Being a homeowner isn’t always easy. Being lucky enough to have your own place and benefitting from all the implied comforts that come with it always has its challenges as well. And one of them is always making sure that your living space is in tip-top shape by constantly updating and improving it. One of the most luxurious changes you can make while still being on a budget is installing a radiant floor heating system in your home.
Just picture coming home after a long day at work, taking your shoes off and stepping on a pleasantly warm surface wherever you might go in the house. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, it might be, but it’s one that can come true.
What to Consider
Pursuing a heated floor home improvement project is a challenging task. Nevertheless, if you’ve got a clear outline of what you need to do, and you consider all the variables, things should run smoothly. Here are four important aspects that you need to remember.
1. Estimate Heated Floors Cost
A square foot of installation usually costs between four and six dollars. Depending on the surface you want to cover, as well as the type you choose, prices may vary. In addition, keep in mind that there will be additional costs for the project, including the fee a flooring expert will charge you to complete the task.
To keep these expenses under control, you need a price estimate. You can calculate one yourself using tools that are readily available on the Internet, but the best choice will always be letting the professionals take care of it.
2. Choice of Location
Radiant heating and thick, fluffy carpeting don’t get along. This happens because the extra layer on the floor insulates the room, preventing heat from being properly conducted. Due to this, the best option is to install the floor heating system in your bathroom and kitchen first and see how you like it.
Ultimately, the floor heating system can be installed under any material, and it can even go in the walls or ceiling. It is a versatile method indeed but be aware that more difficult conditions also raise costs on your utility bill in the long run. Still, if you’ve been dreaming about coming home and stepping on a warm, cozy rug, and you’ve got the budget for it, don’t hesitate.
3. Type of Floor Heating Systems
There isn’t one universal method to go about this project. In fact, there are three types of radiant heating systems you can install in your home. These are, as follows:
- Electric Radiant Floor Heating: Based on a series of electric coils which produce heat when current passes through them, this system benefits from a prolonged lifespan and minimal maintenance requirements. They function best when installed in small areas.
- Hydronic Radiant Floor Heating: With the help of a boiler and a series of pipes, heated water is pumped through your house, generating heat. Although this system is the most cost-effective, there is also an added risk of leaking and other plumbing problems.
- Forced-air Floor Heating: These are the most dated and ineffective types on the market. Due to the fact that air has the least significant heat-retaining capacity, a lot of energy can be lost in the process.
You need to consider the pros and cons of each one of these and decide which one is the best fit for your living space. At the end of the day, the real battle will most likely be fought between electric floor heating and hydronic radiant floor heating, seeing as how the forced-air variety is used less and less by modern homeowners.
4. Efficiency Comparison
One final question that you’re surely asking yourself by know is: just how efficient is radiant heating when compared to traditional systems? Well, according to the Energy Savers program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, it is actually a lot more advantageous than other forms of heat distribution.
Minimal to no energy is lost during the process in the case of radiant heating, which makes it a lot more affordable in the long run. With a lower utility bill, you can manage to save money each month and invest them in further home improvement projects or whatever else you might like. And, as mentioned before, such a system is also highly versatile.
In fact, it can run on almost anything: wood, gas, oil, water and even solar energy. Thus, you also have the option to help the environment if you want to. And last, but certainly not least, unlike central air conditioning and other systems which forcefully blow air around the room, it is also beneficial to people who suffer from allergy because it does not propel irritating particles.
Installing a radiant floor heating system in your home’s floors is certainly something that will raise your standard of living. But before doing so, you need to estimate the potential costs of such a project. On top of that, choosing the perfect location and type of system is essential. Once you’ve got these figured out, you won’t regret the outcome.