The 3 Types of Radiant Floor Heating

The 3 Types of Radiant Floor Heating

Radiant heat refers to the warmth that emanates off hot surfaces. Engineers have applied this phenomenon to create indoor radiant heating systems, which deliver warmth through floors, walls, or ceilings. Over time, designers have refined these systems into air-heated, electric, and hydronic floor heating. And installing radiant floor heating is as easy as calling your local service company.

If you live in the Washington, DC, Metro area, reach out to Argent Heating & Cooling. We are the region’s provider of heating and cooling, generator, and radiant floor heating installations and repairs. Our team also offers indoor air quality testing, appliance repairs, and routine maintenance appointments. For over 30 years, homeowners have relied on us to keep their families comfortable and safe from outdoor elements. So, turn to our experts for 24/7 support services at (703) 281-6300 or fill out our service form today!

Below, we describe the distinctions between radiant floor heating systems and their benefits:

Radiant Floor Heating Types

  1. Air-Heated Radiant Floors
    Although based on the same principle, radiant floor, wall, and ceiling systems deliver heat in distinct ways. However, we will focus on floor heating here, which uses heat convection to warm a house’s occupants.

    The first kind of floor heating system is the air-heated variety. Since these systems use air to carry heat, they tend to be inefficient in homes (air can hold only small amounts of heat). Thus, we usually direct clients toward other options.

  2. Electric Radiant Floors
    The second option is the electric radiant heating system, which requires electric cables built into floors. This option works best in particular circumstances: for instance, with high-mass flooring (like concrete) that absorbs a lot of heat. Running electricity through the cables “charges” the flooring, which then releases warmth over the following hours.

    Since electricity costs can run high, this system is most efficient if you “charge” the flooring during your energy company’s non-peak hours. Additionally, electric radiant floors may suit home additions when you cannot extend your home’s heating system into the new space.

  3. Hydronic Radiant Floors
    The hydronic radiant floor is the final and most efficient option for radiant floor heating. In this system, a boiler pumps heated water through piping that runs within the flooring. Water has a higher heat capacity than air, so it holds much more warmth.

    Some systems use zoning valves and several pumps to control the flow of water and, by extension, the air temperature. These features can increase a system’s efficiency.

Benefits of Radiant Heating

There are several advantages to installing a radiant heat flooring system, which we’ve hinted at above. Specifically, these include:

  • Greater energy efficiency than traditional baseboard and forced-air heating, particularly with a hydronic flooring system (though this depends on your region and your home’s design)

  • Less allergy irritation, since radiant heating kicks up none of the allergens that forced-air systems do

  • Alternative energy options, since hydronic systems can use standard gas- or oil-fired boilers as well as wood-fired boilers or solar water heaters.

Nevertheless, no two homes are alike. We suggest that you consider a custom heating & cooling system for your home – you can get the best value from a system that’s designed for your structure.

Radiant Floor Heating Installation and Repair Available in the Washington, DC, Metro Area

As we look forward to the fall season, consider how installing radiant floor heating could keep your home warm this winter. Whether you have questions or want immediate installation, reach out to Argent Heating & Cooling. We are the Washington, DC, Metro area’s provider of HVAC, generator, water heater, and more services. Our team of technicians has the training and experience to handle virtually any problems that arise with these systems. To schedule an appointment today, call us at (703) 281-6300 or fill out our contact form online.