Underfloor systems provide heating alternative
Installing a heating element under your floor helps keep your home comfortable and is more energy-efficient than traditional heating methods. Heating your home from under the floors has a lower environmental impact than duct work or radiators and helps your home stay a consistent temperature. If you are considering adding this type of heating to your existing or new home, here are some things to consider.
What is underfloor heating?
This type of heating consists of a central furnace and pipes or electrical wires that run under the floor. Heat is pushed through the pipes or wires underneath the floor and radiates to the rest of the house. Since heat rises, it warms up the room from the floor to the ceiling.
Electric versus hot water
Electric is easier to install in existing homes because it requires less room. For remodeling and new construction, water pipes can be added. If you want a water-fed system in an existing home, you can build up the floor to allow room for the pipes.
Underfloor heating not only uses less energy, but it also puts out less carbon dioxide than a traditional heating system. Because of the way the heat transfers to the air, the water or air does not need to be heated as it gets forced through duct work.
To save more money and energy, underfloor heating can be used with solar panels and ground source heat pumps. For existing homes, the installation cost will be gained back in lower energy bills over the life of the heating system. Installation prices for new homes or additions are similar to traditional heating systems.
Many homeowners prefer their heating under the floor because there are no radiators in the room or visible duct work. All of the heating components are hidden under the floor, and the main unit is installed in a furnace room or basement where it can not be seen. It's appealing to homeowners because it doesn't limit furniture arrangement and it improves the look of the room.
Heating under the floor also helps wet floors dry more quickly. Wallpaper is less likely to peel in bathrooms, and paint is not as likely to discolor due to moisture or heat from the radiator. The heating system is also quieter.
If you have allergies or asthma, consider underfloor heating to keep indoor air dryer. Dryer air means fewer parasites, germs and dust mites in the air.
Not only are maintenance costs lower, but there are also fewer cleaning and upkeep responsibilities. Duct work collects dust, so the vents and registers need to be kept clean to avoid spreading dirt and dust throughout the air.
Finding a contractor
Since this type of heating is still gaining popularity in the United States, look for a HVAC contractor with underfloor heating installation experience.