Choosing Radiant Heating For Your Dallas Home Remodel
Sometimes it is the unseen elements in a home remodel that take the design from excellent to extraordinary. When winter comes around, there is nothing quite as luxurious as walking into a bathroom or kitchen in bare feet and feeling the warmth of a radiant heating system.
There are some options for adding the luxury of radiant heating to your home. Systems are available that supply heat to walls as well as floors. A radiant heat system relies on radiant heat transfer – it delivers heat directly to the room via infrared radiation. It is the same principle that allows you to feel the heat from a hot stovetop from across the room.
The Advantages of Radiant Heating
Radiant heating offers homeowners some advantages. It is more effective than baseboard heating and almost always more efficient than forced-hot-air because it eliminated heat loss through ductwork. For homeowners with allergies, radiant heating is perfect because it doesn’t distribute allergens like forced hot air, plus there’s never any expense for filter replacement.
Hydronic systems (liquid-based systems) use little electricity which is a benefit for homeowners off the grid or in areas with high electricity costs. Hydronic systems use a variety of energy sources to heat the liquid including standard gas or oil furnaces, wood-fired boilers, solar water heaters or any combination.
Radiant floor heat relies on the concept of convection. This is the natural circulation of heat within the room as the air warmed by the floor rises. Radiant floor systems are very different than the radiant panels used on walls. Let’s look at each of these options.
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Radiant Floor Heating
The two general types of radiant floor heating are electric and hydronic. These two types of systems can be further categorized by the installation method used. There are two different types of installation. Those that use the large thermal mass of concrete slab floor or lightweight concrete over wood are called “wet” installations. Those that are installed either between plywood subfloor or attaches tubing under the finished floor is called “dry” installation.
Let’s explore each of these systems a little more in depth.
Electric Floor Systems
Electric systems consist of electric cables built into the floor. These systems cover the wires with electrically conductive plastic mats mounted on the subfloor below the finished tile or hardwood floor. Electrical costs can be high in certain areas, and as a result, electric radiant floors are most efficient if there is significant thermal mass, like a thick concrete slab. If the floor’s thermal mass is large enough, the heat stored in the slab will keep a home comfortable for eight to ten hours with only minimal electrical use. Electric radiant floors are also an excellent choice for a home addition where it is impractical or cost prohibitive to extend the heating system into the new space.
Hydronic Floor Systems
Hydronic systems are the most popular and cost-effective choice. Hydronic radiant heating systems pump heated water through tubing laid under the floor. In some systems control of the flow can be controlled using zoning valves and thermostats to regulate room temperature. The cost of installation can vary depending on the size and location of your home, the floor covering and labor.
Ceramic tile or natural stone is the most common and effective floor coverings to use with a radiant heat system. It can be used with vinyl, linoleum, carpeting or wood, but if the floor covering insulates the floor from the room, radiant heat efficiency is decreased.
Wall and ceiling mounted radiant panels are typically made of aluminum and can be either electrical or hydronic. Hydronic systems for homes can raise concerns about leaking with some homeowners. Most commercially available panels are electric.
Like any form of electric heat, panels can be expensive to operate but can be an excellent source of heating in areas that don’t experience extended periods of cold weather, like Dallas. They can provide supplemental heat in some rooms, can be used to heat an addition when extended the existing heating system can be impractical or not cost effective.
Panel systems have the fastest response time of any heating system, and panels can be individually controlled for each room. These features can make them extremely cost and energy efficient compared to other systems. When entering a room, you can increase the temperature setting and be comfortable within minutes.
Radiant heating can be a luxurious addition to your home remodeling project. Imagin never having to step on a cold kitchen or bathroom floor again. Using heat panels throughout your home can create comfort zones that can be adjusted as needed and can be efficient to operate both environmentally and financially. If you’re looking for a solution to supplement your existing heat, or need to add heat to a space in your home, but have been prevented by the cost of extending your system, consider installing a radiant heat system.
If you considering home remodeling in Dallas, Tx, contact us, the professionals home remodelers at Joseph & Berry Remodel Design Build to schedule a complimentary consultation (800)-371-8970.