Answers to Some Commonly Asked Questions About Radiant Heating

Posted on: 30 March 2016

Radiant heating refers to a type of floor heating that is created by coils that run underneath the floor itself. These coils may get warm themselves, or they may circulate warm water that, in turn, warms the floorboards over them. Radiant heating is a very popular choice for homes today, but note a few questions you might have about this system so you can determine if it's the right option for your home.

1. Does radiant heating ever get too hot?

A radiant heating system produces warmth under the floorboards and any other flooring in the home such as carpeting or tile. You don't feel the coils themselves right under your feet, so rarely would you ever feel that the floor is too hot. Note too that the coils are spread out around the room; this is unlike heating vents, which are placed in one or two areas of a space. Standing under a heating vent might make you feel too warm but because radiant heating coils circulate heat more evenly, you should never feel too warm when you have these installed.

2. Does radiant heating damage flooring materials?

You might assume that carpet or other flooring materials might actually singe when exposed to radiant heating, but as said above, these coils don't get overly hot so as to actually burn anything. It's also important to note that heat will usually dry the air so that wood floorboards eventually dry out, but radiant heating that circulates warm water may add moisture back to the air so that wood is actually protected from becoming dry and brittle. This moisture is not enough to interfere with adhesives used for laminate or to cause carpeting to become wet and hold mildew, so radiant flooring is typically considered safe for any and all flooring materials.

3. Is radiant heating more costly than standard heating?

Radiant heating may actually be less expensive to run than your standard furnace; for one thing, heat starts at the floor rather than being blown out through a vent in the upper part of the wall, which can cause heat to get trapped near the ceiling so that you still feel chilly even if the furnace is running. Also, because you are standing on the source of heat, you may feel warmer than if hot air is simply being forced into a room. In turn, you may need less heat from your radiant heating system than from a furnace, meaning less cost for utilities.