Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating
Homeowner’s Popular Choice
The number one reason consumers choose hydronic radiant floor heating is comfort. The system eliminates chilly drafts. There’s no need for fans to move air around. In today’s new home designs, hydronic heating makes even more sense. Rooms (bathrooms included) are larger, with higher ceilings and lots of tile and other cold surfaces. With forced-air heating, these spaces generally feel cold. That’s no longer a problem with radiant heating; even the tile floors will feel warm to the touch.
This system also allows greater flexibility when it comes to furniture arrangement. With forced-air systems, occupants must strategically place their furniture to accommodate ducts. With radiant heating, furniture can go anywhere because there are no ducts or registers.
At its most basic, hydronic radiant floor heating involves heating a structure by pumping warm water through specially designed tubing laid under or within the floor. The heat in these tubes radiates to the surface and rises evenly throughout the room above. The surface (be it floor or ceiling) stays comfortable and warm to the touch. This tremendously efficient heat transfer results in even and consistent draft-free heating.
Warm air rises and collects near the ceiling. In a home heated by a forced air furnace, ceilings usually end up being warmer than the floors. With radiant floor heat, the opposite is true. The floor is warm and so is the air up to the height sensed by the occupants. Thus, people within the space feel much more comfortable at lower temperature settings because the heat is radiating from the floor.
The hydronic tubing which delivers this heat is laid on the subfloor and covered with a flowable gypsum product – lightweight concrete – this is called a “wet” system. It can also be installed underneath the wooden subfloor in the available joist space – which is called a “dry” system.
This system, when properly designed, allows any floor surface to be placed above it, including carpeting, ceramic tile, vinyl flooring, and wood.
Comfortable and Efficient
The surface temperature of the floor is designed to be no higher than 85 degrees, so it’s always comfortable to walk on. HeatLink operates at the lowest possible water temperature to heat the structure. This level provides the most efficient transfer of energy. There are no wide temperature variations like you experience with forced air systems. It’s also quiet – there are no noisy fans or blowers to contend with – just quiet comfort.
Energy efficiency is one of the system’s strong points because the system delivers heat where it’s needed, with little waste and homeowners can put a thermostat in every room of the house, and unused rooms set back to keep from wasting energy on unused space.
Think “Radiant,” Like the Sun
A boiler or water heater powers radiant floor heating systems – no furnace is needed. Often, the floor heating system can be combined with a potable hot water delivery system for cooking, bathing and laundry. Many homes today have vaulted ceilings. With forced-air systems, these large open spaces require ceiling fans to blow air up or down, depending on the season. But with radiant heat, warm air is already where you want it!