When the Wisconsin temps drop, we all are start looking for warmth…from hot cocoa, warm fires, radiant heating, comfort foods… the list could go on and on. We were once told you can never be warm enough, and that definitely rings true for homes with radiant heating. Radiant heating is an even, comfortable, and efficient form of heating that brings up visions of warmth—and lots of questions about how to get this form of heating in your home.
What is radiant floor heating?
Radiant floor heating is a heating system that is usually installed under flooring (which is why it’s also called under floor heating). The heat generated radiates up from the floor, warming the floor and air in the room.
What are the benefits of radiant floor heating?
Radiant heating is energy-efficient, and doesn’t lose energy through heat loss from ducts in forced air systems. Radiant floor heating is most efficient without dropping the temperature at night or when you are away like traditional forced air systems.
Radiant floor heating is ideal for families with allergies, because it does not circulate allergens through ducts like forced air systems. In new construction, radiant floor heating can be run throughout your home or shop so you don’t have hot and cool zones.
Can radiant heating be installed in my home?
There are two ways to install radiant floor heating in new construction and existing homes: via an electric mat or with a boiler and tubing in the floor. The first way, an electric mat, can be installed in any home. Electric radiant heating is usually used in certain rooms, such as a bathroom or kitchen. If you don’t have any heating in a room, such as a room that is added on, electric mat heating may be your answer.
If you have hydonic heating in your home (or will be in your new construction), radiant floor heating works with your water boiler which pumps water to radiant floor heating lines. This kind of heating is ideal for whole homes, in a basement, or in a room that doesn’t warm like the rest of your home.
What kind of flooring can be installed over radiant heating?
One of the best aspects of radiant floor heating is that it can be installed under almost any kind of flooring. Other than hardwood flooring, there are many other options of flooring that can be installed over an electric mat or radiant floor tubing:
- If you’re considering installing carpet over radiant floor heating, make sure you mention it to the folks at the flooring store so they can recommend a carpet pad so you can feel the warmth.
- Since hardwood flooring isn’t a possibility, laminate floors are your way to put in flooring with the look of wood.
- Any kind of tile can be installed over radiant floor heating, including stone, ceramic, or porcelain. Tile is one of the most common choices because radiant floor heating can give your tile a warm feel—even when the temps drop.
- Engineered hardwood. Engineered hardwood is a manufactured floor, and certain engineered hardwood products can be installed over radiant floor heating.
How much does radiant floor heating cost?
This is the million dollar question. The way to find out how much radiant floor heating would cost to install in your existing or new construction is to contact your local HVAC company and request a quote. They can give you the numbers that help you in your decision, as well as information based on their experience and expertise.