The majority of people in North America use hot air furnaces in their homes. It is relatively inexpensive, can attain a high AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) and doubles as a cooler in summers. However, it requires extensive ductwork, its fan is often noisy, its air filter often becomes clogged with dust and debris decreasing its efficiency, there is always the risk of allergens floating in the air, and it needs regular repair and maintenance. Also, since air is heated by convection, the heat may not be distributed uniformly.
If you are looking for a heating system that is largely unseen and unheard but heats every part of your house uniformly, offering the maximum level of comfort, then installing a radiant heating system may be the best solution. A radiant heating system consists of a boiler for boiling water placed in the basement or some other place hidden from view. The boiler can be fueled by electricity, gas, oil, propane, propane, coal or firewood. The hot water is circulated by tubes concealed under the floor.
A radiant heating system heats your home by radiation. The tubes carrying the hot water first heat the floor of your home. The floors then radiate the heat throughout the rooms, heating every part uniformly. Some of the heat transfers also take place through conduction (from the floor to anything in contact with it) and convection (by the natural circulation of air). In a home with radiant heating, the floor is always warm and comfortable. Just imagine getting up from bed early in the morning and stepping on a warm floor. You can hardly get the same feeling with any other types of heating system.
What you will love about radiant heating is the complete absence of noise and the pipes (or tubes). Also, depending on what fuel source you use for the boiler and availability of your chosen fuel source in your area, the system can be quite fuel efficient. As for maintenance, there is very little need for it. The boiler doesn’t need much maintenance apart from cleaning once or twice a year. The tubes running under the floors practically never need any repair and maintenance.
A radiant heating system is not without its faults. It has a higher installation cost if the installation is done in an old home. This is because the floor has to be dug in order to lay the tubes. In a home under construction, this can be incorporated with the design to minimize the costs. The heating process is slower than in a heat furnace because radiation, though effective, is a slow process. Repair can be expensive if the tubing gets clogged, but that almost never happens. If you live an area where a cooling system is required in summer, then you need to install a separate air conditioner.
However, considering all, a radiant heating system offers maximum level of comfort that you can expect from a home heating system. The fact that it heats every part of your home uniformly; is noiseless, hidden from view and extremely safe from a health point of view makes it an ideal choice for your home. This is the reason why it is so popular in European countries. To know more about radiant heating system, please visit Beautiful Heat.