What To Know If You Are Considering The Switch To Radiant Heat

There are many energy-efficient ways to heat your home now, so you may be considering swapping out your old furnace for radiant heat. Radiant heat has many great benefits, but before you start installing your system check out these five must-know facts. They'll help you determine if radiant heat really is the right choice for your home.

There Are Different Types of Radiant Heat

There are two different options when it comes to radiant heat: hydronic and electric. Hydronic heat uses hot water. This hot water is circulated through tubes in your floor. The water is heated in a boiler and then sent throughout the house. Electric heat uses electric coils, which are also kept within the floor. Electric systems give you more control over your heating with zoned and timed heating, but because the system uses electricity, it can drastically increase your monthly energy bill.

Radiant Heat Is Expensive to Install

Radiant heat is more expensive to install than a traditional furnace installation. While the price depends on the quality of the furnace and the type (gas furnaces cost more than electric), the average cost to install one is about $3602. Hydronic radiant heat, however, costs about $6 to $16 a square foot (including installation), and you install it over every square foot of your floor. This means that if you home is 2000 square feet, expect to pay at least $12000 for your radiant heat system. Electric radiant heating is slightly less expensive at $5-$7 per square, but that's still at least $10000 for a 2000 square-foot-home.

Installation Is Invasive

Installing radiant heat in a home that is already built is an invasive process, so you may not want to consider it unless you are already undergoing a heavy remodel. The tubes and coils for radiant heat are kept in the floor. This means that to install the system, contractors must tear up every piece of your floor. Not only does this take significant time and affect your daily life, it can drastically increase the cost of the system because you may need to buy new flooring material. Repairs can also be costly since the contractor will have to pull up your floor again to make the necessary repairs.

Radiant Heat Systems Take Time to Heat

With a typical forced air system, you turn on the heat, and the house quickly warms. However, radiant heat systems take time to warm up your home, especially if you have a hydronic system. In some cases, it takes hours for enough hot water to circulate through the flooring before enough heat can radiate and properly warm the room. If you prefer immediate heat and can't stand to wait, it's best to stick with a traditional furnace.

Systems Are Energy-Efficient

Hydronic radiant heat is an energy-efficient option, especially when properly insulated. Most people with hydronic radiant heat can achieve the same warmth in their home while keeping the thermostat lower than with a forced air system. One big reason for this is that it doesn't use ducts. Forced air systems lose 20 to 30 percent of the air while traveling through ducts, which causes you to use more energy to properly heat. Forced air systems also tend to create hot and cold spots. Radiant heat creates a more even heat throughout the home, so you don't have to crank up the heat just to cool one particularly cold room in your house.

For many homeowners, radiant heat is a great heating option. If you're considering installing radiant heating in your home, make sure you get a qualified contractor, so your system is properly installed and insulated to promote maximum results and monthly savings. For more information about radiant heating, contact a contractor in your area today.