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Radiant Heat Information

 

Radiant Heat and Forced Air Heating Comparison

A room with Radiant In-Floor space heating will have a very uniform temperature from the ceiling to the floor. Heating a basement floor is an ideal application for a radiant heat system. If you've lived in a house with forced air, you know that you can crank the heat up, but the basement floors will remain chilled. Installing a radiant floor warming system will add comfort and warmth to your lifestyle.

Radiant Floor Heating versus Forced Air and Gas Heating
The warmest air in rooms that are heated with a forced air furnace ascends towards the ceiling, leaving the floors relatively cold. Although the air is being heated, the floors remain chilled, making it especially uncomfortable for children who spend most of their time playing on the floor.

Below is an in-depth comparison of radiant heat systems vs. forced air and gas systems.

Heating System Comparison
Efficiency
Electric Radiant
Heat System
Forced Air & Gas
Heating System
Efficiency at 100% of capacity
100%
60-90%
Efficiency at 50% of capacity
100%
30-60%
Efficient - relative thermal
100%
50-75%
100% of energy is delivered to
heat element
YES
NO
Proper sized capacity of "Off Peak" conditions
YES
NO
Maintenance
Electric Radiant
Heat System
Forced Air & Gas
Heating System
Annual Maintenance Required - Clean or change filters
NO
YES
Easy to repair
YES
NO
Controls - simple and reliable
YES
VARIES
Cost Savings
Electric Radiant
Heat System
Forced Air & Gas
Heating System
Expandable - easily and economically
YES
NO
Floor covering - Compatible
with all
YES
YES
Floor space required for installation (mechanical room)
NO
YES
Decorating limitations for furnishings, wall coverings, etc. (no registers, grills, radiators)
NO
YES
Installation and Operation - simple
YES
NO
Structural building cost increases required to accommodate
NO
NO
Venting required to outside and combustion air required
NO
YES
Concrete required - regular or lightweight
NO
NO
Remodeling
Electric Radiant
Heat System
Forced Air & Gas
Heating System
Retrofit-ability in existing concrete or asphalt
YES
NO
Retrofit into joist space effectively
YES
NO
Simple modification for remodeling
YES
NO
Easy and effective for large or small areas
YES
NO
Minimal floor section height increase (1/8" or less)
YES
YES
Health & Safety
Electric Radiant
Heat System
Forced Air & Gas
Heating System
Health & Medical (doesn't distribute dust, pollen, allergens through the air)
YES
NO
Environmentally-friendly (greenhouse, glycol, etc.)
YES
NO
Safety (no high-voltage, no hot surfaces, no combustible gases)
YES
NO