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Radiant Heat Floor System Installation

If you're a do-it-yourself guy looking for help designing a radiant floor heat system you've found the right information. Know more how to save time and money by reading our articles about radiant floor heating system.

Physics can explain how radiant floor heat works - the principle of thermal radiation. Any heated object releases electromagnetic radiation. The sun and even the light bulbs at home are examples of thermal radiation. The typical electric baseboard heater uses the same principle. To heat the element of a baseboard heater, electricity is used. The heat produced will then be distributed in the entire room through thermal radiation.

            The same principle goes with the radiant floor heaters, although, there is a difference between the radiant floor heater and standard baseboard heater. The flooring of the home is installed with panels which exudes heat upwards to the ceiling. There are electrical cables charged with hot water, as well. These cables deliver the energy produced to the heating elements that generate heat, thus making the house warm. The radiant floor heater's thermostat can be set 4 to 8 degrees lower than the usual than a typical forced air system. But worry not because you will still feel comfortable! In many parts of the northern United States, this would mean a lot of savings over the heating period.

            You may apply different methods in installing radiant floor heating system, be it in a new house or to an already existing house. The installation method may be classified as "dry" or "wet". If you opt for dry installation, panels will be mounted to the flooring, subflooring or under the subfloor. This method, either electric or hydronic, will then be hooked up to the apt source.

            On the other hand, wet installation makes use of panels which are installed on the floor. Then, over the installation, a thin layer of gypsum or concrete is spread over. This sandwiches the cables between two layers of either flooring or concrete. If you are building a new house, this is preferable, since a concrete slab of high thermal mass is utilized as a foundation of the ground floor.


Things to Consider Before Installing Radiant Floor Heat


It is always best to consult a heating and cooling expert if you are to install a radiant floor heating system, although installing this heating system can be done by an experienced person. Before going through the process of installation, consider the following:


   1. The efficiency of the existing insulation at home and the proper insulations in walls and ceiling
   2. The energy source to power the installation and energy costs competitive in your area (if considering electric)
   3. Floor covering over the installation. Ceramic tiles are better than carpets because the latter serves as an insulator. Vinyl tiles or linoleum may also be considered. Just bear in mind that any floor cover may cut down efficiency rate of the heating system since they have insulating effects.
   4. Future use and energy resources. You have to think forward as the best choice for radiant floor heat today may not necessarily mean something useful in the future. Take note also of the energy resources like solar power, wood or LPG as an energy resource or for a hydronic system, a coal fired boier.


To sum it up, radiant floor heaters are easy-to-use, energy efficient, "silent operator" and environment-friendly. Aside from the comfort this heating system may bring, people suffering from allergies can already feel relived, as this system does not blow allergens into their houses. With the radiant floor heater, you can't wait to wake up in the morning because your feet can now say goodbye to  the cold floor and hello to the warmth of your home.

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