in-floor heating systems

You have probably heard of radiant in-floor heating systems, but you may not know what these practical residential systems are. Radiant in-floor heating has been around since the Roman Empire with its traditional form. The modern radiant heated floor is currently popular in Canada for both new and renovation projects.

However, most homeowners want to know how this system works. What are the pros and cons of in-floor heating systems? How do you know if it is suitable for your house? In this article, we have answered all the essential questions about these systems that may come to your mind.

How do Radiant In-Floor Heating Systems Work?

Radiant in-floor heating systems directly warm the people and objects in any room. You can set the system to your preferred temperature, and it will automatically control your room’s temperature with its thermostat.

Since radiant heated floors warm your room via heat radiation, it will feel like the sun’s warmth. Additionally, it will allow you to feel warm even when the air temperature in the particular room is cooler.

Can Radiant In-Floor Heating Systems Benefit Your Home?

Most homes have cold floor spots because of the inherently cold tile flooring. Other factors such as cement slab, unheated garage, and unheated crawl space can make your interior colder than it should be.

While almost all homes can benefit from radiant in-floor heating systems, it cannot be enough to serve as the only heat source for your house.

Some of the best areas of your home that can benefit from heated floor systems are:

  • Kitchens
  • Basement
  • Bedrooms

What are the In-Floor Heating Types?

For choosing a suitable in-floor heating system for your rooms, you should first know their different types. There are two main heated floor systems that you can select, which are:

  • Electric Floor Heating
  • Hydronic Radiant In-Floor Heating Systems

Both in-floor heating systems function similarly, and they create warmth under your flooring and radiate it into the room. However, their working systems are different.

Electric Floor Heating

This radiant heat floor system uses electric heating elements woven in a particular pattern to provide heat for your room. Electric floor heating is easy to be installed and ideal for your renovation applications.

Additionally, this floor heating system heats up in 30-60 minutes allowing homeowners to turn them on or off as needed to keep their utility costs down.

electric radiant in-floor heating
electric radiant in-floor heating

Hydronic Radiant In-Floor Heating Systems

Hydronic radiant in-floor heating systems pump hot water through your residential plumbing system and pipes laid out in a particular pattern to heat your flooring.

This system is perfect for whole-house heating, and it is better to install them during the construction process as it can be challenging to renovate if your house is not already outfitted.

The cost of using water in-floor heating systems is usually higher since it requires a residential boiler system, a pump, and gas lines. However, the operation cost of these radiant in-floor heating systems is lower when the square meter of your home is greater.

Moreover, hydronic heated floor systems take more time to heat up, resulting in more energy consumption.

hydronic in-floor heating system
hydronic in-floor heating system

Pros and Cons of Radiant Heated Floors

Whether you choose hydronic or electric radiant in-floor heating systems for your home, there are some pros and cons. This list of advantages and disadvantages of in-floor heated systems will help you choose the most suitable one for your application.

Advantages of Radiant In-Floor Heating Systems

  • Uniform Heating: The most significant advantage of in-floor heating systems is their ability to offer uniform heating for your room and floor.
  • No Maintenance: Electric floor heating systems do not require maintenance, and even if damages occur, you can simply hire a plumber to fix it for you.
  • No Noise: Underfloor heating systems are famous for being quiet, and you will not hear anything while they work.
  • Non-Allergenic: Since these systems directly warm your room via heat radiation, they do not disturb any allergens and dust.
  • Energy-Efficient: Electric in-floor heating is at least 25 percent more efficient than most heating systems.
  • Easy to Install: Although it is better to hire professionals to install your heating systems, you can install them with a DIY process.

Disadvantages of In-Floor Heated Systems

  • Flooring Must be Replaced: Installing underfloor heating requires removing any flooring before the process.
  • Elevates the Floor Height: Depending on your system, you should expect to see very minimal floor elevation in your room.
  • Cost: Depending on your project, buying and installing radiant in-floor heating systems can be costly.

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