Radiant Heat: A Supplementary Heating Option On the Rise

By Daniel Dahlman

Now that the heat and humidity of summer have given way to crisp fall air and cool temperatures, we are all reminded that winter is just around the corner. Homeowners are in the midst of transitioning from the summer preoccupation of how to get the most out of their cooling systems, to the winter concern of how to best keep their homes warm and inviting during the holiday season.

The topic of radiant heat floors is becoming an increasingly popular topic among our clients. As heated floor technology becomes more advanced and affordable, more homeowners are turning to radiant heat flooring systems to meet their supplementary heating needs. Not too long ago, heated flooring was a luxury only a few could afford. Today, most radiant heating floor systems are energy efficient, operate on just pennies a day, and with no moving parts or filters to change, require very little maintenance.

Client enjoying her new radiant heat floor

Underfloor radiant heat is an ideal supplementary heating option because heat is supplied directly to the floor and travels to the ceiling, evenly heating the entire room and eliminating air drafts and heat loss in the process. Radiant heating works like an electric blanket, a thin matt made of tough fiberglass mesh is installed on an insulated floor (above a sturdy floor base) and connects to a programmable thermostat mounted on a wall. In most cases, radiant heat can be installed in less than a day. The systems are easy to use (most have a low, medium, high settings), reach operating temperature in 20 minutes, and save energy by giving you the option of heating only the rooms you need, when you need them. Unlike bulky radiators, radiant heat is quiet, clean, and doesn’t take up any wall or floor space. The system is compatible with all flooring surfaces, from wood to tile to stone, and is most popularly used in kitchens and bathrooms.

Fiberglass matt installation

We recently installed a Warmly Yours heating system for a remodeling project in an historic district in Northwest DC .The homeowners were tired of their cramped galley kitchen and wanted to increase their kitchen space to more comfortably cook and entertain. To give the clients the space they needed without changing too much of the property’s historical structure, a protruding rear addition was added to the kitchen. Given that an extension leaves more walls exposed to the elements, and that there was no heated space underneath the new addition, a radiant floor heating system was the perfect solution to ensure that the larger kitchen stays warm and inviting throughout the frigid winter season.

Clean, quiet, and efficient, underfloor radiant heating will be a continuing trend this winter season and beyond.

Rear kitchen addition

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