Radiant Heat Systems
Heat under your feet.
Through the years, people have been pretty creative in developing ways to heat their homes. In addition to the standard systems such as forced-air and hot water/steam, there are other heating alternatives. One system that is growing in popularity is radiant heat.
Heats like an oven. If you've ever felt the warmth of a stove from across the room, you've experienced radiant heat. Radiant heat systems work by running heating elements, usually under the floor but sometimes through the ceiling or walls. Hydronic (liquid-based) radiant heat are the most common types. There are also electric systems available.
Radiant heat system efficiency. Radiant heating is more efficient than some other types of heat. Unlike forced air heat for example, no energy is lost through ducts. The lack of moving air can also be advantageous to people with severe allergies. Hydronic (liquid-based) systems use little electricity, a benefit for homes off the power grid or in areas with high electricity prices.
Electric radiant heating is more costly, but may make sense for additions onto homes for which it would be impractical to extend the heating system into the addition. However, homeowners should examine other options, such as mini-split heat pumps, which operate more efficiently and have the advantage of also providing cooling.
Radiant heating is very consistent and comfortable, and may be an option for a new home. However, because these systems usually have to be installed in the home's floor, they are quite costly.
Radiant cooling. Radiant systems that employ floor tubing can also be used to cool a house, but presently it is only appropriate for dry climates. In arid climates, the cool floor can be used to supplement or replace standard ducted air systems. However, in humid climates, problems with over-cooling the floor could lead to wet slippery surfaces and fungus growth. Radiant floor cooling technology is still in the experimental stages in most areas, but is rapidly gaining popularity in Europe where cooling needs are generally small.
Contact your local ARS®/Rescue Rooter® heating and air conditioning specialist today to learn more about the advantages of radiant heating and cooling systems.