Thursday, 28 August 2008

Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating: How Does It Work?

So, you're sold on the idea of radiant floor heating. Of course the question becomes "What type of system do I get?" Radiant floor heating comes in three varieties: electric, hydronic (liquid), and air based systems. The hydronic system is the most popular, for reasons that will be revealed shortly.

The "how" of hydronic radiant floor heating is fairly straightforward. A boiler heats up water, which is pumped through your house. This water flows through a network of tubing that sits just underneath your floor, radiating the heat outwards, giving you a nice, consistent heat that is the trademark of the radiant floor heating systems.

This method makes for quite an efficient system. In fact, hydronic systems are the most popular radiant floor heating systems on the marker. Since liquid holds and stores heat quite efficiently, hydronic systems uses less energy than almost any other heating system. However, since you'll need a boiler, a plumbing system, and installation underneath the floor, they aren't easy to install. In fact, they are quite a pain unless you're building a new house or an addition, in which case they can be a great option.

Keep in mind that you're not going to be getting any cooling from this system. If you need cooling, you'll need to look for alternate methods, such as forced air, or evaporative coolers. These can coexists peacefully with in floor heating, so don't worry. Just something to consider.

There are two types of hydronic systems available. The traditional "wet" system embeds the tubing into a concrete slab on the floor, which makes it quite efficient, since the concrete slab will absorbs heat and continually radiate it outwards throughout the day.

A "dry" system puts the tubes underneath the floor framing. A series of reflectors and diffusers help contain and diffuse the heat evenly. These systems are great if you don't have or don't want to deal with a concrete slab, but they aren't quite as efficient. They are still a good option, though, if your situation demands it.

If you are building or renovating your house, and you want to try a new, luxurious heating system, be sure to look into radiant floor heating. Because of it many advantages, you just might find that it becomes your favorite thing about your house. Talk to a professional today to learn about this great heating system. Thanks for reading.

By: David C. Wilson

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