Keeping a home warm enough to be comfortable is a requirement in many areas of the country, especially during the winter months. There are a variety of home heating systems available with one of the common types being radiant heat systems. These are installed in many properties and can be an effective way to heat a home.
Radiant heat systems use the radiation of heat to deliver warmth to the people and items in a room rather than heating the air of the room itself. This can be done in a variety of ways with radiant floor heating being a common style. This can also be known simply as under floor heating and as heat rises this can be a good option to install.
Under floor radiant heat systems usually come in a couple of varieties. The first of these uses electricity as the heating method and involves installing electric cables in the floor. Plastic mats with electric cables included are also a common way of installing electric under floor radiant heating. Generally these are effective if they are used in a flooring system that has a thick concrete base as the concrete can store heat produced by the electricity and then release it slowly. This can be a cost effective system as the floor can be charged with heat during off-peak times. Without the thicker concrete floor it may be more impractical as the cost of electricity to effectively heat the system can be expensive.
The second common radiant under floor heating system can be more cost effective to run and comprises pipes being installed below the floor which have hot water flowing through them. The water is heated by a central boiler which pumps the water through the system. Thermostats can be used to control the heat in every room so that each is at a comfortable temperature for whoever is using it.
Whether electricity or hot water is used as the radiant heating system, there are two basic types of under floor installation. These comprise wet floor systems where the cables or pipes are embedded directly into the floor, usually during construction. Dry floor systems typically comprise installing the cables or pipes in an air space between the floor and foundation. Radiant dry flooring systems are typically easier and less expensive to install, although they need to be run at a higher temperature as they are heating an air space.
Radiant heat systems can also be installed in walls and ceilings rather than under the floor. These types of heating systems typically involve installing radiant panels in convenient locations in a room. Electricity or hot water pipes can be used to heat the panels which then radiate warmth into a room.
There are a few manufacturers that produce radiant heat systems with some of these including SunTouch, Nuheat and Thermosoft. Under floor systems are the most common and they can be found for sale at a range of outlets with online retailers such as Warm Your Floor being an example of this. They can also be found in-store at home improvement retailers with Home Depot being an example of this. Costs will depend on the type of system installed and the size of a property. However as an example of cost a 10 square foot radiant floor warming mat from SunTouch can cost around $130.
Radiant heat systems can be a good option for keeping your home warm during colder periods of the year. Whichever style you choose they can effectively heat the rooms in your home and keep you comfortable no matter the temperature outside.