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Radiant Floor Heat Information

Electric and Hydronic Radiant Heat

What is it?

You've felt radiant heat on a hot sandy beach or a heated car seat. Radiant heating systems use this same principle of radiant heat transfer to cool or heat a space from the floor up. The system can be either hydronic, in which heated or chilled water is circulated through a floor or ceiling, or it can be electric, in which an electric cable rests under the flooring and a thin layer of concrete. Radiant heating is most commonly used in rooms people spend the most time in, like the bathroom, kitchen, and living room.


Radiant heating can be installed in your entire house or in just one room, such as the bathroom. If you're really into comfort and convenience, radiant heating can be used under your driveway to melt snow and ice with no effort on your part, or on your roof to keep heavy ice and snow from accumulating there.


Apparently, this type of heating system has been popular for quite awhile. It was employed by the Romans, who used hot air. In Korea, royalty had radiant heating systems that used hot gases. In the United States, radiant heating using hot water was applied after World War II as early as the 1930's.


Radiant heating has some advantages over other types of heating systems: Comfort- Even heating starts at floor and goes up. No draft or dust- This is good news for people will allergies because extra dust, allergens, and stale air won't be blown around. Low Noise- There is no fan as in a forced air system. Aesthetics- Instead of an unsightly furnace, you see nothing but a warm floor. Efficiency- Your feet have a lot to do with how warm the rest of your body feels. Therefore, if your feet are warm enough, you may not require the rest of the air to be quite as warm and will actually be able to set your thermostat lower than you would if you were using a different type of heating system.

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