Radiant floor heating is one of the newest home heating options available, but it is quickly growing in popularity due to a number of advantages compared to conventional forced-air heating. Here are four reasons you should consider radiant heating for your home.
More Comfortable Heat
One of the biggest problems of forced-air heating is that the warm air quickly rises to the ceiling after it enters a room. Not only does this mean that a lot of heat is concentrated in an area of the room where it can't be felt, but also you will notice an uncomfortable drop in temperature as soon as the heat is turned off and air stops circulating.
Radiant floor heating uses hot-water pipes or electric wires beneath the floor to radiate heat upward. Rather than relying on air to transfer heat, the heating elements radiate infrared waves upward to warm the bottom half of each room first. This means the part of the room that is occupied will be warmed evenly, and you will notice no immediate change in temperature when you turn your heating system off.
Higher Efficiency Than Forced-Air Systems
Because conventional systems warm your home by heating the air, any air that escapes your home is energy wasted. Unknown holes in ductwork and gaps around doors and windows are one of the largest sources of inefficiency for these systems.
Radiant floor heating suffers much less from energy loss due to escaping air. Much of the heat that you feel from this type of system is directly transferred from infrared waves. While commonly a source of heat loss in conventionally heated homes, window glass is actually very effective at reflecting these waves back into the home.
Because radiant floor heating does not raise the temperature of the air as much as forced-air systems, the difference in temperature between indoor and outdoor air is lower. This lower temperature differential helps to reduce infiltration of cold air and loss of warm air, even in homes that are not perfectly insulated. These factors work together to allow you to run your radiant heating system less often than you would a conventional system while still being comfortable.
Better Indoor Air Quality
While furnace filters are effective at reducing the amount of airborne contaminants that enter your ductwork, they cannot stop everything from getting through. After years of use, the interior of a home's ducts can become coated with more dust and allergens than many homeowners realize. Unless you have your ducts cleaned regularly, indoor air quality will decrease as a result of these contaminants building up.
With no ducts and no circulation of air, radiant heating systems will naturally have no negative impact on indoor air quality. This saves you from the expense of having your home's ducts cleaned on a yearly basis and can reduce the occurrence of allergy flare-ups and respiratory problems.
Zone Heating Capability
In most cases, only a few rooms in your home will be occupied at the same time. While you may think that closing the vent registers in rooms that are unused will save energy, this is actually not the case. Forced-air systems will still distribute the same amount of air through your ducts no matter which registers are closed. In fact, closing vent registers forces your HVAC system to work harder to circulate air, and can lead to duct leaks, increased air leakage, and other problems.
Many radiant floor heating systems solve this problem by providing zone heating capability. When choosing a radiant heating system for your home, look for one with room-by-room temperature controls so you can heat only the rooms you are using and reduce your energy bill even further.
As these advantages show, radiant floor heating is an option that every homeowner should consider when it is time to replace their old HVAC system. For more information, contact a business such as Winters Heating Cooling & Indoor Air Quality.Share