Okheatingandair Blog

Radiant Floor Heating – What is it?

Heating the air in your home is a pretty inefficient way to go about keeping warm. As a medium air doesn’t hold or transmit temperatures too easily. It also likes to go where it wants. Have you ever noticed that sometimes your head will be warm and your feel will be cold? Well, that’s because cold air sinks and warm air rises. This will create a binary climate in your home. So what other options do you have?

Heating the Floor

There is a method of providing central, or supplemental, heat to a home that doesn’t involve pushing around large volumes of air: radiant floor heating.

Heating the floor is a method of providing heat that has been done since at least 5,000 BCE. In Manchuria and Korea a technology known as a “baked floor” emerged in which heat was transmitted to the floor from a flue that moved heat from a fire lit underneath the home. The Romans did the same. Everyone loves toasty feet.

Today we can accomplish this in a way that mitigates the eyebrow-raising need for lighting a fire under your home. Through the use of either electric or hot water (hydronic) systems the floors in your home can be safely and reliably heated.

Each system has its own pros and cons. For example if you want to retrofit a single room in your house, electric heating will be much more cost effective and less complex than installing a hydronic system. However if you want to heat your entire house this way, a hydronic system will be a better choice due to higher efficiencies.

One thing to keep in mind is that this heating method will not work too well with floor coverings such as carpet. If you want carpet in your home it’s best to limit radiant floor heating to one or two rooms such as the bathroom or kitchen.

If you are interested in radiant floor heating and would like to discuss your options, give us at O.K. Heating & Air Conditioning a call and we’d be thrilled to help you!

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