When wintry weather comes, homeowners are concerned with making sure they have good and reliable heating systems to keep their families warm. There is a plethora of different options on the market today, ranging from a traditional forced air furnace to radiant heating. Contrary to what you may have heard, radiant heating is an ideal option for heating homes in cold climates.

What Exactly Is Radiant Heating?

Radiant heating is a type of whole-home heating system that is increasing in popularity. One variation of this system uses a boiler to heat water. The heated water is then pumped through a series of tubes that lie underneath the surface of your floors. The heat from the tubing is released into the floor and transferred to the surfaces it encounters.

Electric radiant heating systems use heating mats or electric cables installed in ceilings, in walls, or beneath floors. When electrical currents pass through these mats or cables, they release heat into the home.

There are a variety of circumstances that make it beneficial to procure a radiant heating system. For instance, if you are newly renovating a home, you may find it to be a practical time to install such a system. Additionally, these systems are optimal for you if you want something that will last, as they have a much longer lifespan compared to their traditional forced-air counterparts. Radiant heating systems have fewer mechanical components, which means that there are not as many parts that will wear out over time. The components found in these systems are also more durable. For example, the pipes in hydraulic systems are comprised of cross-linked polyethylene, which is well-known for being resistant to cracking and corrosion.

A Much Cleaner Operation

A great benefit of investing in radiant heating for your home is that it helps to facilitate a cleaner environment. Because radiant heating is delivered by hot water flowing through pipes or electrical cables instead of relying on ductwork, this eliminates the need for air circulation. This not only ensures that heat is delivered more efficiently, but this also preserves indoor air quality, which is a notable benefit for individuals contending with allergies and respiratory conditions.

Highly Energy Efficient

Despite being more expensive compared to other options available on the market today, radiant heating systems are immensely energy efficient, which makes them an appealing solution for heating homes in cold climates because they can maintain comfort without breaking the bank. This is because these sorts of systems don’t experience heat loss in the same way as those that rely on ducting. Every unit of heat delivered through the tubes beneath the floor or via electrical mats and cables is effectively projected up through the flooring and surrounding areas.

Quiet Operation

Radiant heating systems operate silently because they don’t rely on noisy fans that force air to distribute heat throughout the home. Instead, they rely on hot water running through pipes or electrical mats and cables to transfer heat directly to nearby surfaces. This silent operation enhances the overall comfort of homeowners and their families, which plays a pivotal role in providing a peaceful living environment.

Less Maintenance

While radiant systems are not maintenance-free, they require less maintenance than traditional heating systems. The type of maintenance needed will depend on the system present, as electric systems have different components than hydraulic models.

If the radiant system uses a boiler, routine boiler maintenance is critical. This will include flushing and checking all its components, thoroughly cleaning and inspecting the heat exchanger and making certain that all components are functioning optimally. Hydraulic systems also require pump inspections. The technician will check the pump to ensure that it adequately circulates water through the piping. Cleaning and lubricating the components might be necessary. Pressure checks and pipe inspections are also part of maintenance.

For electrical radiant heating systems, the technician will check the wiring to make sure nothing is exposed or damaged. The inspection will also include making sure there are no loose connections and testing controls to ensure they are functioning correctly. If any problems are present, the technician will collaborate with you to find suitable solutions for fixing them.

Thermostat calibration is part of the professional maintenance of all radiant heating systems. Periodically calibrating the thermostat is critical because it has a direct impact on how efficiently your heating system runs. This helps ensure temperature accuracy, as it prevents temperature swings.

Top Tips for Making the Most of Your New Radiant Heating System

If you’re thinking of investing in radiant heating or you’ve just purchased it for your home, there are a few things that you can do to help get the most out of your new system. First, make sure your home is well insulated. No matter what type of heating system you have, you will have problems maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home if you don’t have an adequate amount of insulation. Apart from insulating your exterior walls, you’ll also want to insulate the space below your radiant floor heating system and around the edges of your concrete slab. This will help to reduce heat loss.

Another great tip for helping to maximize the efficiency of your system is to ensure that you’re investing in the proper type of flooring. Materials like tile, concrete, and stone are great thermal conductors. This means that they’ll easily transfer heat from your radiant heating system and into your living space in a uniform fashion.

Regular wood and carpeting do not make good thermal conductors. If you’re going to invest in a radiant heating system and want to have wood or carpet in your home, you’ll need to invest in specialized products that are compatible with radiant heating.

Apart from choosing the right flooring material and having appropriate insulation installed, you also want to procure the right thermostat controls. Investing in a zoned thermostat setup will allow you to set different temperatures for different zones of your home. For example, you can select the temperature to be warmer in your living room and colder in your bedroom. With zoned thermostats, you can make your heating system more energy efficient and save on your heating bills throughout the winter months.

Suitable for Homes in Cold Climates

Radiant heating systems are especially beneficial for homes in extremely cold climates. Unlike traditional systems that rely on forced air for temperature regulation, radiant heating delivers heat directly to objects and surfaces, which creates a comfortable environment without relying on air circulation. This method provides more even heating, combats cold spots, and reduces heat loss.

Give the Pros a Call Today

TR Miller Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is proud to offer radiant heating services for the Greater Chicago area. Our skillful technicians can also assist with your other heating, cooling, plumbing, indoor air quality, sump pump, and drain needs. Call our office today, and we’ll get one of our experienced technicians on the way to your home to provide optimal solutions to any maintenance problems you face.

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