As often happens, the old has become new. This is true of one of the newest trends in heating – radiant heat, particularly radiant floor heat. Its history literally goes back thousands of years to Rome and Asia.
Yet radiant heating is also new given current technological and design changes. It has now become an attractive heating alternative by building on its history and combining that with new approaches.
The trend is specifically toward radiant floor heat.
One of its most appealing features is the warm floor it offers us when we get up in the morning. The cold floor is gone! Now our bare feet are met by warmth.
More significant, however, is the way radiant floor heat works. Coming up from the floor, it heats people and objects in a room rather than just the room’s air. It also makes for a more consistent temperature in a room – one part of a room doesn’t feel warmer than another.
There is no forced air with radiant floor heating so the systems are quieter than other heating systems and they usually translate into considerably lower utility costs. Radiant floor heating is also a more efficient system than baseboard and forced air systems because no energy is lost through ducts.
It is a form of heating that can also be beneficial to allergy sufferers because there is no moving air. Heat radiates up from the floor.
You also won’t have to arrange furniture around this heating system. There are no heat ducts or heating units you’ll need to leave open in order to avoid blocking the heat. You can design your rooms however you want rather than be restricted to where you can place items.
There are three kinds of radiant floor heating systems:
- Air heated radiant floors
- Electric radiant floors
- Hydronic radiant floors
Of these, it is the hydronic radiant floors systems (meaning liquid systems) that are the most popular and cost effective.
When planning a remodeling or a new home build, be sure to take some time to explore radiant floor heating. You may find it a very attractive option!
For more information on radiant heating, see Radiant Heating (U.S. Department of Energy).
Link: http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12590/Michael Nash Design, Build & Homes
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