Radiant heating systems can be used in a variety of situations. Some people equip their homes with radiant heating systems in the walls, while others use them to heat the hardwood floors.
However the system is used, there’s a few things to keep in mind before investing in one.
The types of radiant heating systems for hardwood flooring vary between three main systems:
- Air – This system uses air to distribute heat though tubes embedded under the hardwood floor.
- Electrical – Electrical radiant systems rely on electricity to produce the heat, but can run up your utility bill.
- Hydronic – This system uses fluids to distribute heat and tends to be the most popular and cost effective option of the three.
Radiant heat systems have a number of advantages. Because they do not rely on forced-air flow, such as a heating system that uses ventilation shafts, there are less allergens being circulated in a home that uses one.
Hydronic radiant systems use a small amount of electricity when compared to air and electrical systems. They’re also more versatile. For example, hydronic heating systems can use a wide array of energy sources including gas or wood boilers, solar water heaters or a combination of these.
There are a few drawbacks to using a radiant heat system in your hardwood flooring.
The number one problem is utility consumption. Electrical systems – for obvious reasons- tend to use the most, though there is always a possibility the extra costs could be offset if you turn off your forced-air heating system.
The other disadvantage is that if the heating system fails, it might end up costing you an arm and a leg to dig up your hardwood flooring to replace it. There’s also a risk of fire and damage with some hardwood flooring electrical systems.