Years ago I had the pleasure of hosting a book club dinner meeting in my home in which the author was also an invited guest. She was gracious enough to sign each of our books. Her presence not only gave us a better understanding of who she was as we discussed her memoir, but she also personally gave me a better understanding of how my home was perceived by the inscription written in my book. The simple statement “Your home is warm and inviting, your spirit livens every room.” made me realize for the very first time that your home has the power to make your guests feel welcome or not.
Fast forward many years later, my niece was hanging out in my family room addition while I was outside taking care of some yard work. Once I finished and came back inside I noticed she clearly was not warm and comfortable given she still had on her hat and was covered with my blanket as she was lounging on the sofa. In the literal sense there was nothing warm and inviting about my family room that cold autumn day. I typically use a space heater in this room which I had yet to pull out of storage. However, I’ve been looking for a permanent solution and I have often thought about how nice it would be to have electric radiant heat floors to supplement the vented gas heating system.
Most often when people think of radiant heat flooring the first thing that comes to mind is the bathroom. As some are remodeling their bathrooms, radiant heat floors are becoming an added luxury to supplement existing heating systems that commonly leave tile floors cold as heat rises. It is also commonly used to heat shower floors and benches as well. But did you know that by choosing the right radiant heat product that radiant heat floors can be used as a primary source of heat and it can not only be used under tile floors, but wood and carpeted floors? For a properly insulated home of 2000 square feet it costs on average $87.00 per month to heat a home using radiant floor heat as a primary source of heat depending on your electric utility provider (this could possibly mean a cost of next to nothing if you are fortunate enough to have a home that’s solar powered). This is not true of all systems so make sure you ask.
That’s good news for anyone that has an unheated enclosed porch, which many older homes have, that rarely gets used during winter months. And is great news and a solution for anyone who might prefer the option of getting plenty of natural sunlight rather than hanging out in the basement. Imagine having extra fully heated entertaining space on the main level of your home that would normally go unused during the holidays.
This porch could easily be enclosed and converted to year round living space with the addition of radiant heat flooring.
An added benefit is that by adding radiant heat to rooms that are most often used you have the ability to have zoned heating which allows you to heat only where it’s needed rather than the entire house.
For kitchens that have not been ducted for heat a radiant heat tiled floor is the perfect solution.
For allergy sufferers radiant heat is known to be the best heat source as there is no ductwork that blows allergens into or around rooms. Additionally it is a more comfortable source of heat because it not only warms the room, it warms the objects in the room as opposed to just the air that when heated rises. It is also possible to set a dual temperature thermostat to heat the floor to one temperature and the air temperature in the room to another.
But of course nothing is perfect. I recently had a conversation with a neighbor who was considering radiant heat floors for a bathroom remodeling project who was told by the vendor of the product line under consideration that if the surge protector is triggered that the entire floor would need to be taken up to fix the problem. Not a great problem to have. This is where it pays to buy a high quality well regarded system that is properly tested and installed which has a guarantee of at least 15 to 30 years. By doing so there is no reason that the GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) should ever trigger because the wires are tested for damage prior to the tile or flooring being permanently installed. The best rule of thumb is to choose a product line that has a 30 year guaranteed life span for a tiled floor and a 15 year life span for a carpeted floor. This is definitely a situation where you get what you pay for so if radiant heat floors are in your future plans choose wisely.
As always I hope this information was helpful. If so please share it with others or share what your experience has been with radiant heat floors in the comments below. If this is something you’re thinking about and want additional information you can always request a brochure on the contact page or submit your questions in the comments below and I will do my best to respond as soon as possible. You are also encouraged to sign up for the newsletter to take advantage of special monthly discount offers on these and other types of home improvement products. BTW I hate spam as much as you do and be assured I barely have time to send out a newsletter more than once a month.