Radiant heating has been around since ancient Roman times; of course what they had then – men whose full time jobs were fueling the fire to heat the water flowing through the pipes – was not nearly as sophisticated as your options today. But just because it’s a more advanced system doesn’t mean it’s something for everyone. So how do you know it’s right for you? How do you decide if it’ll be beneficial or not? You can begin by asking yourself a few questions:
- Is your heating bill unbearable? Forced air and baseboard systems are far less efficient than radiant heating. Because under-floor systems heat the room from the bottom up rather than sending warm air to the ceiling, letting it fall, and cooling down, they have a shorter run-time. Of course it also depends on which style of radiant heating system you’re looking into. Since electric systems are meant to be supplemental rather than the sole heat provider, they’re not as efficient as hydronic systems.
- Is your floor carpeted? If your floors are carpeted, it’ll be much harder for the subfloor-heating to reach the room, so this may not be the most cost effective route for your home or office. But if you have hard-surface floors like wood or tile, radiant heating would be to your benefit.
- Do you have severe allergies? Forced air systems blow stale air around the home and office, stirring up dust and other allergy-irritating pathogens, and wrecking those with insufferable symptoms. Because radiant heating doesn’t rely on airflow in open space, it doesn’t disturb bothersome, airborne molecules, much to the elation of allergy sufferers everywhere.
- Where are you installing it? Because of its functionality, certain furniture can inhibit the efficiency of radiant heat systems. If you have a lot of large, bulky furniture that will trap heat under it, you might want to rethink installing it in that area. However, it’s ideal for rooms with less restrictive furniture and open space.
- Is the installation cost feasible for you? The efficiency of these systems make up for their cost and your energy bills over time, but the installation fee for an under-floor system is higher than that of a forced air or baseboard one – generally 50% higher. You’ll need to decide if the initial cost is budget-friendly for your family.
If you’ve carefully considered these questions and have decided radiant heating is the right choice for your space, make sure you contact a professional for the installation.