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The Pros and Cons of Radiant Heating

One of the main features of a well-designed home is the heating system. Over the last couple of decades, radiant heating installations have become more frequent in North America. It is a method of home comfort that is not as common in Canada as the rest of the world. With that being said there can be some misconceptions about capabilities and efficiency. We will touch on some key points that should be considered when deciding if radiant heating is the right method for your custom home or renovation project.

radiant slab

How Much Does Radiant Heating Cost?

Installation cost is one of the drawbacks of a radiant heating system. The cost of installation of a quality system is sometimes double that of a forced air heating system. Keep in mind that the operating cost will be much lower. If you plan on your home being generational or efficiency is the goal, then radiant heating is the way to go. The cost of repairs on either system is about equal as well. Pumps and zone valves do break down, but so do fans and pressure switches. In both systems, maintenance is key to avoiding costly and inconvenient breakdowns.

Will My Floor Always Be Hot?

One misconception about radiant heating is the customer expects the floor to always be hot. The floor delivers the heat so when the room is at the temperature set on the thermostat, the floor will not be heated. In a well insulated home, the system may be so efficient that the floor is warm for short periods of the day. This can be corrected by adding slab sensors such as the ones made by Tekmar. In a room like a bathroom where it is desirable to have a constantly heated floor, a NuHeat mat will also help keep the floor constantly hot.

Anything Else?

Another advantage of a radiant heating system is zoning. A forced air system has only one thermostat, the homeowner can have as many as they please with a radiant heating system. If they want two different temperatures on either side of the house, it’s not a problem. When the system is in the designe stages it is as simple as choosing which is best for your household.

Just My Opinion

One final thing on radiant heating. In my biased opinion, it just looks good. A well done mechanical room or a Watts stainless steel manifold is a thing of beauty. When building a luxury home in White Rock these are the details that set the home apart from the others. If you are someone who appreciates the shining engine of a sports car then the mechanical room of a radiant heating system is right up your alley. For a home that is a step above the rest, a well piped mechanical room is so much nicer to look at then a furnace and some ducting.

mechanical room

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, for efficiency and luxury, radiant heating is the clear leader. With its growth in popularity and with the increasing amount of qualified installers, it will be here to stay. Hopefully, this article helped you with your decision on if a radiant heating is a right fit for your home. If not that, you at least learned a couple things about an exciting part of our trade. If you live in the White Rock, Ladner, Tsawwassen or South Surrey area and would like a free consultation on installing a radiant heating system in your home, contact us today.

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