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The Advantages of Radiant Floor Heating

Sep 12, 2008
Radiant floor heating offers many advantages over other forms of heat for business or home.

Radiant floor heating is a series of pipes coiled in a room under the subflooring. Heated water is forced through the pipes, and heat naturally rises through the room from these pipes. With radiant floor heating, there are no cold tile or hardwood floors. People with poor circulation in their feet, such as the elderly and diabetics, will appreciate always getting out of bed to a warm floor beneath their cold feet. Parents too like a warm floor when babies are learning to crawl or toddling around in their bare feet.

While radiant floor heating works on the same principal as steam or forced water radiators, radiant floor heating offers several advantages over a wall-mounted radiator. Wall-mounted radiators can cause hot and cool spots in a room, depending on your distance from the radiator. However, a radiant floor heating system covers the entire room under the floor, creating even heat distribution. Radiators are hot to the touch, which can cause burns. Because the radiant floor system is under the flooring, though, there are no hot pipes to touch, and the floor underfoot is never more than pleasantly warm.

Radiators also take up precious wall space, as furniture cannot be pushed up against them, and because they create hot spots, furniture has to be arranged so that no one sleeps or sits too close to the radiator. However, as the radiant floor system is buried under the flooring, it takes up no space and does not cause hot spots.

Radiant floor heating systems are usually cheaper to operate than wall-mounted radiators as well. Wall-mounted radiators have to have very hot water and get well-heated in order to cause convection, the movement of cooler air towards the radiator and the movement of warmer air away from it to heat the entire room. Because the radiant floor heating system distributes its heat evenly over the entire room, convection is not necessary. This means that the radiant floor system does not have to have such hot water in order to work effectively, lessening energy costs.

The primary advantage of the radiant floor heating system over a forced air system is air quality. Furnaces and heat pumps cause the air in a building to dry out rapidly. This can cause a lot of problems for people with sinus or lung issues. Also, coming in from cold and damp to hot and dry can be hard on people with poor health. People with allergies suffer under forced air systems as well because such systems stir up allergens and the dryness causes them to linger in the air longer than usual. Duct work can also harbor allergens, such as mold, compounding the problem.

In most cases, radiant floor heating, when properly installed and insulated, is cheaper to operate than any other system on the market today, and is considered by most to be the most comfortable home heating system as well.
About the Author
David Wilson is the man behind the Radiant Floor Heating Guide. Visit the site to learn more about the various types of radiant floor heating, including electric radiant floor heating.
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