Do you like having warm feet? We assume your answer is yes, so - YES get heated floors! Actually it’s not quite that simple, so let’s actually answer the question instead of jumping the gun. Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself before getting too excited about your new found lack of needing slippers in the morning.
Will my chosen floor material work well with radiant heating?
This is a pretty simple one, anything hard and normally cold like tile, concrete or stone works great with radiant heating. Anything already fuzzy like carpet, not so much.
Does radiant heating replace the need for a heat pump, HVAC or other heat?
No, you will still likely need other sources of heat in your home since you won’t likely have radiant heat everywhere in your house, it’s not a good idea to go solo on the radiant heating as the only heat source for the entire house. Plus, depending on your environment you will still need some form of cooling anyways.
Aren’t there two types of radiant heating?
There are two different kinds of heat, one liquid and one solely electric. For small spaces like a bathroom - using electric heat is the easiest and most cost effective way of heating a floor. For a large space, a great room, kitchen, or your entire house - using a liquid system is much more efficient and more effective.
Electric works on having ‘pads’ under your floor that heat up when an electrical current is applied to them - thus making the ground underneath them, warm.
Liquid works by laying a continuous pipe under the flooring material, placing a central pump and heater somewhere like a closet, basement or garage then pumping hot water into these pipes, thus heating the floor.
How can I control the floors?
The company we love working with for radiant heating is NuHeat. They manufacture the whole system from beginning to end, including the controller. The controller pictured is one of their basic controllers, but still allows for things like scheduling, temperature of the room and the floor itself and more. You can step up to their new wi-fi controller and control your floors from your smart phone or with your smarthome system for the ultimate control.
Will my floors actually feel hot?
No, they will never be really hot, but more natural. You know when you step onto a tile floor in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning and jump with how cold it is? Or you cover your beautiful floors with carpets because you just hate slippers? Well not with heated floors, more than anything the feeling is more natural, and like standing on a warm beach after the sun goes down with the sun's’ energy being radiated out into your feet as you walk on it.
What else is great about radiant heat?
One of our favourite things about radiant heat is that it is silent and constant. No annoying air drafts, no loud fans blowing air around, the room getting too hot - then cold - then hot - you know what we are talking about. Radiant heating is also great for people with severe allergies, since there is no forced air being blown around like with a furnace, there is less of a chance for dander and other pollutants to be kicked around to irritate noses.
Just how cool can radiant flooring get?
Forgive the pun, we couldn’t resist - because new technology is even allowing floors to cool, yes COOL the flooring. You heat your floors to make it comfortable and warm in the winter, why not cool them down in the summer to make the room more comfortable too? This technology is new, and only available for the water driven systems since you have to actually cool the water before passing it under the pipe - but it is extremely effective and incredibly refreshing on a hot summer day!
Can I use it outside?
This might seem a bit of an odd question, but in reality radiant heating is used all over the world in outdoor applications. Think of a ski town, you’re in the hot tub and walking on the clear path that seems oddly free of snow, not like it was plowed either. Not a flake to be seen. That’s the work of radiant heating. Same with driveways in northern climates, walkways in commercial buildings etc. You can even use it in own home to warm driveways, entries and more to keep them free of ice and snow to keep your loved ones safe.
So it looks like heated or radiant floors are a no brainer for your next renovation or build for your home - contact us anytime for more information on radiant floors and how they can integrate into your home.
Looking for more information? Check out http://www.nuheat.com/ for more information and to see what our preferred supplier has available for radiant floors.