Mix-N-Match Possibilities for Radiant Heat Systems

Many different radiant heat systems available for your home offer an alternative to baseboard and forced air heat that, and if properly installed, can be much more efficient and save you a lot of money in the long run. Even the initial investment required is not so high as to be priced out of the average homeowner’s range. The most energy efficient type of radiant heat system is installed in the floors of your home, but there are other types as well. Panels can be mounted on the ceiling and walls that produce heat in the same way. Although they tend not to be as efficient as radiant floor heating, radiant panels offer a quick solution for heating individual rooms.

Radiant Floor Costs

Using the best products on the market to ensure that the job is done right, radiant floor heating usually costs between $2.00 and $3.00 per square foot of living space. As the size of the home increases, the cost ultimately comes down. Thus, depending on the type of radiant floor system you have installed, you should expect to pay $2,000 for every 1,000 square feet of area. The water heater you already have in your home can often be incorporated into the system. In the long run, radiant floor heating is much more cost effective than forced air heat, which is also much less efficient.

Different Types of Radiant Floor Heating

Radiant floor heating is installed in two basic fashions. They are known as “wet” and “dry” installations. Wet installations embed pipes into concrete or some other thermal material below the floor. As the pipes heat up, much of that heat is stored in the concrete, which is a good heat container. The other method, dry installation, is less expensive, but it requires higher temperatures. The pipes are placed between sheets of plywood and are held in an air space below the floor or sometimes between the joists. The airspace makes it necessary to run higher temperatures because air does not hold heat very well. Different methods for installing dry systems are becoming popular, but the use of thermal mass is a more efficient means of heat transfer.

Other Types of Radiant Heating

Radiant panels can also be installed on walls and ceilings. They usually have electric cables running through them that produce heat when the room’s thermostat is activated. They have a quicker response time than radiant floor systems, but in general they don’t provide a good way to store heat. The advantage to them is that all unused rooms can remain unheated while occupied rooms stay warm.

Mix-N-Match Possibilities

A combination of radiant floor and radiant panel heating might be the way to heat your home most effectively. Radiant floor heating in the most heavily used rooms in the house will heat those areas most cost effectively while radiant panels can be used as needed in bedrooms or other areas of the house. Both systems are far more efficient than forced air heat because nothing is lost in the transfer.

The cost of radiant floor heating is relatively low compared to other home heating systems. When used together with radiant panels in mix-n-match combinations, you get the benefit of both types of radiant heating. This allows you to better control your monthly heating costs while maintaining an efficient way to heat your home.

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