An interesting trend has begun to catch on in homes; heating them by using in-floor (hydronic) heating. Essentially, in-floor heating uses water to transport heat to the floors of your home. Since water has the amazing ability to transport energy very efficiently (3500 times greater than air) this means that your home becomes more efficiently heated when you use the system.
Another advantage of in-floor heating is that the heat can be trapped in the material the heat is transferring through (tile for example), which provides heat for a certain amount of time after the system is not being used.
From an aesthetic point of view, in-floor heating also wins because forced air would potentially not be needed in your home, therefore there is no need for bulky vents that stick out of your walls or floors. One of the drawbacks of in-floor HEATING systems is the that you will still need to provide a way to COOL the home (if you live in a seasonally warm area as well), which might mean that you will have to have forced air in the form of air-conditioning in your home. Having the heating and cooling as separate systems may be reason enough for some to not go with in-floor heating systems, but there are other ways to cool a home without installing ducts (like window air conditioning units).
Additionally, since forced air only infiltrates a room from one area (the supply vent) and gets taken out from another area (the return vent), this means that there is uneven heating of your room which leads to cold spots. With radiant in-floor heating, this problem is solved because the heat is spread across the entire room’s area, and the heat stays closer to where it needs to be (the people in the home).
It has been found that, due to the way the in-floor heating works, it is actually 30% more efficient than forced air, which would provide a plentiful amount of savings because heating costs take up a large chuck of our home expenses during our winters in Canada.
Another way that in-floor heating does better than forced air is with the indoor air quality, which needs to be monitored with forced air because of dust accumulation in the system.
In my opinion, it seems as though in-floor heating has a lot of advantages, which definitely is worth a look at when deciding how to heat your home. For more information about in-floor heating, refer to the below links!
About the Author
Business Development, BVM Contracting
A graduate of chemical engineering from Queen's University, Ryan has spent many summers working with BVM Contracting in various roles and projects. This experience has provided him with a unique view on the residential construction industry which he loves sharing with you!