The Advantages of Radiant Floor Heating Systems

A profile of a radiant heated floor.

Everyone has experienced radiant heating. It's what happens when you spend all day cooking in the kitchen, and the room feels hotter than the rest of the house. So why not take this principle and apply it to your entire home? You can, with a radiant floor heating system.

Radiant floor heating systems aren't exactly easy to install, because they do need to be put in place underneath your flooring. These systems can be expensive, and they're certainly not the most common method of heating a home. So why bother with it at all? There are actually many advantages to a radiant floor heating system that may convince you to start ripping up tile.

More Heat, Fewer Allergies

Cement being poured over radiant floors.

Radiant heat doesn't have to travel from a central location, through ductwork, and out of vents to warm up your home. This means no heat is lost. Almost all the heat that is generated by a radiant floor heating system will benefit your home.

Since the heat isn't traveling through ductwork, radiant floor heating systems don't distribute allergens into the air the way forced air systems do. This leads to better air quality in your home.

Energy Efficiency

On the whole, radiant floor heating systems are more energy-efficient than forced-air systems. By some estimates, radiant floor heating is up to 30 percent more efficient than traditional forced-air systems. Radiant floor heating systems that use water to provide heat are especially efficient. These systems require less energy to deliver heat, and that translates directly into lower utility bills for you.

Less Equipment

Radiant floors in a home.

Regular forced-air systems are complicated. In order to function at all, they need ductwork that can reach every room of your home (if you want every room of your home to have heat, anyway). This infrastructure must be maintained in order to keep working. Ductwork can be difficult to access and costly to repair. Radiant floor heating systems require no ductwork. That means they use no registers, vents, radiators, or any of the components associated with forced-air heating systems. You also don't need a furnace system that takes up a lot of space. Fewer components mean a lot less ongoing maintenance.

Even Heat Distribution

It's a well-known fact that heat rises. This is why your floors can still feel icy cold even when the heater has been blasting all day. This won't happen with a radiant floor heating system. In fact, these systems provide a much more even heat distribution than more common forced-air systems. This is because the heat isn't entering the room from a central point (such as a vent). With radiant heat, the heat is present beneath the entire floor to make the room feel warm. The heat rises up directly from the floor continuously to provide constant, even warmth.

Silent But Cozy

Radiant floors in a home.

One huge benefit to radiant floor systems is that they're silent. You won't hear any air blowing. You won't hear the furnace kicking on. In fact, you won't hear anything at all. Radiant floor systems operate silently and highly efficiently. Until you no longer have to deal with the sounds of a furnace and air blowing everywhere, you may not even realize how annoying it really is.

Is a radiant floor heating system the best choice for you? That all depends. If you’re already planning on replacing floors or doing some extensive remodeling, definitely think about adding a project like this into the mix. If your forced-air system doesn’t function well or requires a lot of maintenance, you definitely want to consider doing something to have a more efficient system. If you have enormous heating bills, any reduction to that price will end up saving you money in the long run, even though the initial cost of a radiant floor heating system can be a little scary.