Radiant home heating systems deliver heat from hot surfaces directly to the floor, then to the occupants and items in the house.
This process is known as radiant heat transfer and it’s used in many energy-efficient homes here in greater Cincinnati. Radiant panels can be installed in walls or ceiling areas, too, but they’re much less common.
Switching out your furnace for radiant floor heating has a number of advantages, including:
- More efficient operation than baseboard heaters
- More energy efficiency than forced-air heat, since it doesn’t rely on a duct system and avoids the often large duct losses
- Better results for those with allergies, since it doesn’t circulate airborne irritants like a forced air system
- Reduced energy usage, which is great considering today’s high electricity prices. Liquid is heated by natural gas or an oil-fueled boiler system, a wood-burning boiler, a solar water heater or some combination thereof.
Thick concrete floors work best for electric radiant systems because they have enough mass to store up heat. Stored heat keeps the home comfortably warm throughout the day after floors have been “charged” overnight with electricity, absorbing heat energy in those off-peak hours.
Installation of radiant systems is more complex than most conventional forced-air systems. It’s ideal to install radiant systems as the home is being built. Installation can be done wet or dry. Wet installation involves a concrete slab or lightweight concrete layered over a sub-floor of wood. Dry installations involve attaching tubes under finished flooring or sub-flooring or placing tubing between layers of plywood.
Consult your local HVAC expert for recommendations about the best installation method for your home. He or she can also help determine how long the installation will take to recoup your up-front costs through lower utility bills.
For more information about switching out your furnace for a radiant heating system, contact the professionals at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’re happy to help! Tell us a bit about your home’s construction and your family’s heating needs and we’ll explain your options. We’ve proudly served Cincinnati homeowners since 1910.
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