Once considered the ultimate in luxury, an underfloor heating system is a cost-efficient and easily-installed way to heat either an entire house or just one room! Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, it’s a remarkably affordable way to use radiant heating with almost any flooring type.
The concept of underfloor heating has deep roots. The ancient Romans used an underground hypocaust system to heat their homes. Air heated in a central furnace circulated in an open space created by two-foot tall pillars beneath the floor. Their tile floors undoubtedly became chilly in cold weather, and the gentle radiant heat warmed the floors and rose upward to keep the entire building warm and cozy. This same principle is used today with the benefit of modern technology!
An electrical mat is installed between the subfloor and finish flooring. They can be installed over concrete or wood subfloors so they can be used anywhere in your home. If you can lay a floor, you can put this system in yourself- thy self-adhesive tape makes it even easier to install!
Who wouldn’t want an invisible, silent, energy-efficient and consistent heating system? That’s what you get with an underfloor heating system! Essentially, you have a giant radiator, but better! Once you’ve adjusted the thermostat, the room will reach the desired temperature within 20 minutes.
An underfloor heating system is a great improvement over a radiator. There’s no bulky apparatus taking up space under your window, and the heat distribution is even across the entire space. A radiator can be a safety hazard to children, and the nooks and crannies that let it distribute heat can also be difficult to keep clean and harbour dust and other particles that can cause trouble for allergy sufferers.
You also will notice a great difference between an underfloor heating system and a forced-air furnace. The fans that a furnace uses to distribute warm air throughout the house can be noisy and irritating. The underfloor system is silent. As well, there are no registers to interfere with furniture placement. And there’s a lot less dust being blown around the house. In fact, dust mites can be reduced by up to 80% by switching to an underfloor heating system! Also, forced air heating simply doesn’t feel as cozy as the radiant heat of an underfloor heating system.
Another big advantage of this system of heating a house is that you don’t have to heat the whole house to the same temperature. Maybe one person likes to sleep in a cool bedroom while in the room next door there’s someone who likes a cozy warm nest for the night.
That’s easy to do with a system that’s set up with a thermostat in each room.
You can also keep the temperature down low in a room you don’t use as often, secure in the knowledge that when you do turn up the thermostat, it’s going to be the perfect temperature in just 20 minutes!
You can, of course, install an underfloor heating system throughout your entire house, and use it as your only heat source. However, it also makes a lot of sense to use in individual rooms to augment an already existing heating system. Bathrooms are an especially popular room for this system. Imagine stepping out of the shower on a cold day onto a toasty warm floor! You can also install underfloor heating mats in a family room or living room with a gas fireplace for a really cozy feel. The flexibility of the system makes it entirely possible to install room-by-room as you renovate your home in stages.
You might be surprised to know that you can use an underfloor heating system under a wide variety of flooring! You can, of course, emulate the Romans and install it under tile or stone floors, which of course would be the coldest underfoot without this system. However, it’s also safe to use under hardwood, engineered hardwood, laminate, vinyl planks, and even some types of carpet. You can make the design choices that you really want and still enjoy this silent, consistent and energy-efficient heating method. Whether it’s just one room or a whole house, you can make your home a warm and cozy haven with an underfloor heating system. It’s an efficient and economical way to provide a comfortable environment for you and your family!
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