Pros and Cons of Radiant Basement Floor Heating

If you are considering a radiant system for basement floor heating, it will be wise for you to consider the pros and cons of the various types of radiant heating systems before you make your selection. There are basically three types of radiant floor heating systems available to choose from: forced air, electric, and liquid based. A better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of these heating systems will likely influence your choice these systems.

Ductless Heating

Radiant heat is more efficient because it is ductless. Heat transferred through ducts is more likely to best lost than through radiation.


If you or someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma from dry air that is more likely to contain dust particles blown throughout your home with forced air system, a radiant system would be a healthier option.

Economic Advantages

Radiant systems reduce electric or gas costs because they are more efficient.

Heat Distribution

In a radiant heating system, heat distribution is more even. Therefore, corners and remote areas of your room, are more likely to receive an even amount of heat.

Installation Costs

Radiant heating systems are more costly to install.

Ease of Installation

Radiant heat Systems are more difficult to install.

Floor Surfaces

Radiant heat works better with hard flooring surfaces but not so well with carpeting.

Pros and Cons of an Expansion Hot Water System

Expansion tanks are designed to adjust to a changing hot water system supply. These kinds of tanks are usually smaller than the typical hot water heater, and hold around 2 gallons. Many local authorities now recommend that these tanks be fitted whenever new houses are built.

Advantages to Expansion Tanks

Expansion tanks are designed to relieve the high water pressure of your hot water system. This pressure can sometimes build up so much that the hot water tank can be explosive. Expansion tanks help to remove some of this pressure, thereby preventing a serious build-up. In order to relieve the pressure on your hot water tank, you need to carefully position the expansion tank so that it is not too far away from the pipes leading to the hot water system.

Disadvantages to Expansion Tanks

Most of the disadvantages to these tanks are caused by poor installation. Expansion tanks are sometimes used to replace the pressure relief valve on your hot water system tank. This is not their purpose, and without this valve, pressure will keep building in the tank until it fails. Another problem is that they are often not positioned high enough above the hot water system, meaning that water cannot properly drain off.