Nothing takes the chill off of a room like a warm floor, and radiant floor heating not only warms your feet — it provides greater energy efficiency. Radiant floor heating differs from forced-air systems because the heat is supplied directly to floor (or wall) panels. The panels warm the floor, which then warms the air throughout the room.
Among the benefits touted by the industry are:
- More even distribution of heat
- Less waste caused by heat rising to the ceiling, which is common in forced-air systems
- Warm, cozy floors
- Lower heating bills
- Toasty tootsies (OK, this last one was from the Earth911 team)
Radiant heating can use air, water or electricity for heating, but regardless, it results in less heat loss and is more energy efficient. Of course, lower energy usage is always good for the environment, and radiant heat is also recognized as an environmentally “clean” form of heat, since it does not circulate dust, odors, spores, particles or germs throughout the home.
Getting in the Zone
To save even more energy and money, radiant heating is an excellent choice for using zone heating, according to Nuheat Floor Heating. Zone controls allow users to warm and cool specific rooms according to use — for example, keeping a bedroom cozy overnight while letting the living room cool down, then warming the bathroom floor in the morning before you step out of bed. Using a programmable thermostat, users can control the heat in different zones throughout the day and night to achieve the best possible energy savings.
And, best of all, new high-efficiency systems can be 98 percent energy efficient and qualify for tax rebates.