If you were to ask five homeowners which is the best type of heating system, you might very well get five different answers. Of course, there are pros and cons associated with each and every option. But while radiant heating still accounts for only a small share of the overall market, more and more homeowners are choosing it over traditional forced-air, baseboard, and radiator systems. Why are so many people making the switch? Click through to find out!
There's a popular misconception about radiant heating: Many believe that "heated floors" are a comfort luxury—that is, an add-on for high-end bathrooms or top-of-the-line pool decks—not a viable means of heating a whole house. Certainly, some in-floor heating products are designed to be supplemental. But others, like the Warmboard system, not only equal the performance of traditional systems, but actually surpass them in important ways.
Compared to a forced-air system, radiant heating operates at least 25 percent more efficiently, according to study by Kansas State University and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. There are several reasons why radiant heat consumes less energy (and fewer energy dollars). A primary explanation is that, since radiant systems involve no ductwork, there's minimal heat lost between the heat source and conditioned space.
Imagine furnishing and decorating the spaces in your home without having to make any allowances for awkward and bulky radiators, wall-hogging baseboard units, or clearance-craving vents. Indeed, radiant heating stays out of the way, giving homeowners complete and total design freedom. You get to lay out your home without coming up against, or having to work around, any impediments—and without having to make any sacrifices.
Indoor Air Quality
Most American homes have forced-air heating, a system with at least one major drawback: it dries out indoor air. Plus, its ductwork tends to collect dust and other allergy-exarcerbating particles, circulating them through the home. So while forced-air systems may provide reliable heat, they often do so at the expense of indoor air quality. Ductless radiant systems, meanwhile, are kind to allergy sufferers and are not known to create similarly dry environments.
Radiant heating panels install beneath flooring, delivering even heat across the square footage of a home. Contrast that with forced-air, baseboard, and radiator systems: In these, temperatures are highest right next to whatever unit is in the room. The farther away you go, the cooler the room gets, until you’ve reached the other side of the space (where you might feel the need to put on a sweater). With radiant heat, there are no such uncomfortable variations.
The ticking of baseboards. The hissing of radiators. The blowing of forced-air. While many homeowners insist that appliances like dishwashers ought to run quietly, there seem to be lower expectations when it comes to home heating. If you've grown tired of being so constantly aware of the stopping, starting, and regular operation of the heating system in your home, consider radiant for its nearly silent, virtually unnoticeable, and overall peaceful performance.
It used to be that radiant systems involved a thick layer of concrete that would take a long time to heat up (and almost as long to cool off). Innovative companies like Warmboard soon transitioned to building panels, not with sluggish concrete, but with highly conductive aluminum. These react almost instantaneously to thermostat adjustments. And because aluminum transfers heat so effectively, the panels require minimal energy to achieve the target temperature.
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