What Exactly Is Radiant Heating?

What is exactly is Radiant Heating?

Of all the ways to heat a home, radiant heating is one of the newer methods. With outdoor temperatures dropping, you may be looking for efficient ways to heat your home. Most of us are familiar with traditional furnaces, radiators, and forced-air systems, but newer radiant heat systems are less well-known. Let’s take a look at this heating method and why you might consider installing it in your home.

Traditional Heating Systems

If you’ve been through a winter in Utah, you know how a conventional heating system works. A furnace kicks on to heat air to a sizzling 120 degrees, then blows the warmed air through registers to heat the rooms of a home. Once the air reaches the desired temperature, usually between 68 to 70 degrees, the furnace turns off until the temperature drops enough to prompt the cycle to start all over again. The problem with this kind of system is a phenomenon This Old House heating and plumbing expert Richard Trethewey calls “the cold 70.” It describes the jarring cold you feel right after the hot air stops pumping through the registers. It’s easy to keep cranking up the heat just to keep the hot air blowing, leading to increased heating bills.

Types of Radiant Heat

By contrast, radiant heating systems heat from the ground up. Instead of heating air, which can rapidly cool, radiant heat warms the entire floor and any objects it comes in contact with. Hot air naturally rises, making for a much more efficient and even heating system. There are two main types of radiant heat methods:

  • Electric Radiant

This type of floor heating uses resistance wire to zigzag in loops across the floor. This method is generally used to retrofit an existing room, such as a kitchen or bathroom.

  • Hydronic Radiant

Rather than resistance wire, loops of half-inch polyethylene tubing are run across the floor. These tubes connect to a water heater or boiler to heat the water that circulates through them, gently and consistently heating the whole house from the ground up. The tubes can be installed in a number of different ways, from grooved panels or snapped-in grids, to embedding in poured concrete. Nearly all types of flooring can be installed on top of the heating system, though carpet can be problematic if it has a thick padding.

Benefits of Radiant Heat

While the upfront cost of installing an electric or hydronic radiant system can be greater than a traditional forced-air system, there are some major benefits:

  • Up to 30 percent more energy-efficient than forced-air heating
  • No uncomfortable hot or cold air pockets
  • Multiple heating zones capabilities
  • Quiet operation
  • Doesn’t distribute allergens
  • The ultimate in comfort with no more cold floors

Choose Salisbury Plumbing in Lehi, Utah for an Energy-Efficient Home

Salisbury Plumbing can help you install a radiant heating system in your Utah home so you can beat the frigid temperatures this winter. Our professional technicians have the expertise to both install and maintain your radiant system. Whether you live in Lehi, Orem, or Provo, we provide 24-hour service to the Utah County area. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or get a free estimate.

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