Is In-Floor Heating What You Need?

 

These cold winter months may have you thinking about improving your home’s heating system. Whether it’s eliminating the shock of a cold bathroom floor as you step out of the shower, or lowering an outrageously high heating bill, installing radiant in-floor heating may be the ideal solution for you.

 

What is Radiant Floor Heating?

 

Imagine taking your cold, wet boots off only to step onto a cozy, warm floor. Many families love the comfort in-floor heating offers. Unlike standard central heating systems that blow warm air into your home, radiant floor heating involves embedding wires, cables, or pipes underneath your floor.

There are two common ways to put a radiant floor heating system in place: with electricity, or with hot water, which is known as a hydronic system. 

Electric 

For smaller projects, it is generally simpler and more affordable to install electric in-floor heating. The process involves laying heat cable under your floor that connects to a thermostat. The cost of materials will usually cost less than with a hydronic system, but since you’ll be paying more for electricity, the operating cost can be more expensive.

Hydronic 

If you already have a boiler or a water heater, a hydronic radiant floor heating system may be best. Heated water will run through tubing underneath your floor. Since these systems can generally produce more heat at a lower operating cost than electric, they may be a better option for heating more than one room.

 

Factors to Consider Before Switching to In-Floor Heating

 

Cost 

The cost-effectiveness of your radiant floor heating system will depend on the size of your house, whether the installation is a stand-alone project or part of a remodel, and who you hire.

If you have lower ceilings and smaller rooms, heated floors are a way to increase energy efficiency and lower your utility bills. You can expect less of the heat created by in-floor heating to escape, since standard HVAC systems regularly push air all around your home, and some of it is bound to be pushed out through any existing cracks. Radiant floor heating cuts down on that airflow, keeping more heat inside for longer.

However, it will generally cost more to install radiant floor heating as opposed to a standard HVAC system. And If your home has high ceilings and large rooms, you may not save that money on lower energy bills in the future. It’s important to talk to a trustworthy contractor about whether radiant floor heating is suitable for your entire home, or maybe just one room.

 

Noise 

Many furnaces and HVAC systems make disruptively loud noises when they kick on and off. Some are even noticeably noisy the entire time they are blowing air. Radiant floor heating can greatly cut back on noise, especially if you choose an electric system. 

Since hydronic radiant floor heating relies on water, some people report hearing gurgling in the pipes, but this is an issue that a reputable contractor can fix.

 

Air Quality

Forced-air heating systems can suck all of the humidity out of your home, disturbing your sinuses, skin, and eyes. The air can also kick up dust and cause seasonal allergens to circulate all over your house. In-floor heating calms all of that air, while still warming you up from your toes to your nose. Radiant floor heating shouldn’t be considered an out-of-reach commodity that is only available to the rich and famous. It can be a smart, affordable way to heat one room, or your entire house. 

If you’re interested in finding out whether in-floor heating is a good option for your house, give us a call today. Our experienced team will help determine which type of heating system makes the most sense for your space.