Q:

How does radiant heat flooring work?

A:

Quick Answer

Radiant heat flooring works when heat from an element installed beneath the floor of a room rises to heat the air. The two most popular types of radiant heat are electrical and hot water. Air can also be used to heat a room, but is considered inefficient.

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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.

The benefits of radiant heat flooring are that it is silent, cost-efficient and practically maintenance free. Homeowners who use radiant heat also claim that the heat produced is exceptionally comfortable because there are no layers of air in the room that are warmer or cooler than any others. Though radiant heat is more expensive to install than the traditional forced-air heating, it makes up for it in energy savings over the years.

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