Concrete Floor Radiant Heating
A Versatile Heating Solution
A concrete floor can do more than you would think. With concrete floor radiant heating, you can heat your home, warm up your garage, and even melt snow and ice away with ease on your concrete driveway or walkways.
One thing you must know. You simply can’t add radiant heat to a pre-existing slab of concrete. Radiant heat must be installed first, and then the concrete is poured on top of the heating system.
In most cases, a hydronic system is used for larger concrete fixtures. Before the concrete is poured, incredibly strong and durable plastic tubing is placed on a wire grid. The most commonly used tubing is called cross linked polyethylene, which is commonly called PEX. This tubing is snaked around on the ground where the concrete will be placed. The PEX tubing will connect to a boiler or water heater.
When the PEX is in place and hooked up to a heating source, the concrete can be poured. Cross linked polyethylene is built to last up to 200 years, so you shouldn’t have to worry about cracks and leaks in the water tubes.
When the radiant heating system is activated, the thermal mass of the concrete will heat up. As the floor warms, it also warms up the room you are in. If you are using a system outside, the concrete warms up above freezing and melts away any snow or ice that is resting on its surface.
Concrete doesn't have to be a grey slab anymore either. You can customize the look and feel of your concrete to create a beautiful surface inside and outside. To learn more, visit this site: Everything About Concrete.
A Review of Concrete Floor Radiant Heating
Concrete is a large thermal mass. It can take a bit of time and a decent amount of energy to heat it up. The nice thing about this large mass is once it is warmed up, concrete retains that heat for an extended period of time. Now the entire concrete floor is a large radiator. This heats the air as well as any other objects in the room.
This system doesn’t have to be just in the home. Wherever you have concrete, radiant heating can be placed within. Imagine a home where you don’t have to shovel the drive or walkways. With a flip a switch, the ice and snow will melt away. You are free to enjoy the winter instead of fighting against it.
When you are inside, comfort is the key with radiant heat. Many people are thrilled with how warm the floors are with this type of heating. With many users of concrete floor radiant heating, the thermostat is kept at a lower setting compared to with forced air. This is because you don’t have cold feet!
Another advantage of radiant flooring compared to typical forced air heating is less dust, pollen, or pet dander circulates in the air. When the air isn’t constantly moving through a house, this also means less heat will escape a structure.
Also, the heating system is hidden in the floor. No heating vents on the walls or on the ground. No more loud noises as the furnace fires up and pushes air around the room. Radiant heat is a silent steady heat provider.
Because the concrete is such a large amount of mass, a room can maintain it’s warmth even if a large amount of cold air is let in. Some factories use concrete radiant floor heat because they have to open and close large dock doors. Cold air will enter the building often, but the room will recoup that heat loss quickly. The large thermal mass of the concrete won’t change with a gust of cold air.
There are a few disadvantages to concrete. Remember, you are dealing with a large amount of material with the concrete floor. If you have left the system off for a while, it may take some time for the floor to heat up when activated. Sometimes when a room becomes too warm too quick, concrete radiant heat will not be able to cool off either. An example of this situation would be if you had a large group of people in a room with a radiant concrete floor. The body heat would raise the temperature of the air. You would have to open some windows to bring the room temperature back down.
Another disadvantage is setting up concrete floor radiant heating is that it's more expensive than installing a traditional forced air furnace. The system will pay for itself in time, but the start up costs are higher. If you aren’t planning on staying at the place for long where you are installing this system, you might not get your return on investment.
Advantages of Concrete Radiant Floors
- Concrete heat is versatile. It can be used inside and outside.
- Your floor is warm to the touch. You can walk around barefoot inside in the winter.
- More efficient than heated forced air. Save money on your heating bills.
- No dust, pollen, dander, or other pollutants and allergens are circulated throughout the house.
- This is a very quiet heating system, and it is hidden in the floor.
- Can be used in an areas where cold air is let in and out because the floor retains it’s heat for an extended period of time.
Disadvantages of Concrete Radiant Floors
- Can’t be installed in pre-existing concrete floors.
- It takes longer to heat up and cool off compared to forced air.
- Installing it is more expensive than a traditional furnace.
Is Concrete Floor Radiant Heating Right For You?
Every project is different. Radiantheatreviewer hopes the information from this article will help you make an informed decision on concrete radiant heat. It is a big job to install any heating structure, but radiant heat is universally loved by the people who have experienced it. Concrete is typically used on bigger projects such as heating an entire structure, heating a garage, or using radiant heat for melting snow on driveways and concrete walkways. If concrete floor radiant heating can fit within your project’s budget, we strongly suggest you pursue this heating option.
Watch the video example from the DIY Network of a concrete radiant heat system being installed in the basement of a home.
- Concrete Slab Radiant Heat
- Radiant Heat Lake House
- Radiant Floor Heat Insulation
- Radiant Water Heat
- PEX Radiant Floor
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