Now more than ever, homeowners are doubling down on their investments to add comfort to their private sanctuaries and increase the value of their homes. Often the best home improvements are the ones that go unnoticed but make a world of difference in the comfort and efficiency of your home. In particular, radiant floor heating is making waves in the home improvement space. The addition of electric radiant floor heating elevates the luxury of a space by providing a uniform and efficient heat source – which is ideal once the temperatures start dropping.
The Romans can be credited for this savvy innovation having used wood-burning fireplaces under marble floors to keep warm. Today's homeowners are still enjoying the customizable efficiencies of electric radiant floor heating. With conventional forced-air heating systems, a room becomes uncomfortably stratified due to the natural convection of warm and cool air. Through radiant heat transfer, heat goes directly from the hot surface to the floor, warming a space and its occupants more efficiently.
Installation Customized to Your Home
There are two types of radiant floor heat – hydronic and electric. Each require different installation methods. Hydronic radiant floor heat utilizes hot liquid, which is forced through hydronic tubing embedded in the floor under the tile or stone floor. Hydronic floor warming systems are suitable for interior or exterior use and can be used to warm the room -- not just the floor. Electric floor warming systems are becoming more and more frequently used due to their flexibility, ease of use, quick installation and the fact that these systems can be added during renovation and new construction.
Maximize Savings and Efficiency
While some homeowners may be wary of installation costs, they will inevitably be put at ease by the savings on their heating bill. It has been reported that homeowners can expect an estimated 15% savings thanks to the efficiency of electric radiant floor heating over typical heating costs. A typical forced air heating system operates at over 160 degrees Fahrenheit while electric radiant heating systems function at just over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In conclusion, homeowners who implement this virtually maintenance-free system will not only reap its budget-friendly benefits but also have enhanced peace-of-mind.
Thanks to smart technology, homeowners can operate their electric radiant floor heating system with ease. Systems can be controlled through a mobile phone app or programmed using a touch-screen smart thermostat. Some systems even allow users to set different temperature zones for customized comfort and maximized efficiency. These smart thermostats also have the ability to learn the user’s routines for maximized system efficiency and use smartphone GPS location services to aid in system optimization and energy consumption.
The Right Choice for Healthy Homes
Radiant floor heating systems are also beloved by those suffering from allergies, asthma and chronic pain. Unlike conventional forced air heating systems, radiant heat does not stir-up allergens, dust, bacteria, mold and pet dander. As far as pain is concerned, it is well known that heat provides relief to sore muscles. In fact, some individuals claim radiant floor heating provides therapeutic benefits -- gently increasing circulation providing pain relief. Homeowners in cold climates also have enjoyed installing hydronic radiant heating in their driveways as a snow system to minimize the potential risk of slips and falls.
Choose Flooring That You Love
Radiant floor heating can be used with all types of flooring for endless design options. However, some work more efficiently than others. Materials with thermal-conducting properties are the optimal choice as they conduct, transfer and hold heat most efficiently, but that shouldn't stop homeowners from exploring other options.
When choosing floor coverings, consider how thickness will increase warming times, as well as the intended usage of the space. In a bathroom, for example, people desire frequent, fast and high-temperature warming so stone or ceramic tiling would be the best choice. Porcelain and ceramic tiling are the most popular option among homeowners because it is durable, thin and heats rapidly.
The beauty of radiant floor heating is that you can elevate the function, efficiency and experience in your home without sacrificing design aesthetics so be sure to consider this cozy addition to warm up your home this winter. As long as heating remains the largest energy use in homes, there will continue to be popular interest in finding and implementing energy-efficient systems.
Photo courtesy of Laticrete
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