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Radiant Floor Heating

Radiant Floor Heating

Radiant Floor Heating
Time: 01:04
Watch an overview of the benefits of installing a radiant floor heating system in concrete floors.

Aside from saving money on your heating bill, radiant floor heating has many other benefits. Check out some other great reasons to install in floor heating below.

Comfortable Concrete Floors

With concrete floor radiant heat, your home will no longer have hot or cold spots - just even, quite, draft-free heat. Unlike heat from a forced-air system, which quickly rises to the ceiling, the heat from a radiant floor is distributed evenly throughout the room and is concentrated at floor level, where people are. You'll also be able to walk around comfortably on your concrete floor in bare feet year-round, even in winter.

Healthier Indoor Air Quality

Radiant in-floor heating is a healthier alternative to conventional forced-air heat because no air is blown through dusty or dirty ducts, which can circulate airborne pollutants throughout your home. Radiant heat also doesn't increase the infiltration of outside air. This dust-free operation can be especially beneficial for people who suffer from allergies, asthma and other breathing problems. You can further optimize air quality by installing a decorative concrete floor and leaving it exposed, rather than installing carpeting (see Why Concrete Is a Healthy Alternative).

Radiant Heat Is Invisible and Silent

One of the biggest pluses of radiant heat is that it's invisible and silent. The system is completely concealed under the floor and doesn't clutter walls and rooms with air vents, baseboards or wall radiators. This gives you greater freedom in furniture placement as well. You also won't hear the noisy fans of a forced-air system or the clanging pipes of a wall radiator. Other than feeling warm and comfortable, you won't even notice the system is operating.

Going Green with Radiant Floor Heating

Because of its energy efficiency and clean draft-free heat, concrete radiant floor heating offers numerous environmental benefits. Here are some of them:

  • Less energy required to achieve better thermal comfort at a lower thermostat setting.
  • Water has 3,500 times the energy transport capacity of air.
  • Adaptable to various energy-efficient heat sources, such as solar and geothermal.
  • Improved indoor air quality.
  • Radiant systems that use PEX tubing vs. copper pipe expedite hot water delivery and reduce water waste. The walls of PEX tubing provide better insulation than copper.
  • Reduces building materials required for concealing ductwork and compensating ceiling heights.
  • Provides more usable area, which allows for smaller spaces without sacrificing livability.

In-floor radiant heating can also help contribute to green building points under two recently introduced national programs: LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Homes (see A National Certification Program for Green Homes) and the National Association of Home Builders Green Building Program. The Radiant Panel Association worked with NAHB in developing its green home building guidelines, which were released in 2005. The RPA Guidelines for the Installation of Radiant Panel Heating and Snow/Ice Systems is included as a recognized design reference for earning green building points. In addition, builders can earn points for using an RPA-certified technician to install the system.

Information Sources:

Sustainability Solutions, a brochure from Uponor

2008 Radiant Flooring Guide, Radiant Panel Association