Keep Your Feet Warm With Radiant Heat

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If you're tired of having cold feet whenever you're in the bathroom or basement, consider installing an under floor radiant heat system. These systems are invisible once installed in the room. The system can be placed on a timer so the bathroom floor is toasty warm when you use it to get ready for work in the morning. Here are some of the common under floor heating systems and how they will keep your toes comfortably warm.

How Radiant Heat Works Versus Forced Air Heating

Traditional forced air heating systems use a furnace to heat air and blow it into the room through ductwork. Rooms will have one or more vents in the floor or wall from which the warm air flows. These systems can have hot and cold spots in the room, depending on where the vents are located.

The air forced into a room quickly rises to the ceiling, creating a cushion of warm air up high in the room. The floor may stay cool while the middle and upper areas of a room are warm.

Under floor radiant heat warms the air resting on the floor. This air slowly rises, warming the middle of the room as it flows toward the ceiling. By the time the air has reached the ceiling, it has cooled enough to settle back down to the floor, and the cycle starts again. A gentle flow of air from floor to ceiling and back is characteristic of under floor radiant heating systems.

Types of Under Floor Radiant Heat Systems

The heat under the floor can be created by electrical coils or warm water. One of your local heating contractors will install these units, depending on the type you choose.

Electrical Heat Cables - The contractor will lay cables out on the subfloor with space between them to give you the most efficient heat in the room. This system can be used under wood, tile or stone flooring. The cables come in 120 or 240 volts, depending on the amount of heat required to keep the room comfortable. The system connects to a standard thermostat and can be placed on a timer to warm rooms before you enter them.

Electrical Heating Mats - Similar to the cable system, these use electrical wires woven into rolls and mats that can easily be laid out on the subfloor. The mats are thin and the wiring is low-voltage. This system is best used in small spaces, such as the bathroom. All types of flooring can be placed over this radiant heating system. These systems take longer to heat a room so you may find a timer to be useful.

Hydronic Heating Systems - This heating system uses small tubes carrying warm water under the floor to warm the air. The tubes are placed in a grid pattern to get good coverage in the room. This system produces moist heat, which can be helpful in a dry house or room. Because of the moisture, a hard upper flooring must be used, such as hardwood or tile. The water in the tubes can come from an existing water heater or a standalone heater built for the system. Contact a business, such as Mitchell Plumbing & Heating Inc, for more information. 

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26 January 2016

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