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Radiant Floor Heating
What if you had a home where the heating system disappeared?
What if you had a home where you had a heating system that kept you comfortable and saved you money?
Meet radiant floor heating:
No baseboard heaters
Radiant floor heating has become one of the most popular ways to keep a home comfortable. You can reduce your heating costs by up to 20 percent with a properly sized and zoned system in the Midwest. Making sure your Omaha home is as efficient as possible is also key to improving comfort levels.
How Underfloor Heating Works
Underfloor heating warms the surfaces inside your house, including you. It works like the sun or a woodstove, spreading waves of thermal radiation, warming objects along the way. Because radiant floor heating doesn't move air around, it can contribute to better indoor air quality.
When a furnace system pushes air into a room, it sets up a convection cycle, where hot air rises and cool air falls. The temperature can become "stratified," meaning it's toasty in the upper half of the room, but your feet could be cold. In poorly-designed systems where the furnace is oversized and "short-cycles," you can feel the chill when the blower shuts off once the thermostat setting has been reached.
With radiant floor heating, the heat rises evenly across the whole floor in a consistent blanket of heat. Keeping your feet warm is one way of keeping very comfortable.
A Little Lesson in Physics - It Won't Hurt, Promise!
Heat transfer by radiation always happens from a warm to a cool surface or object. That's because all matter wants to be in thermal equilibrium. That's the second law of thermodynamics.
If you step close to the window on a cold winter's night, for example, you'll feel chilled, because the window surface is very cold and your body heat is transferred to the surface of the window.
In a home with radiant floor heating in a cold climate like Nebraska, you're comfortable even if the air temperature is a few degrees lower than room temperature. This is because you're not radiating body heat to the surrounding surfaces - they are not cold enough to cause heat transfer between you and them.
End of lesson.
How Do You Like Your Radiant Heat?
There are two ways to distribute the heat in a radiant floor system: water or electricity. A water-based (hydronic) system system uses loops of special polyethylene tubing embedded in a concrete slab that circulates water from a boiler or dual-use water heater. An electric radiant system uses loops of resistance wire connected to a thermostat.
Just like any heating system, radiant floor heating needs to be properly designed. Ask to see Manual J load calculations for your system design. At AEA, our HVAC team members are experts in making sure your systems are correctly sized and installed.