Hydronic radiant floors
Are you aware of the fact that as much as 35% to 45% of residential energy bills go to heating/cooling? Radiant floor designs can save 40% of your heating costs while keeping the house comfortable. It also comes with ‘no-noise ‘ guarantee since heat is broadcast over the floor (it does not make use of mechanical parts like fans or blowers). It can go under the present floor between the rafters or under most finish materials. Radiant floors are a great option during your next home remodeling project.
The choices for the flooring material are nearly infinite; you can use carpet, hardwood, linoleum and laminate, or you can pick ‘high-mass ‘ substances like tile, marble or slate — all with good heat holding properties so that you can cut some more on your energy use. For important savings on your utility bills, you might need to consider thermal mass floor which are excellent heat holder; and if you want an eco-friendly solution, couple the radiant floor design to a solar thermal system — using the sun-heated water to run around your place through water pipes.
Hydronic radiant floors are designed so that lukewarm water runs underneath it thru plastic tubes. This system is made up of a water heater (boiler), a circulation pump, a thermostat and a manifold of valves to facilitate water circulation.
Installation of a hydronic system is usually handled by HVAC contractors or pro plumbers because of the floor area and difficulty concerned. This cost can range from US$6-US$12 per square foot — double or treble that for alternative heating systems.
But it offers amazing operational saving when runs on 1 full level (more savings can be achieved when used on the whole house). With such floor area, savings of roughly 33% is possible when put next to condition air.
Vinyl, tile and carpet are all acceptable for this system (they can go immediately on top of hydronic masonry floor) but some heat loss is inescapable if employed with materials that do not hold heat relatively well,eg carpet (not so great) vs tile (great). The plastic tubing can run under a wooden floor as well , by positioning itself just underneath the finished flooring or it can get tightened to the bottom of the subfloor, between beams. If you can reach the bottom of the floor, maybe you need to use this option as a part of your home improvement project.
Electrical Radiant Floors
Electrical radiant floor design makes use of miniscule heating wires, rather like those you find in an electrical blanket, to warm up the ceramic tiles on top. Due to these fine wires, the necessary flooring elevation is minimum; making it ideal for remodelling.
Usually radiant floor design is applied on kitchens, mudrooms and bathroom, where the touch of warm floor is so desirable. It incorporates its own temperature controls and it is never meant as a replacement to the central heating — instead the electrical radiant floor is intended to play a complimentary role to that central heating.
To add electric-driven radiant floor design to an existing space, a separate 15- to 20-amp GFCI-protected circuit (to power it), and a further tile floor are required. It would be an ideal fit for your remodelled home.
A bathroom-size retrofit will set you back US$400 to US$700 (new tile inclusive). The electricity consumed would be similar to that of 3 x 100W lightbulbs.