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What Are the Pros and Cons of Radiant Floor Heating in a Home?

Are you thinking about upgrading to radiant floor heating but want to make sure it’s worth the investment first? Good news. You’ve turned to the right team for answers. Entek has decades of experience working with residential homeowners just like yourself. We’ll break down the pros and cons of radiant floor heating so you can decide whether it’s the right upgrade for you and your home.

Pros

Comfort

One of the most compelling reasons to upgrade to radiant floor heating is the level of comfort it provides. Think about how you feel after a warm bath or a hot, relaxing shower. Then think about what it feels like when you step out onto a cold bathroom floor. The difference in temperature can be a shock to the system. Consider what it would feel like to step onto a warm, heated floor instead.

Radiant floor heating helps maximize comfort levels by providing uniform heat throughout the home. Because forced-air systems typically release heat from grates in the ceiling or walls and heat rises, the bottom half of the room tends to be cooler than the top portion. Not the case with radiant floor heating, which provides a consistent feeling of warmth regardless of whether you’re standing up or lying down.

Say goodbye to drafts, cold spots, and inconsistent temperatures between rooms. With radiant floor heating, regardless of where you are, you’ll feel the same amount of warmth beneath your feet.

Peace and Quiet

In addition to supplying a room with uniform warmth and increased comfort, radiant floor heating also provides peace and quiet. You may be familiar with how a forced-air system continually kicks on and off to keep the room temperature consistent with the temperature set on the thermostat. The sound of a forced-air system kicking on can be quite loud and disruptive at times, particularly if you’re a light sleeper trying to get a good night’s rest.

Radiant floor heating eliminates that. The system runs so quietly that you would likely not even know it was installed if it weren’t for the warmth it emits. Yet another example of how radiant floor heating can improve your family’s overall comfort levels.

Promotes Improved Health

Do you have someone in your family who suffers from allergies or asthma? If so, you may be aware that forced-air systems can impede your family’s health. Dust, dirt, and other debris can collect in the air vents and ducts and then circulate throughout the home, exacerbating certain health conditions.

Radiant floor heating, on the other hand, promotes a cleaner home environment. Since heat is emitted through panels in the floor, radiant floor heating will not blow dust and debris through your home. The result is a healthier home environment and possibly a healthier family as well.

Energy Efficient

Who doesn’t want to save on home energy costs? Well, now you can when you install radiant floor heating in your home. According to the US Department of Energy, radiant heating “is more efficient than baseboard heating and usually more efficient than forced-air heating because it eliminates duct losses.”

Also, because radiant heating warms a room more uniformly, you’ll likely be able to set the thermostat to a lower temperature than you would with a forced-air system. All of this amounts to increased savings on your monthly home energy bill. With heating costs typically making up nearly 30 percent of the home utility bill, this can add up to quite a lot.

Cons

Up-Front Costs

While radiant floor heating has its advantages, it also comes with its share of drawbacks. Perhaps one of the most notable drawbacks is the initial cost. Installation expenses vary depending on square footage and the type of system installed. This article from Forbes Advisor has a good breakdown of what you can expect to pay depending on a number of factors.

The good news is that while the initial cost may be high, radiant floor heating has an incredibly long life span. Some systems last decades and many come with a 25-year warranty. As we discussed before, they’re also energy efficient and will likely save you money on your home energy bill. Once you factor all this in, it could make the up-front cost of installing radiant floor heating well worth it in the end.

Installation

Another drawback of radiant floor heating is that you often have to pull up your existing flooring in order to install the radiant heat panels underneath. That’s why many people choose to perform the installation during new construction or existing renovation. However, there are also ways to retrofit your floor with radiant heat. If you’d prefer to avoid pulling up your flooring, we can discuss some of those other options with you.

Raised Floor

Many people choose to install radiant floor heating in only one area of their home, such as the bathroom, for instance. If that is something you’re considering, keep in mind that radiant floor heating panels will cause your floor to become slightly raised. That means if you’re installing radiant floor heating in only one area of your home, there may be a slight height differential between, say, the bathroom flooring and hallway flooring. Consider installing a transition strip to address these height differences and avoid any potential tripping hazards.

Few Skilled Contractors

Keep in mind that not all contractors are skilled in radiant floor heating installation. That’s why you’ll want to do your research before hiring one.If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of radiant floor heating, contact a trusted HVAC specialist like Entek in Portland, Oregon. We’ll assess whether radiant floor heating is the right solution for your home and make recommendations about what system would work best for you and your family. Whatever your needs and budget, we’re confident we can help identify the right heating or cooling service for your home.


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