Radiant Heating: What You Need to Know

A closer look at why more people are choosing to install it in their homes

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When the winter months arrive, homeowners who live in particularly cold regions need an effective way to keep warm. That’s why an increasing number of people are choosing to install radiant heating. This type of home heating system offers a level of comfort that more traditional options don’t offer, making it an appealing feature to add to new construction projects. Beyond comfort, underfloor heating — a specific kind of radiant heating — also comes with a host of other benefits.  

What is Radiant Heating?

Put simply, radiant heating is when you directly heat a surface to warm a larger space. It can be applied to:

  • Ceilings
  • Wall panels
  • Driveways
  • Parking lots
  • Floors

Radiant floor heating comes in different forms, with one of the most popular and cost-effective options being hydronic floor heating. In this case, a boiler heats water, which is distributed throughout a closed-loop network of pipes that heats a slab or floor. In turn, the heated pipes beneath the floor radiate heat into the entire room until it reaches the temperature on the system’s thermostat. 

Benefits of Underfloor Heating 

While most people are familiar with forced-air central heating, underfloor heating comes with a few unique benefits that make it more appealing to have.  

Energy Efficiency 

Heating a home makes up about 42% of a homeowner’s utility bill.  But with a hydronic radiant floor heating system, homeowners achieve better energy efficiency with lower temperature water that heats specific floor spaces to 87.5 degrees or below.

Ultimately, underfloor heating conserves up to 15-20% in energy costs compared to forced-air or other hydronic baseboard heating systems.  

Plus, it eliminates energy losses in ducts. Instead, you can install different loops of piping, known as zones, for different areas so you can better control where you spend energy. Once the desired temperature is reached, it doesn’t take a lot of energy to maintain it.  

Cost Effectiveness 

While a hydronic radiant floor heating system installation has a higher up-front cost, once it's installed there’s a return on investment because of the energy it saves. Homeowners can also expect reduced ongoing maintenance costs because it’s an out-of-sight system comprised of minimal moving parts, and it’s protected from external damage.  

Health 

The typical forced-air system creates dry air and blows dust and allergens into the home, decreasing air quality. Because underfloor heating systems don’t generate heat that way, they minimize the transfer of dust, pollen, germs and other particles, promoting cleaner, healthier and allergy-free environments. 

Comfort 

Because these systems can be zoned, they allow for more versatility and comfort in different parts of the home. Everything can be equally warm, or they can adjust the temperatures of specific spaces based on people’s different preferences. Additionally, there’s no noise with underfloor heating like there is with air ducts, and it’s safer than radiators, especially for kids. 

Home Design 

There are also some aesthetic advantages. Homeowners can optimize interior functionality with a completely invisible under-the-floor system. Eliminating radiators means more space and more design freedom. So does less duct work, especially in basement spaces that can be turned into entertainment or guest rooms.  

SharkBite Radiant Heating System 

SharkBite’s complete radiant heating system offers a full range of products, such as radiant heating manifolds and installation kits, oxygen barrier PEX pipe, brackets, supports and radiant fittings. This system requires installation by a plumbing professional. If you’re a homeowner, contact a local plumber in your area to get a quote.  

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