With many homeowners choosing forced air heating simply because it's popular, it's important to branch out and consider other options for your new home. One of these options is radiant floor heating. This style of heating system consists of a boiler along with a series of hot water tubes located under the floor. Hot water travels through the tubes, giving off heat that radiates into the floor and then raises the air temperature of the whole room. Radiant air heating offers many advantages over other heating systems, but it's not necessarily for everyone. Read on to discover whether radiant floor heating is right for you.
Advantages of Radiant Floor Heating
There are no vents or radiators to worry about.
This is virtually the only style of heating system that you don't have to take into account when placing your furniture. There are no heating vents or radiators to work around when laying out your room. You never have to worry about blocking a vent if you move the sofa or set some boxes down in the wrong place. This leaves more room for flexibility in your interior design.
There's no ductwork to accommodate.
The tubes that carry the hot water are thin, and it's easy for your architect to design your floors and walls to accommodate them. You won't have to leave several feet of space between your walls as you would if you were to choose a duct-based heating system. This allows you to maximize the usage of space inside your home.
Radiant floor heating does not spread allergens and dust through your home.
Forced air heating is not a good choice for people with allergies, since once allergens get into the duct work, they end up being blown around the home again and again. With radiant floor heating, there's no air being blown about. Allergy sufferers will have fewer symptoms, and you'll also find it easier to keep your home clean, since your heating system won't constantly be blowing dust all over everything.
Radiant floor heating is comfortable.
Nothing makes you feel chilly faster in the winter than walking across a cold floor! Cold floors are a common issue with both forced and air standard, radiator-boiler systems. Clearly, this is a non-issue with radiant floor heat. The floor is the warmest part of the room!
Disadvantages of Radiant Floor Heating
You can't integrate it with a central cooling system.
When you have forced air heating, you can integrate central air conditioning with the same ductwork. With radiant floor heating, you'll have to find some other way to cool your home. (Assuming you live in a place where air conditioning is needed). Many people choose to have ductless air conditioners, which consist of an outdoor condenser and wall-mounted air handling unit, installed in conjunction with their radiant floor heating system. Though this setup works well, some people are turned off by the additional expense involved with installing two systems -- the radiant heating system and ductless cooling system -- rather than a single HVAC system.
You'll need a dehumidifier.
If the levels of humidity in a home with radiant floor heating are not kept carefully in check, condensation can form on the floor. This can lead to floor damage, and it also presents a slipping hazard. Thus, you'll need to have a dehumidifier installed in order to keep moisture levels in check. Depending on how humid your climate is, you may be able to get away with a single portable dehumidifier in the basement or on the main floor -- or you may need several dehumidifiers placed throughout the home.
To learn more about radiant floor heating and whether it is right for your home, speak with a heating and cooling contractor. Companies like Sardis Plumbing & Heating fixes your heating problems and can answer your questions.