(BPT) – If you are one of the millions of homeowners who locked in an ultra-low, fixed-rate mortgage before last year’s surge, you’re likely staying put in your home and thinking about updates to your existing space. With ample benefits and retrofit options, radiant floor heating is worth serious consideration.
Radiant heat is gaining big interest due to its ability to improve the health, comfort and functionality of a home. Adding radiant heat to specific areas, such as master bathrooms or basements, or even throughout an entire home, is a smart way to improve indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and enjoy energy efficiency.
Plus, hydronic radiant heating systems that circulate warm water through pipes under the floors are particularly ideal in retrofitting homes with boilers that supply hot water to radiators and baseboard heaters, providing a solution that is more affordable with lower operational costs.
How radiant supports IEQ
Better air quality — Hydronic radiant heating circulates warm water through pipes in the floors as opposed to air being pushed through ductwork via fans, which circulates dust, pollen, dirt, viruses and other allergens around a home.
Superior comfort — Radiant heat keeps comfort near the floor where people are located. Plus, radiant systems work in zones, so individual spaces can offer customized comfort with separate thermostats. With traditional forced-air heat, the hot air rises to the ceiling and typically there is only one thermostat that controls the entire home.
Reduced odors — With forced-air systems, burning airborne particles and circulation of other odors (like from the kitchen or bathrooms) add to unpleasant smells throughout a home. Radiant offers a clean, consistent comfort that doesn’t circulate offensive smells.
Peace and quiet — In a radiant system, circulators quietly move water through pipes. There are no noisy fans or booming furnaces turning on and off. Plus, there is no ductwork expanding and contracting when hot air rushes through the system.
Energy efficiency — Water has the capacity to transport energy 3,500 times greater than air, making it ultra-efficient. Plus, radiant systems work well with renewable energy sources such as geothermal and solar. State and federal tax incentives for renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies can help lower costs.
If you’re interested in adding radiant heat to your home, new innovations are making it easier to add radiant heating in a home renovation or remodel.
Wireless radiant controls have been around for more than a decade. However, wireless controls that can manage multiple zones for both radiant and air-side systems are new to the North American market.
Smatrix Pulse features this new technology, offering wireless control of radiant heating and cooling along with forced-air heating and cooling in multiple zones. It also allows connectivity to smart home assistants for voice-activated control along with remote control via an app, which can be downloaded from Google Play or the Apple App Store.
Lightweight foam panels
A newly launched XPS foam panel is making it even faster and easier to install radiant heating in existing homes. Xpress Trak is a single-panel system that features XPS foam at its core, which is covered with a thin sheet of aluminum for exceptional heat-transfer capabilities.
The natural moisture resistance of the panels eliminates the need to caulk edges or panel grooves, and they don’t require insulation in the joist space below the subfloor, which speeds installations and lowers costs. Plus, the panels feature a low, 5/8-inch profile to minimize construction in remodel projects.
While not new, LoopCAD radiant design software programs are continuing to be updated with innovative technologies. If you are doing the radiant installation yourself, make sure you have the right design before beginning the install. If you are having a radiant professional do your installation, make sure they are using up-to-date product and system information.
If you plan to stay in your home and are looking to make worthwhile upgrades with numerous benefits while increasing your property value, radiant heat systems are a smart option. Learn more at Uponor.com.