Benefits of Radiant Heating

Are you an allergy sufferer who needs clean air during the heating season? Would you like to save money on your utility bills? Are you tired of rattling, noisy steam radiators? Are you fed-up with soot and dirt marks ruining your walls when forced air heating is used?

If you answered yes to any one of these questions, contact a Seattle Radiant Heating Contractor for a free, no obligation estimate on installing clean and efficient Seattle  radiant heating in your home.

Unlike forced air heating systems that blow air through ducts and pick up allergens, irritants and pollutants as well as dirt, radiant floor heating is heat that circulates through radiation (not nuclear, air current radiation) so it is clean. Also, as the hot air is not forced through ducts where hot air is often lost or diluted it is more efficient to operate. Finally, unlike steam radiators the only thing that moves through a radiant floor heating system is heat – it is absolutely silent.

When you walk into a kitchen and someone is using the cook top on your stove you often feel the heat from it. This is radiant heat. Don’t be misled though, radiant heat is dependent on air currents in each room to move the air, so it is also dependent on a phenomena called convection.

There are three types of radiant heat:

  1. Radiant air floors
  2. Radiant electric floors
  3. Hydronic, or hot water radiant heating

These are further classified by the type of installation:

  • Wet installations
  • Dry installation

For the most part, air is a poor conductor of heat and radiant air floors are not a very good choice and are used infrequently. Electric radiant heat floors have heating cables built into the floors. However, they work best when encased in concrete allowing for what is known as thermal mass. Also, electric is expensive, electric radiant floor heating makes sense when your electric company offers time-of-use-rates. This allows you to heat up your thermal mass during off peak hours and keep your home warm with out having to run the system during peak hours.

Hydronic radiant floor heating is the most popular kind of system installed in homes. For homes in colder climates they are the most efficient systems to operate. Tubes are laid on the flooring. The heating contractor will lay the tubing out in a pattern to heat the area and then connect the tubes to a boiler that pumps hot water through the floor. Some systems are outfitted with thermostats that control the flow of hot water into an area.

Whether you choose electrical cables or tubing there are two way of installing radiant heating.

“Wet” installations involves embedding the heat carrier in concrete. As concrete makes for a good thermal mass it has been the most popular type of radiant heating as it is the most efficient. However, “dry” installations are gaining in popularity as they less expensive to install and far easier if the installation is in an older home. In a dry installation the heat carriers run between the floor and a sub-floor. Since air space has to be heated under the floor as well they are not as efficient as a wet installation. However, by adding aluminum reflectors and insulation a good deal of the heat can be recovered.

Usually, tile floors are the best form of floor covering for radiant heated floors as they do not insulate but actually conduct heat. Any other flooring material can be used, carpet, linoleum and wood among them. Since these materials tend to insulate the floor, utility bills will be higher.

Contact us today for a free estimate and consultation for using radiant floor heating in your home.