HVAC Service in San Diego: Is Radiant Heating Right for Your Remodel?
Today’s radiant heating systems are nothing like the old iron radiators fueled by steam. Those waist-high loops of iron standing in every room still exist back east in the oldest homes.
Out here, not so much.
Radiant heat today is a whole different ballgame (and a good thing as those old units caused burns and bruises.) It may be something you consider if you are building a new home or remodeling your old one. Because the installation of a radiant heating system requires ripping up carpeting and even the sub floor, only those considering the ambitious remodel consider it. While radiant heating is common in commercial buildings, heating specialist Perry Plumbing Heating & Air has been getting more calls for installation of this comfortable, energy saving heating system in residences all over San Diego.
Radiant Heating System Installation
As opposed to forced air which involves a furnace pushing air through ducts throughout the house, the radiant heating system lies under the floor of every room. We either cast electric heating elements or piping (for hydronic heating systems) into the concrete floors or place them on top of the slab but under the sub-floor. We can also attach them directly to a wood sub floor in which they become the sub-floor. Hydronic systems, often used in large buildings more than residences, push a mix of hot water and anti-freeze that’s re-circulated between the floor areas. These pipes are connected to large boiler that stands either in the basement or its own room.
Benefits of Radiant Heat
Today, everyone’s focused on energy savings, both for their budgets and for the environment. Radiant heat can be coupled with geothermal and solar thermal systems, both non-combustible, renewable energy sources. The ensuing reduction of greenhouse gases fits many of our clients’ values. Further, forced air heating, the dominant system here in San Diego, loses 30% of the warmth through the duct system. Because warm air rises, the warmth created in the floor brings about a comfort forced air cannot duplicate.
Radiant heating systems make tile and wooden floors far more comfortable than they are with forced air heat. The heating panels warm the ceramic or wood flooring to a comfortable level, keeping bare feet cozy. Even those sitting in chairs enjoy the warmth emanating from the floor. The warmth created through forced air, with the ducts typically high on the ceiling, has a tough time reaching the floor. Instead, it hovers at the top of the room.
Forced air heat typically operates from one thermostat which means the entire home must come to single temperature despite family members’ varying preferences. Radiant heat comes with multiple thermostats that provide room-to-room variation in heating.
Forced air heating is notorious for blowing dust mites, mold spores and pollen throughout the house. Radiant heating doesn’t have surfaces that collect dust like the duct-work-based forced air depends on. Therefore, the radiant heated home stays cleaner and less prone to piquing allergies and even viruses.
The reduction of allergies isn’t the only health benefit of radiant heating. Because the equipment is embedded in the floor, it creates no burn hazards or injuries due to tripping or falling on equipment.
Perry Plumbing Heating & Air Has All Your Heating Options
Radiant heating isn’t just a twentieth century invention. Archeological digs in the Aleutian islands of Alaska reveal how inhabitants directed hot smoke from fires through stone lined trenches under dwellings. The stones in the dwelling floors absorbed the heat and radiated it upward to the rooms people inhabited. The concept is identical to the radiant heating systems used today, except for the fuel, which can be electric, solar or gas.
If you are considering a remodel or building a new home, call Perry Plumbing Heating & Air at 619-472-2112 to discuss your heating system options. Do not forget to look at our plumbing heating & air coupons page for your chance to save on all repair and installation work. We look forward to helping you create the home of your dreams!