Radiant heating systems are the most energy-efficient way of warming a home. Radiant heat works by circulating warm water or air to circulate throughout a room. The warm air passes through the ceiling, creating warmth and comfort when you want it. This kind of heating is also known as hydronic. It is more energy-efficient than forced-air systems because it only heats the areas that need to be heated, while forced-air systems heat the entire room. Since radiant heat is more efficient, you save money on your energy bill. In addition, it can keep you comfortable even when the temperature outside changes drastically. Systems can be used for cooling and warming in the summer or winter, depending on how they are set up. Radiant heat is the right choice for a home when:
Constructing A New Home
Radiant systems are ideal when building a new home. A radiant floor heat system installed in a new home can heat the entire structure. The benefit of this type of installation is that the tubing will not be visible at the finished look of your home. It is important to choose the right heater for your needs and situation. A typical radiant floor system requires an electrical source, while hydronic systems require water and an outlet. A homeowner with basic carpentry skills can install electric systems, but professionals should only install hydronic systems.
The professional can inspect your crawl space or basement and determine which type of system would work best for one’s needs and budget. Heat systems provide warmth similar to that of conventional forced-air units and offer many advantages over them as well. They use less electricity because they do not rely on fans and ductwork to distribute warm air throughout the house. They eliminate cold drafts underneath the door since they keep the air colder near the floor.
The benefits of radiant heat are psychological: it feels nice to walk barefoot on a warm floor. So, the decision is partly an aesthetic one, based on how much you like walking barefoot on a warm floor. Suppose your home is already so carefully climate-controlled that you can’t even change the temperature by opening a window. Radiant heat will be even more of a luxury than it already is.
But if someone doesn’t have air conditioning, or if they do but use it rarely and hate to turn it on when the temperature is below 80 degrees, then radiant heat might make sense. Someone can install radiant flooring systems independently, but one must buy all new flooring. If the floors aren’t level or obstructions like steps or doorways that complicate the installation are difficult, then it may be worth paying someone else to do it.
However, even if you already have central air conditioning in your main living area and are not planning any additional, choosing radiant systems could still pay off down the road. But it’s still always a good idea to contact a local Stamford HVAC company to understand what you’ll need in certain circumstances.
Building An Addition
Radiant heating works especially well when building an addition because it’s faster to put in the piping during construction than afterward. If planning to build anyway, it’s worth looking into a radiant system as an option; it’s less risky than ever before with the new tiles. When building an addition to a house, the focus is on the existing floor plan.
A person will be extending one room at a time to control how it all fits together. Some designs require that heat be distributed through ductwork before reaching the floor. In such cases, radiant heat may not be an option. But if the design doesn’t require ductwork and includes an open floor plan extending into the future addition, a radiant heat system is worth considering.
The biggest problem with radiant heat is that it requires more space than conventional forced-air systems, and it is far less effective at cooling your home. Since installing a radiant system in an existing home is almost impossible, most homeowners will have to build an addition to take advantage of this type of system.
Converting From Forced-air Heating Systems
The right time to install a radiant heat system is converting from a forced-air system. When converting from a forced-air heat system, installing a radiant heat system is the right time. There is no need to do anything special when replacing an old forced-air system with a new one of the same type. While radiant heaters are more expensive than forced-air systems, they will pay off in the long run because they require fewer repairs.
The savings in repairs alone can more than makeup for the higher installation costs of radiant heaters over forced air systems. You should consider installing radiant heat if you want to reduce your expenses and lower your carbon footprint at the same time. Installing a radiant heating system requires some planning but can save you thousands of dollars over the life.
When Do You Need It
If your furnace or boiler goes out in the winter, someone will probably choose between waiting for repairs which may take a while, and installing something temporary, like a heat pump. But if you are planning to replace your furnace or boiler in the future anyway, a radiant system is an excellent choice. It’s not as expensive as a whole-house system, it’s quicker to install, and it can be installed in phases so that you can see how well it works for you.
Trying out a radiant heat system first can make sense, even if you’re not planning on changing your furnace within the next year or two. More and more people are deciding to stay put rather than move each time they change jobs, so maybe one can retire in the current house. Or maybe they want to stay put because of the kids’ schools or other reasons. In that case, a radiant heat system will pay off by making your house more comfortable and energy-efficient, which is, therefore, more valuable.