Even in Orlando’s mild winters, it’s still nice to enjoy consistent heating and comfortably warm floors throughout the house. Radiant flooring can provide both of these things.
Where Radiant Flooring Shines
Radiant (or in-floor) heating systems have several advantages over traditional forced-air systems such as furnaces and heat pumps.
- More even heat – While forced-air systems produce warm air, radiant floor systems heat people and objects. This type of heat makes you feel warmer, allowing you to keep the thermostat lower than you would with a furnace to save energy.
- Better indoor air quality – Forced-air systems blow air around, kicking up dust, pollen and other contaminants that can aggravate allergies and asthma. Radiant floor systems leave your indoor air still and clean.
- A quieter home – With a radiant floor system, there’s no noise from a fan motor or air whooshing through ductwork.
Most radiant floor heating systems are either electric or hydronic (water). Electric systems consist of mats or mesh fitted with electric heating cables that are installed under the floor. While these are usually the easiest to install, the relatively high cost of electric heating makes them best used in small spaces such as the bathroom.
Hydronic systems consist of tubes installed under the floor to circulate hot water from a boiler. Installation isn’t as simple as with electric systems, but they’re cheaper to run because natural gas can be used to fuel the boiler. This makes hydronic systems the preferable choice for heating the entire house.
Both systems are easier to install during the home’s construction, but they can be retrofitted in finished homes, too. While it’s sometimes possible to install an electric system while keeping the floor intact, installing a hydronic system requires tearing up the floor.
To get the most from radiant floor heating, you’ll need a floor covering that stores and transfers heat efficiently. Tile is ideal, but linoleum and thin carpeting are also options. Hardwood and thick carpeting are best avoided.
Considering radiant flooring for your home or want more information? If so, contact us at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions in Orlando.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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