Furnace Fiascos Avoided

Tired of Cold Drafts in Your House During the Winter When Your Heater Is Running? Consider Upgrading to Radiant Heating

When you live in a climate with harsh winters, and your home has a dated HVAC system, it is likely that there is an uneven distribution of heat in your house. This can be frustrating as you move about your home and walk into cold pockets of air when the heat is running. Instead of resorting to placing space heaters around the house to make up for the lack of warmth in certain rooms, consider upgrading your HVAC system with a radiant-heating system underneath your flooring.

There are many benefits to outfitting your home with radiant heat, and the investment will pay off when your HVAC system does not have to run as hard, increasing your energy bill, to keep your entire house cozy.

Radiant-Heating Basics

With radiant heat, warmth comes from up the floor and helps to keep rooms at a uniform temperature. Your HVAC contractor can install the floor panels that contain pipes that heat up via electricity or hot water. Floor heating is efficient because warmth is not lost via air ducts but comes directly to the surface.

You do not have to replace your existing HVAC system to install radiant heating. The new installation will augment your existing heating system. You can choose to power the floor heating via solar power, your existing boiler, or electricity. Radiant-heating panels can be connected to a programmable thermostat so you can adjust the heating level to exact specifications.

Types of Radiant-Heat Systems

Your HVAC contractor can help you decide what type of radiant-heating system is the most efficient and cost effective for you home. The three main types of floor heating systems include electric, air-heated, and hydronic.

An electric system has subfloor panels with electric cables that transmit heat to the surface. An air-heated system uses hot air pumped through the pipes for heating. A hydronic system consists of panels with pipes that transmit water heated from a boiler.

All three systems have sensors that are controlled by your thermostat to help keep the floors at an optimum temperature.

Installation of Radiant Heat

While it is possible to perform a DIY installation of radiant-heat panels, the task is not for the faint of heart. If you do not have extensive experience working with electricity and HVAC systems as well as performing complicated home-improvement projects, it is in your best interest to hire a professional.

An HVAC pro can help you select the most energy-efficient materials for your radiant-heating system. Plus, you will not have to worry about whether or not the floor heating was installed properly if you hire a pro.

Financial Incentives

Your heating contractor may also be able to help you apply for rebates offered by your energy company for radiant-heating installation. Some states also offer rebates for energy-efficient upgrades like floor heating. In addition, check with your accountant to find out if qualify for any federal tax credits for upgrading your HVAC system with radiant heating.

Covers for the Floor After the Installation

You can still have beautiful, traditional flooring after you install radiant heating. Since the heating system is under the floor boards, the heating system is not invasive and will not hamper any of your interior decorating. The floor heating system sits under ceramic tiles that you can cover with carpeting, hardwood, and engineered wood floors.

With hardwood, you want to make sure that you let your home acclimate to hot-water radiant heating for at least two weeks before installing the wood flooring. Hardwood is not ideal for electric radiant-heating systems.

With radiant heating in your bathroom and other areas of your home, you will never have to trek across cold floors when you wake up in the morning. Plus, floor heating is silent, unobtrusive, and does not introduce contaminants into the air via dirty air ducts.