Radiant Floor Heating – Not a “Non-essential” System
by Brian Whitehurst (10/3/2013)
Being in the midst of a government shutdown, as well as the
longest recession in American history, we are all looking for ways to
“cut back” and determine what is essential. Most customers when
building a house, building, or doing a renovation believe that Radiant
Floor Heating is a luxury and not an “essential” system. We at Pexheat
would like to point out some of the aspects of Radiant Floor systems
that might show them as essential.
If you have a Radiant Floor heating system sized for your project,
you will probably find that it is one of the most costly heating system
installations available. However, that cost can be not only justified
but recovered in a few ways. If you look at the lengths of tubing and
the additional controls needed to operate the system at very low
temperatures, Radiant Floor has quite a bit of material associated with
it. A Radiant Floor slab installation can have 10 times as much tubing
installed as a baseboard system for the same square footage. That much
tubing would require larger pumps, thermostats with floor sensors, as
well as a manifold to distribute the heat to all that radiant tubing.
There also may be increased labor costs due to the extra tubing. So why
The great equalizer is the required water temperature and how the
heat is transferred to a house with Radiant Floor verses baseboard fin
tube radiators. Radiant Floor warms the house/building by conducting
heat at low temperatures through the structure. The warm floors and wall
then slows the heat loss from the skin of the people in the room for a
very comfortable feeling of wellbeing. Baseboard radiators need very
high water temperatures, the higher the better and more effective for
the radiator. They super heat the air right around the radiator and then
convective forces cause that air to rise and churn the heat throughout
the room, mostly collecting at the ceiling and leaving the floor colder.
The person is warmed as the hot air passes over their skin.
The same method is used in forced air systems where cold air is blown
over a hot coil then blown around the room to the occupants. The
differences in heat transfer methods results in health and personal
discomfort for the baseboard and forced air home owner. It also results
in higher fuel costs to get the air up to those high temperatures as
well as higher heat loss through walls and ceilings. The Radiant Floor
heating systems utilize the high efficiencies of modern condensing
boilers thus recovering the investment for every hour you run your
radiant heating system.
Depending on the size and efficiency of your installation, ROI
recovery can be 4 to 5 years for a radiant floor heating system. But if
you take into account the health benefits of lower air temperatures and
warmer feet and a cooler head, as well as increase property values and
resale ability, the Radiant Floor home/or building might instantly
recover the added cost.
Furlough or layoff that old style heating system as obsolete and inefficient, a Radiant Floor system is an essential part of any new home or building or renovation.
Tagged with: Electric Radiant heating, government shutdown, installing radiant floor heating, Radiant Floor Heating, Radiant Floor Heating Systems & Supplies, Radiant Floors benefits