Hydronic and Electric Radiant Floor Heating or Forced Air?

Tuesday April 07, 2009
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Many people don’t consider radiant floor heating as an alternative to forced air heating, when, in fact, they should. In actuality, a powerful radiant floor heating system can replace forced air heating altogether and, in many cases, is more efficient.

Electric, Hydro and Forced-Air are the three types of Radiant Floor Heating systemsForced air heating uses hot air, warmed in a furnace, blown though air vents. The hot air is forced into the room where it swirls up toward the ceiling and back around making the room feel warmer. Hydronic or electric radiant floor heating, also known as Far Infrared heating, or simply floor heating, is installed beneath the floor covering or subfloor, or, in some cases, is built into the subfloor itself.

Radiant heating is generally powered by electricity or water heated by a boiler. Once turned on, the hydronic or electric radiant heating system warms itself and the floor, and then radiates heat upward, seeking out and warming the coldest objects in a room from the ground up. Radiant floor heating can be used simply to warm the floor covering and prevent cold feet, or can be used as an all–over heating system depending on the strength of the system.

One of the biggest perks of hydronic or electric radiant heating is that you don’t need to make space for clunky furnaces, chimneys, or air vents. Also, electric and hydronic radiant heating is virtually soundless, eliminating noisy blowers that forced air systems use. This also eliminates uncomfortable air drafts that are often unavoidable with forced air systems. To add to the list of perks, you won’t need to change any more furnace filters or clean any more air ducts. Hydronic and electric radiant floor heating requires little to no maintenance unless the need for a repair arises.

So there you have it – the main differences between radiant heating and forced air heating. Next time you are installing flooring, consider choosing a hydronic or electric radiant floor heating system instead of forced air heating for your home. To learn more about what types of hydronic and electric radiant systems are available, visit FindAnyFloor’s section on Types of Radiant Floor Heating.

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