- Radiant Floor Heating Home
- What are the Methods of Heating Radiant Floors?
- More FAQs: How much does it cost? Can the floor get too hot? Can the tubing leak?
- Benefits of In-Floor Radiant Heating
- Lower Heating Costs
- In-Floor Heating Benefits
- Installing Radiant Floor Heating Systems
- Installing Radiant Heat
- Retrofitting a Concrete Floor with Radiant Heat
- Other Resources
- Find a Uponor (formerly Wirsbo) Installer
- Common Questions about Concrete Floors: Are they cold? Are they loud? Are they expensive?
Radiant Floor Heating
Radiant Floor HeatingConcrete floor radiant heating makes floors feel like a sun-drenched beach while saving energy and improving comfort
Heating your home with a forced-air furnace isn't your only option when you have concrete floors. You can save energy and create a healthier, more comfortable living environment by having the floor itself distribute the heat-from the ground up-via a radiant in-floor heating system.
The science behind radiant floor heating is quite simple: Tubes that circulate hot water or electrical heating elements are installed in the concrete slab when it's poured, turning the thermal mass of the concrete into an inconspicuous radiator of warm, even heat. Among the many benefits: Your feet are always toasty warm, the temperature is consistent and easy to control, you won't feel the drafts or hear the noise of blowing air, and no dust or allergens get circulated within your home through air vents. Best of all, you'll typically pay lower utility costs than with a forced-air system, because concrete floor radiant heating consumes less energy to achieve the same level of comfort.
What if you have an existing concrete floor? Radiant heating is still an option. Newer ultra-thin electric heating mats are available that can be embedded in thin-set cement or gypsum overlays, allowing retrofitting over existing slabs without significantly raising the floor height. Here is more information about what radiant in-floor heating is, how it works, the benefits of radiant heat and where to find installers.
What exactly is radiant energy? Here is an excellent description provided by the Radiant Panel Association: Hold your hand over a cup of coffee and feel the heat. The logical conclusion is that heat rises. Logical maybe, but incorrect!
"Hot air" rises but "heat" can travel in many directions. That is why you can feel the heat of the coffee cup when you place your hand to the side of it. Radiant energy transfer is caused by a warm surface giving up its heat to a cooler surface.
Consider how the sun (10,000° F) heats the earth (61° F ). The sun radiates its energy towards the earth. The radiant energy is absorbed by the earth and is released as heat.
A radiant floor heating system simply radiates heat upward from the floor to provide optimum comfort and many other benefits.