiant floor heating is no exception. There are a couple of negatives to consider before setting your home up with it.
For starters, the installation is expensive and disruptive. You will need to take up your floor and then place the system and then replace the floor. Now, you can use just about any type of flooring you want so that is good, but the cost to do all this is very high.
Another issue is the time it takes to install. It can take up to a few days per room for this to work. The problem is that sometimes you will need to put a compound on top of the tubing which needs to dry. This can take two days before you can then add the flooring back on top.
And this is quite disruptive to your life if you need to live in the home while this is going on.