Radiant Heat Flooring —

By Robert Bona

Most of us, at one time or another, have stood on a tile or concrete floor and felt cold and uncomfortable, even though the thermostat reads an air temperature of 70 -72 degrees F. Radiant heating warms people, pets, floors, furniture and all other items in the room. Convection heat from these objects warm the surrounding air, providing a warm, cozy environment. These surfaces surround a person with warmth. Remember, we all lose heat through our bodies, and if we make our home environment close to our body temperature, there is equilibrium and warm comfort.

Radiant floor heating is a very efficient mode of heat delivery. Because floor heating warms people and objects directly- as opposed to heating air, and controls the heat loss of a person, comfort may be achieved at lower thermostat settings. Floor heating systems can provide energy savings of 20-40% over more conventional heating systems in most cases. Homes with high ceilings, high infiltration, or a combination of these will likely experience even greater savings. These savings can vary depending on occupancy, building design and construction.

Because radiant floor heating does not rely on circulating air- as forced air or convective baseboard do- dust particles are not spread though the home to nearly the same degree. There are no ducts to collect dirt or grow mold. There are no filters that need to be checked and changed.

In addition to reducing the spread of dust throughout the home, the spread of other airborne particles, such as pollen, is greatly reduced. There is no other heating system that is better for allergy-prone people. There is no blowing hot air, which can cause dry throats and skin, promote germ transmission, and encourage sinus ailments.

Radiant floor heating is virtually silent. There is no clunky ductwork to transmit sound, noisy fans, or pinging pipes. The home environment can truly be enjoyed without distraction. The air is still, almost crisp. Average heating temperatures are a comfortable 65-68 degrees F.

Because the heating system is in the floor, radiant floor heating allows a room to be decorated in any way a homeowner would like. Furniture may be placed anywhere in the room without fear of blocking a hot air grill or radiator. Built-in cabinetry, wainscoting, and the like, can be installed to show their full beauty.

Without bulky baseboards or radiators, homes with radiant floor heating have more useable floor space. In addition, ductwork for heating can be eliminated, creating more headroom in the basement, and doing away with boxed in areas for ductwork that would normally pass through floors, taking up space in the rooms. As an example, a small 3/4” pipe in a radiant system can carry the same amount of heat as a large 8 inch by 14 inch duct. With a homes useable space at a premium, the heating system should not intrude.

Since the heating system is virtually invisible, floor heating does not detract from the appearance of a room. There are no dusty heating grills or obtrusive radiators to look at or collect dirt. A person should comfortably exist in their surroundings without seeing or hearing the heat source.

Floor heating systems have very little moving parts. The only items that will ever need service or repair are in the mechanical room. There are no fans, belts, or blowers that need replacing, and no ducts to clean. There are no fins, slots, or crevices that can clog and reduce heat emission.

Radiant floor heating is an excellent solution for basement slabs. Turning a cold slab into a nice, cozy warm slab can turn these traditionally impossible to heat areas into comfortable, liveable space. No matter how warm you make the air with a conventional heating system, the concrete floor will always be cooler than the air in the room. Radiant floor heating eliminates that and can increase property values.

Radiant heated homes have enhanced property value. Buyers are attracted to a home that offers all the amenities of comfort and easy living. A radiant heated home shows that the builder and seller are truly looking after the intangibles.


For questions about radiant heat, you may contact Robert Bona from The Bonafide Company, Inc. (Heating - Air Conditioning - Radiant Heat) at (203) 223-1262 or by e-mail to: bbbn33@aol.com

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