If you are looking for a new and unique heating system for your home, then you might want to consider radiant floor heating. To give you a better idea of what it is, how it works, and why you might be interested, here is an introduction to the subject:
What is radiant heating?
While traditional heaters will warm your home up by blowing hot air through vents or space heaters, radiant floor heating heats up the floor of your house. The core concept may be millennia old, but modern radiant heating systems use pretty advanced technology.
Now, since radiant heaters work by heating up your floor, there are some limitations on the installation of such systems.
First of all, you can't really install a radiant heating system on a whim. You need to be either building a room from the ground up or willing to rip out the entire current flooring. Radiant heating systems are complicated, precise webs that span the entire area of your floor. They need to be carefully laid down by professionals before the actual floor is installed on top of them.
Secondly, not all types of flooring will actually work with radiant heating. The ideal flooring material is durable, yet a good conductor. You want a floor that will rapidly warm up when you turn the heating system on. To this end, you want to shoot for something like ceramic, stone, or asphalt. These hard surfaces are very good conductors and will greatly increase the efficiency of your heating system.
You don't want carpet or wood. Carpet is a poor insulator and won't distribute the heat very evenly. Wood will actually be damaged by the heat over time, and will warp. This will ultimately change the shape and fit of your wood floor, which might make it uneven to walk on.
There are two popular types of radiant heaters that you will probably come across.
First is the electric radiant heater, which is pretty simple. An electrical current will run through the heating elements under your floor, raising the temperature of your floor as more electricity flows. Electric radiant heaters are cheap and relatively easy to install, but the price of electricity might add up in the long run.
The alternative is the hydronic radiant heater, which uses a complex array of water containers beneath your floor. As the water in the floor heats, that heat will be conducted to the floor, heating your home. While these systems are much more complicated to install, they have lower operating costs.
For more information on radiant heating, contact a company such as Summerstep.