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radiant floor heating

Do you suffer from frozen toes during the winter season here in Pennsylvania? If you answered “yes,” it might be time to invest in radiant floor heating.

Just what is radiant floor heating? Also known as underfloor heating, it’s an energy-efficient means of warming your home in the colder months of the year. The system conducts heat through the floor surface rather than through the air like conventional forced air systems.

Electric Versus Hydronic

There are two ways to achieve this warmth beneath your soles. One is electric, via electric wires; the other is hydronic, via hot water tubing.

Electric systems are typically easier and more affordable to install, but cost more to operate (think about your electric bill). They are ideal for smaller areas. Hydronic systems are less expensive to run and work well for large square-footage spaces or even in whole-home projects. Their initial expense is higher because they are more complex when it comes to installation and they require heated water from a boiler or water heater.

Benefits of Heated Flooring

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of radiant floor heating is the physical comfort it provides. It keeps our body temperature comfortable. It also allows for heat to rise in a way that doesn’t see it lost to other surrounding surfaces. In traditional heating systems, heat rises to the ceiling and then drops back down as its temperature cools.

The Downside

For as much as radiant floor heating has its benefits, it also has its pitfalls. It’s ideally installed during the construction or renovation phase of a home, otherwise, it most certainly involves tearing up existing flooring – an added expense to say the least. It is possible to install some radiant floor heating without needing to pull up carpeting and floorboards, but it requires access to the undersurface via a basement or crawl space. Without that, you’re looking at a construction project of sorts.

Radiant floor heating also works better with some flooring material than others. Those best-suited to the systems include stone, concrete, and ceramic tile. Solid wood flooring can expand and contract, causing gapping. Placing the flooring under woodwork can be accomplished with the help of an experienced wood installer, though. Carpeting can reduce the effect of the system, and vinyl, plastic, and laminate materials often have temperature limitations.

Want to learn more? Call our experts at A&T Heating and Air Conditioning in Mohnton, Berks County, PA, at 484-516-1017 or visit us online at www.atheatac.com.