Posted on 01/30/2013
While many homeowners assume that they're doing everything they can to stay warm using a standard heating system during the winter, the fact of the matter is that vents can be extremely inefficient. Not only are they noisy, but they push hot air toward the ceiling, which isn't where individuals need it. Unless there is a ceiling fan or another ventilation system in place to keep the warmth at ground level, this translates into wasted energy. For this reason (and many others), more people are turning to radiant heat to stay toasty in their homes throughout the year, but how feasible is it in a living space?
Radiant heat and flooring
Often, a radiant heating system is installed below solid flooring such as concrete or laminate. However, the Ottawa Citizen reports that it can also be used beneath hardwood without doing any damage. One common problem that individuals may face upon installing radiant heat below wood is warping in the material - wood tends to change shape and can form cracks due to dramatic variations in temperature. However, engineered hardwood flooring can be more forgiving, warping less when used above radiant heat systems.
The only type of floor that may be inefficient with radiant heat is carpeting. Because it's heavily insulated, the warmth created through the system might have difficulty penetrating the flooring and making it into the room.
Understanding the benefits of radiant heat
If you're still on the fence about installing radiant heat in your home, there are a few advantages worth noting. First and foremost, the U.S. Department of Energy reports that radiant heating is an extremely efficient option for homeowners who have allergies. Duct systems can often kick up dust and irritate the sinuses of individuals in a space.
Second, the most obvious benefit of this type of heating is that it reduces energy usage. Because homeowners don't need to crank the thermostat throughout the winter, they can spend less money on heating their living spaces.
Finally, radiant heat can dramatically improve the comfort level in a home. Imagine stepping out of bed in the morning onto warm floors, eliminating the need to put on slippers. In the end, the benefits can quickly surpass the cons associated with this type of heating system. Homeowners will find themselves satisfied with this worthwhile investment sooner rather than later.
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