In Floor Radiant Tube Heating
If you’re looking for help with your heating needs, EarlBryant has your solution. We offer everything from repairs, new installations, and continued maintenance.
In Floor Radiant Tube Heating
Radiant heating, while not one of the most popular methods for in-home heating, has a lot of advantages. Radiant heating systems can be installed in the walls, floors, or ceilings of your home. These systems use heat transfer to keep homes warm. Kansas City Metro Area residents can have in-floor radiant tube heating system installed in their homes with the help of an Earl Bryant Heating and Cooling technician.
Benefits of In-Floor Radiant Heat
While forced-air heating is currently more common than in-floor radiant heating, in-floor heating systems have some advantages over forced-air. One of the biggest advantages is that no heat is lost through ductwork in your home, which makes in-floor radiant heat more energy-efficient. Since in-floor radiant heating systems use infrared radiation and convection, there is no air being blown through your home. This means that the radiant systems are healthier, especially for people with respiratory problems or allergies. Dust and debris won’t be circulated through your home the way it would with a forced-air system. You also won’t have to worry about getting ductwork cleaned every few years. This method of heating also distributes heat more evenly than forced-air systems. In-floor radiant heating systems can run off of a variety of energy sources, which gives consumers the ability to choose how they want to power the system. Gas, oil, wood, and solar energy are all possible sources of energy that can be used to power a radiant heating system. You can even combine energy sources if you wish .
Types of In-Floor Radiant Heat
There are actually three different types of radiant floor heat: air-heated, electric, and hydronic. These categories can actually be further differentiated by installation type—wet or dry. Let’s take a look at each of these heating and installation types, so you can better decide if any of them are right for you and your home.
Hydronic In-Floor Radiant Heat
The most common type of in-floor radiant heating system is hydronic. Hydronic systems use water that’s been heated in a boiler that moves through tubing under your floor. In some of these systems, you can control the flow of hot water moving through each tubing loop by using zoning valves or pumps and the thermostat to regulate the room temperature. Hydronic in-floor radiant heat is also the most cost-effective of the radiant heating systems, especially in heating-dominated climates.
Electric In-Floor Radiant Heat
Electric radiant floors use a series of electric cables that are built into your floor to conduct heat, which then rises and keeps the room warm. Other electric radiant floor options consist of a mat of electrically conductive plastic that is placed between the subfloor and floor covering such as tile. Due to the relatively high cost of electricity, these types of floors aren’t generally cost-effective. Electric in-floor radiant heat is only cost-effective if it includes a significant thermal mass. This thermal mass could be a thick concrete floor. It is also beneficial if your electric company offers time-of-use rates that are lower during off-peak hours. This would allow you to charge the floor with heat during the less expensive hours. The stored heat would keep your house comfortable for up to ten hours without you needing to run the floors again. Electric in-floor radiant heat would also be practical in new additions to homes where it wouldn’t make sense to extend the heating system into the new area of the house. In some cases, however, it would be better to consider a mini-split heat pump, which tends to be more efficient and provide cooling options.
Air-Heated In-Floor Radiant Heat
Since air doesn’t hold a large amount of heat, air-heated in-floor radiant heating systems are not at all cost-effective in homes, so they generally aren’t installed. While these systems may be available, they are going to be expensive to install and operate, so Earl Bryant Heating and Cooling doesn’t recommend them.
Installation Methods for In-Floor Radiant Heat
While both wet and dry installation methods for in-floor radiant heat systems are similar, there are specific differences, and there may be one method that works best for your home.
Wet installations require cables or tubing to be embedded into a solid floor. This is the oldest type of modern in-floor radiant heating system. Typically, the tubes or cables are embedded into a thick concrete foundation slab or in a thin layer of concrete, gypsum, or other material on top of a subfloor. In some cases, additional floor support may be needed to support the added weight of the system.
Dry installation for in-floor radiant heating is becoming more popular. As a relatively new method for installation, many homeowners don’t even know that they have another option. In a dry installation, the cables or tubing are put in an air space beneath the floor. This method is gaining popularity because it requires less time to install and it is less expensive than a wet installation. However, because this type of installation involves heating an air space, the system will need to operate at a higher temperature to produce the same results as a system that was embedded into the floor, which means that your heating bill may be higher if you choose a dry installation. Have you been considering in-floor radiant tube heating? If you think that you would like a system installed in your Kansas City area home, set up a consultation with Earl Bryant. An Earl Bryant technician can come to your home and go over your options with you. If you already have an in-floor heating system that is in need of repair, Earl Bryant can help you, too. Call 913-724-4100 today to set up an appointment.