Because a warm floor on bare feet is such a comfort, no matter what climate you call home, people think first of the bathroom in most cases, when the subject of radiant floor heating comes up. It might be a simple pleasure, but it runs deep, to feel warmth meet your feet at the beginning and end of the day.
Fact is, the luxury of that feeling is just one of the advantages you can look forward to, when you consider installing heated floors. People everywhere are considering it nowadays as part of new construction, as well as in remodeling and renovation, because there are a whole lot of ways that radiant heating makes sense.
How it Works
Here’s how it works and why it’s different. Conventional heating systems warm the air. Floor heating warms the people and objects in a room directly, rather indirectly through the air. Folks describe it as being like the warmth of the sun, a radiant quality. Heating elements in the floor transmit the warmth, and so people feel warm even when the air in the room is actually cooler. They say it’s like standing in sunlight rather than shade. This is one of several possibilities for actually saving energy costs with radiant floor heating in the home.
Two main options are available for those heating elements, electric heating elements and hydronic, or hot-water-based systems. Electric elements are woven in a serpentine pattern beneath the floor’s surface. Hydronic systems use hot water pumped through plastic tubing. Initial cost of hydronic systems is higher because they call for a boiler, a pump, and gas lines, yet they are ideal for whole-home systems – especially if installed during original construction.
Electric element-based systems are much easier to retrofit, and ideal for adding comfort to limited spaces, such as the bathroom. Even if you are not barefoot, one of the biggest benefits of floor heating systems still shows up – uniform heating. The whole room is warmed uniformly, rather than varying in warmth depending on your distance from a vent. As a result, people feel more comfortable at lower heat settings.
And Now the Surprise
Electric floor-heating systems are at least 25% more efficient than forced-air systems. The reason is that the heat is transmitted directly and does not lose energy traveling through ductwork. Another source of efficiency is that electric floor-heating systems take only 30 to 60 minutes to reach setting-temperature. As a result, programmable thermostats and digital controls can be employed to customize your home’s warmth whether you are there or away and avoid unnecessary energy consumption.
It all depends on how you use your home and how you like it to feel. Let’s get together and discuss whether radiant floor heating has a place there, whether for the comfort of a bathroom or for the efficiency of a whole home system. Connecting your vision with the finest concepts that design has to offer is our passion and our pursuit.