radiant in-floor heating systems

Radiant in-floor heating systems heat a room directly instead of warming the air in the room by utilizing thermal radiation and electromagnetic waves. Radiant systems heat the floor, and that heat spreads up. It is absorbed by other elements in the room, effectively heating the whole space.

In a nutshell, heated floors employ radiant heat technology to warm the flooring, and the heat flows and spreads throughout the space.

disadvantages of radiant heating systems

Types of Radiant in-floor Heating Systems

The two main versions of radiant floor heating systems are electrical and hydronic.

types of radiant floor heating

Hydronic radiant floor heating systems

To heat the floor, hydronic radiant in-floor heating systems use heating pipes beneath it that is heated by a boiler system. The system’s long-term operating costs are lower than those of an electric system, but installation is substantially more expensive.

Hydronic systems take more time to be installed than electric systems and work best with new construction rather than renovating an existing home or business. Unlike an electric one, a hydronic heating system will need routine maintenance.

hydronic in-floor heating systems

Electric radiant in-floor heating systems

Electric heating wires heat the floors in an electric heating system. Installation is simple and quick. Electric systems are also less expensive to install (compared to alternative heating systems), but when long-term power bills are considered, electric systems are a bit more expensive.

Electric systems also do not require constant maintenance. They’ve been installed and are ready to use.

electric radiant in-floor heating

This is How Radiant Floor Heating System Works

Air conduction, radiation, and convection are all used in radiant floor heating. The system may be put together in two ways: with electrical resistances or thin pipes with fluid passing through them.

During construction or remodeling, the radiant in-floor heating systems are integrated into the floor, remaining buried and often invisible since they have been set in concrete to the structure. The flooring material is heated by contact with hot water or electrical resistance, radiating to the air of the indoor spaces.

The law of thermodynamics states that hotter, lighter air flows upward, whereas cold air flows below. The environment is thoroughly heated in this manner, eliminating heat waste and the production of “heat islands” or chilly spots in the environment, as is frequently the case with typical radiators.

Furthermore, many conventional heaters over-dry the air in the room, causing allergies and respiratory difficulties among inhabitants. The radiant in-floor heating systems are substantially simplified in the case of electric floor heating.

how radiant in-floor heaters work

It requires an electrical supply, a thermostat (to adjust the appropriate temperature), and electrical resistance, surrounded by insulating layers similar to garden hoses. These are placed on a thermal blanket, then topped with the floor. The biggest downside of this technique is that it consumes a lot of energy.

On the other hand, the Hydronic radiant in-floor heating systems operate by routing heated water via coils embedded into the floor. The stored water stays in a closed system, which circulates continuously, alternately heating up and losing energy to the surroundings.

It may be heated using various methods, including gas water heaters, diesel oil, solar heating, and electrical resistance. Steel and copper tubes were formerly the most frequent. Most systems nowadays employ flexible and durable materials like polyethylene and PEX.

Pros and Cons Radiant Floor Heating Systems

There are several advantages to installing an underfloor heating system. The following are a few examples of the pros and cons. If you want to know the details, we recommend you to read 9 important pros and cons of in-floor heatings.


Invisible Hardware in Livable Areas

Unlike HVAC systems, space heaters, radiators, and other heating choices, underfloor heating systems are designed to be unnoticeable. Consequently, they are almost undetectable in your living areas, making them an aesthetically pleasing heating alternative.

Radiant in-floor heating systems are Energy-Efficient and Cost-Effective

Radiant heating systems, as opposed to gas or boiler-based systems, are energy-efficient and cost-effective. Traditional radiators must be heated to a higher temperature of 75 degrees Celsius before they can heat a space.

A radiant heating system must only reach 30 degrees Celsius to warm the room. There will always be some duct loss with duct-based heating systems.

Radiant in-floor heating systems, on the other hand, heat the floors directly, resulting in minimal energy loss. Radiant flooring is so energy efficient that they save 15% on heating expenditures on average.

Fewer Limitations on Interior Design

You can enjoy your entire room with radiant floor heating instead of having huge radiators on the wall. When you don’t have to bother about designing around radiators, your design options expand.

advantages of radiant heating systems


The Need for New Flooring

You must remove and replace your current flooring to install a radiant heating system. This is why you should install floor heating systems when rebuilding and before you finish flooring.

Installation time for radiant in-floor heating systems

A self-leveling compound must be used on top of your floor heating system. This compound must be thoroughly dried before you can install the floor covering. The drying process takes a day or two. (Installation time is a little longer if it is a hot water radiant floor heating system.). So, it is always better to contact professionals for radiant in-floor heating services.

disadvantages of radiant heating systems

Conclusion for Underfloor Heating System

Radiant in-floor heating systems are a simple and cost-effective solution to warm your house and keep your feet warm.

Although installing radiant heating is more expensive than regular radiators, several options could work within your budget. It’s important to remember that underfloor home heating systems produce significant cost savings on your energy bills in the long run.


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