Is Radiant Floor Heating More Efficient?

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With a lot of talk lately about doing more for the environment and being more efficient, the question has arisen about the efficiency of radiant floor heating. Here’s what I’ve learned.

According to the US Dept of Energy’s website radiant floor heating is efficient in several ways. It’s more efficient than baseboard heat, and since there is no energy lost through ducts it’s usually more efficient than standard heating systems. Additionally, since there is less air moving it tends to be nicer to people with allergies as there are less particles being circulated through the air.

There are three main types of radiant floor heat; radiant air floors (air is the heat-carrying medium); electric radiant floors; and hot water (hydronic) radiant floors. The best option for you will depend on the construction of your home, whether it’s a new build or a remodeling project and whether you prefer electric over water heat. Electricity has been more expensive lately so it may not be the most cost effective option for you unless you’re able to generate your own electricity through solar panels, as some of the more industrious families are starting to do.

From a comfort standpoint radiant heat has many advantages. Since it heats from the bottom up and heat rises, everything is warm on the floor and that heat seeps into the furniture. This means that any secondary heating systems you have won’t have to work nearly as hard to keep your home warm since the the items within it are also putting off heat of their own. The floor will be warm when you get up in the morning and your entire house will be comfy and cozie and the heat works it way through everything from the floor to the furniture to the walls.