One of the best and most energy efficient ways of heating a home is with radiant heating. Eskimos and ancient Romans both used a form of radiant heating where they channeled smoke through the floors and walls of dwellings to keep buildings warm. Modern systems are more complex and efficient.
The two systems that provide heating through your home’s floors are electric and water-based (hydronic) systems. Both heat the floor to allow consistent heating of an entire room or space, which is a very efficient means of keeping warm. Hydronic, or warm water, systems run hot water through pipes to create heat; electric systems use special cables beneath the floor to generate evenly distributed heat.
Heated floors are extremely energy efficient, especially the water-based type. All radiant flooring, when installed properly and in a correctly insulated home, provides comfortable heat with less energy consumption and effort. There are few working parts, no filters or screens to change, and almost any type of flooring material can be used.
There are different types of radiant floor heating systems that are designed for installation in new or existing homes. The easiest installation is while constructing a new home. The system can be included as part of the original building, with the necessary water and electrical components installed during construction.
In an existing home, some modifications are necessary to the floor and under-floor spaces to accommodate heated floors. Additional space is needed for the water tubing or electrical cables, so the floor may have to be raised in most cases. Also, adequate insulation underneath the floor is necessary to help direct the heat upward through the floor and prevent loss under the home.
While heated floors do not have filters to change or ductwork to clean, there are some routine maintenance tasks necessary to keep them clean and fully functional.
Keeping your floors clean is always a top priority. While some homeowners may install carpeting over heated floors, the best heating conduction takes place through hard flooring surfaces like tile or wood. Use the recommended care steps for maintaining these floor surfaces, like avoiding harsh cleaners or mops that drag dirt into your grout lines and cause a dingy, dirty appearance.
Cleaning and resurfacing can often correct imperfections and make tile and grout look new again. Revive Surface, LLC can professionally clean, refurbish, and seal tile floors to protect them against wear and tear.
A licensed HVAC or plumbing technician that is experienced with heated floors should check the system’s hydronic and electrical components yearly. They will perform a pressure test on hydronic systems to detect any leaks, as well as determine if any other problems are present. They can also test temperatures to make sure thermostats are working properly.
With all of the positives of radiant heating, there are still downsides. Even with only a few main components, some of these can fail over time. One common problem is a defective wall thermostat. This keeps them from reading and communicating accurate air temperatures so the system works properly and maintains the comfort level you desire.
Other problems can be leaks that develop underneath the flooring in hydronic systems or electrical shorts in other system components.
When a tile or grout problem occurs, there is risk of damaging the heating elements underneath when attempting repairs. Any damage could render the system inoperable and require major repairs or replacement of flooring and heating system components. You should only contact a licensed general contractor with experience in repairing/replacing tile flooring and radiant floor heat systems to perform any repairs. They will know how to fix any issues without damaging your floor heating system.
Revivify Surface, LLC is your source for professional tile cleaning, refurbishing, and sealing for all kinds of tile. We can also clean and protect other hard surfaces inside and outside your home. Contact us today for information and estimates.