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Pros And Cons Of Radiant Floor Heating

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Nothing will ruin a cozy winter morning in your warm bed quite like having to get up and place your bare feet on the frigid tile. It's enough to make you question whether or not you really need to get up to make breakfast. While radiant floor heat is not necessarily a new idea, its popularity is increasing rapidly, giving homeowners with remodels and homebuilders another option when it comes to in-home heating. Like any major purchase, however, it's important to examine the pros and cons before delving in and beginning the process.


There are two types of floor heating: electric and hydronic, which uses water. While the hydronic versions are more expensive and labor intensive, they are also cheaper and are able to heat up an entire house for longer periods of time for less money than more common methods.

One of the most freeing aspects of in floor heating is that there are no vents that will be covered and furniture can be moved freely about the house. There's no way for a baby or toddler to slide a toy down a vent using this system and can ultimately save money. Warming the room from the floor up means a more comfortable, long lasting heat.

Additionally, hydronic systems are extremely efficient and use very little energy to heat the home. Much like going solar, these systems are more costly, but ultimately save more money when you get your monthly electric bill.

Finally, when compared to a furnace heating system, the in-floor heating systems have a much longer life span. While furnaces last about 20 years, an efficient radiant heat system can last about 35 years. Considering the cost, this is especially enticing.


Installation and maintenance will be costly because not only will the system need repair, your floor will also need repair, regardless of the issue. Knowing this, it is best to install the expensive radiant heats during a new construction or during a remodel. Electric radiant heating can be used with large mats placed under the flooring, meaning that you can install it in sections. This will keep the considerable cost down if not used throughout the entire house.

Depending on your floor type, it can take hours to heat the home using radiant heat as opposed to traditional heating methods. This means not only can it be costly to install, it can be costly to use, especially if you have concrete floors, which are difficult to warm.

While there may be nothing better than waking up on a December morning and not feeling paralyzed upon reaching the floor, for some, the cost and installation are enough to keep them with more traditional heating methods using natural gas. However, if it's within your budget, it's something to consider as it can be beneficial in the long run to save money.

For more information, contact a heating specialist like SDA Armstrong Mechanical Services Ltd.