Stay Warmer This Winter with Radiant Floors
One of the worst parts of winter is stepping out of your bed or shower onto an ice-cold floor. With radiant floor heating, you can say goodbye to that and hello to warm, toasty floors that keep the whole house cozy. Here’s what you need to know about this increasingly popular heating alternative.
Types of Radiant Floor Heating Systems
Radiant flooring is installed under your floors. It uses heat’s natural tendency to rise to help the floors and the whole house receive even amounts of heat.
• Radiant air floor: This type of floor uses air as the heat-carrying medium. Because air cannot hold a lot of heat, this flooring isn’t cost-effective for homes. It is most often used in commercial applications for rooms that can’t be heated otherwise.
• Electric radiant floors: Electric radiant floors have electric heating cables built into the flooring. They are only energy-efficient if you use them under a cement floor, which supplies enough thermal mass to hold the heat. The floor will stay warm for several hours without using a lot of electricity.
• Hydronic or liquid radiant floors: A so-called liquid radiant floor has tubing embedded in it and laid in a particular pattern. Heated water from a boiler is pumped through the tubes to keep the flooring warm. This type is the most energy-efficient and affordable type of radiant flooring.
How Is Radiant Flooring Installed?
There are two common installation methods for radiant floors. The wet installation refers to floors that use a large, thermal mass like a concrete floor as the base. Thick concrete slabs are excellent for radiant flooring because they hold heat for a long time.
In a dry installation, the installer places the radiant floor tubing between two layers of plywood or attaches it under a finished floor. A dry installation is faster and more affordable to install, but it requires the heating system to run at a higher temperature than a wet-installed system.
What Are Some Benefits of Radiant Floor Heating?
• Cleaner air: A radiant system doesn’t push allergens and other airborne toxins around the way forced-air heating does. If someone in your home suffers from allergies, radiant heating is an excellent alternative.
• Efficiency: We all know that heat rises, and radiant flooring makes use of this basic principle to distribute heat evenly throughout a room. Although radiant flooring is expensive to install, it is highly energy efficient.
• Esthetics: Because it’s under or inside the floor, you don’t see a radiant flooring system. Some people dislike the look of radiant ceilings or wall panels, but that’s not a problem with a radiant floor. You can install one under any type of flooring.
Is Your Home Ready for Radiant Flooring?
You’ll need a new electrical circuit dedicated to the flooring system. The average system requires a 20-amp, GFCI-protected circuit to power the system. You will also need a new thermostat.
Your installer will cover the floor with a series of heating cables, connect them to a thermostat on the new circuit, and cover the cables with flooring.
We strongly recommend getting the professional installation of the circuit, cables, and other components of your radiant floor.
Call SESCOS for All Your Electrical Needs
SESCOS can help you prepare your home for radiant floors. If you need a new circuit for any reason, contact us to get started on an efficient new heating system and warm, cozy toes.