Despite their strengths, conventional heating systems can’t always provide the kind of gentle warmth we need in Orlando’s mild winters. Radiant heating offers an efficient alternative.
Warm Floors, Warm Home
A radiant floor system uses wires or pipes under the floor to circulate heat. This heat rises from the floor, warming people and furnishings rather than the air. Most installations are one of two types.
Hydronic – In this system, pipes under the floor circulate hot water from a boiler. Due to its energy efficiency, this is the most commonly installed type of radiant floor and can be used throughout the house.
Electric – This system uses loose cables or mats containing cables, which are installed under the floor. Because heating with electricity is relatively expensive, this type of radiant floor is usually reserved for small rooms such as a bathroom.
These systems are most cost-effective when installed during construction, but they can be retrofit into an existing home. A hydronic system requires a boiler, so this is an additional cost to consider if you don’t already have one.
Can Radiant Heating Work for You?
Because radiant systems heat you and your furniture directly, they create an even, enveloping warmth that’s more consistent than warmth from a forced-air system. Heating with a boiler is also more energy efficient than using a forced-air system that loses some of its energy through the ducts.
No air being blown around means less dust, mold spores, and other contaminants circulating, which can help reduce allergy and asthma symptoms.
The main disadvantage of hydronic systems is their dependence on a boiler and the difficulty of installing them in existing buildings, which requires tearing out the floor. Electric systems are somewhat easier to install, but not as energy efficient.
Radiant heat systems also limit you to heat-conducive flooring such as stone, tile, and laminate flooring. Carpet impairs the flow of heat and most natural wood and vinyl flooring are at high risk of warping from the heat.
If you’re interested in enjoying radiant heating in your home, contact us at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions in the Orlando area.
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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