Debunking myths on radiant floor heating

The concept of radiant floor heating may be new to you, and you might have even heard of myths surrounding this kind of flooring. But today, we will debunk these baseless claims.

Here are 10 myths you need to know to help you distinguish fact from fiction when you choose the right radiant floor for your needs.

Myth #1: Floor Heating Is Too Expensive

No, it's not too expensive. An average-sized bathroom may only cost an estimated $400 to $700.[i] The cost to install a whole-house radiant floor heating system is between $1,800 and $4,800.[ii] Prices vary, depending on climate conditions and the builder you will choose to install it.

Radiant floor heat could reduce your building heat load by 25 percent, with savings as much as 40 percent or more on energy.

Myth #2: Only Tiles and Concrete Floors Can Use Radiant Floor Heating

No, radiant floor heating works with other types of flooring, such as wood floors and carpets. Concerns that these types of flooring will insulate rooms from radiant heat are unfounded since "emissivity," or how well a substance emits energy as thermal radiation, is more important than insulation factor. Wood floors and carpeting have very high emissivity, so they make good radiators. A bonus of using radiant heat with carpets is the elimination of allergens trapped in carpets from blown-air HVAC systems.

Myth #3: Radiant Floor Heating Damages Hardwood Floors

No, hardwood floors suffer damage from moisture, which a radiant heated floor does not generate. So there is no reason for hardwood floors to crack because of radiant heat.

Myth #4: Energy-Efficient Homes Don't Need Radiant Floor Heat

No, all types of building designs can take advantage of radiant heat's benefits. For example, dwellings with radiant floor heat enjoy the advantage of improved air quality.

Radiant floor heat can provide efficient warmth to almost any space. Radiant floor heating systems run at lower temperatures, and only warm what needs that warmth. Installation costs for most radiant floor heating systems are lower than the conventional choices. You will not be seeing your heat going up a flue with radiant heating systems.

Myth #5 Installation of Radiant Floor Heating Is Difficult

No, homeowners - with or without a contractor - can install radiant floor heating. ThermoSoft has over 1,500,000 [iii] radiant heat customers who would agree that we can improve your next project. We have many well-trained and certified installers ready to show you.

Myth #6: Radiant Heat Discolors Your Floors

There is an old myth that radiant heat could change the color of your floors to a pink or yellow. Homeowners mistakenly thought that this was because the radiant heat made the floor hot. The truth is that floors do not have to be hot to the touch to cause a color change. Instead, flooring is often damaged and discolored by the UV rays coming through windows.

Myth #7: Radiant Heat Takes a Long Time to Get You Warm

False. Radiant floor heat warms you and the furnishings around you. It's just like when you immediately feel warm when you open your blinds and sunlight pours through. The warmth you feel from the sun is called "thermal performance." Radiant heat's thermal performance is instantaneous. [iv]

This instantaneous performance does not mean that radiant floor heat is instantaneous. It does mean that you feel warmer faster because of the thermal power performance.

Myth #8: Radiant Heat Cannot Heat the Whole Home

Wrong. This myth overlooks that large buildings, such as museums and university buildings, operate fine using radiant heat. Heating a home? No problem!

Myth #9: Radiant Heat Makes Your House Too Warm

Factors such as insulation and cracks impact your house's temperature. You can enjoy the full advantages of radiant floor heat if your home is well-constructed and outfitted with the ideal insulation system.

Set radiant floor heating systems as low as 73.5 degrees for people walking around in "normal footwear." Residents sitting down to watch a movie would enjoy a temperature setting of 77 degrees. The differences in these settings can be changed. For example, rugs could go as low as 70 degrees for folks to feel comfortable.[iv] If you like to go barefoot on your carpet, you could set the warmth at 66 degrees [i]

Myth #10: Radiant Heat Is Dry Heat

No, radiant floor heat does not put moisture in the air or take it out. The heat comes from what is already in the atmosphere. So, if you live in a dry climate, then you may feel dry conditions. The same goes for the heat in humid locations. Unlike electric heat, most HVAC furnaces blow whatever is in the environment. It takes the air, makes it hot (dry) and blows it through your house. And that is not hot air.

The mission of ThermoSoft is to "Warm the World Safely, Comfortably and Economically." We have been doing that for over 20 years. [vi]

You can take advantage of our many excellent features and applications. Check us out at ThermoSoft Floor Heating.

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