Compared to the cost of installing a traditional furnace, a modern floor heating system can be a more practical choice in heating homes. A floor heating system generally installs cables or tubing under the floor where the heat is processed and released towards the floor surface.
There are three types of floor heating systems available for homes: the hydronic floor system, the electric radiant floor system, and the wood burning system.
Hydronic Radiant Floor System
The hydronic system uses a system of pipes placed under the floor where a boiler heating the water continuously pumps through to heat the home. While this is an efficient type of floor heater that can comfortably provide enough heat to the entire home, its system is quite complex and requires the most maintenance when compared to other floor heating systems.
A home with hydronic radiant floors needs to choose a specific energy source to operate the boiler: gas, oil, electric, solar power or geothermal power. The hydronic system takes several hours to warm up and should be used continuously to ensure a comfortable heated home.
Electric Radiant Floor System
The electric radiant floor system typically consists of electric cables built under the floor. Many feature mats of electrically conductive, which are mounted onto the subfloor below a floor covering such as tile. Electric radiant floors are best used in small spaces like the bathroom or the kitchen, where it is impractical to extend other types of floor heating system. However, although they are both easy to install and maintain, they are not practical for use in the enire home. Although its cost is relatively minimal, electric floor heaters still consume electricity, which adds up to your monthly electric bill.
Wood Burning System
A wood burning system has a function similar to the hydronic system. Its main difference is that it uses a wood box that heats up the water circulating throughout the system, instead of the boiler used in a hydronic system. According to the U.S. Department of Energy website, depending on the wood box used, the system can provide heat that lasts between 12 to 96 hours. Since its production of heat depends much on the wood box used, this type of floor heating system is usually a secondary source of heat for the home.
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