How Does Radiant Floor Heating Work?


Quick Answer

Radiant floor heating involves the installation of water-heated tubing or electric heating coils under the floors in homes. The system allows the heat from the floor to warm everything it comes in contact with and radiates throughout the whole room from the ground.

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How Does Radiant Floor Heating Work?
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Full Answer

Radiant heat that uses electricity is usually placed in a single room and uses loops of resistance wire to heat the air. Radiant heat flooring that uses hot water is often installed throughout the house. The hot water comes from the building's own hot water heater or boiler and is pumped through cross-linked polyethylene tubes. These tubes can be installed in the subfloor, beneath the floor or even embedded in concrete. Any sort of flooring material can be placed over them, except for carpeting.

Some people prefer using radiant floor heating systems over furnaces because they are 30 percent more efficient than forced-air heating systems. The warmth remains constant from the floor to the ceiling of both old and new homes using radiant floor heating systems as compared to the standard forced-air system. Although radiant floor heating is most easily installed in new homes, old homes can also be retrofitted successfully with single room installations instead of whole-house installation.

Another important advantage of radiant floor heating system is that it is a silent source of heat without loud furnaces or air ducts. People with allergies also benefit from this heating system because it eliminates blowing air, thereby reducing dust mites to a considerable extent.

The concept of radiant floor heating started in ancient times when the Romans used hot water pipes to warm their floors. Since the 1970s many European nations have used radiant floor heating systems to warm their houses and save energy costs.

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