The top reason home owners choose Hydronic radiant floor is home heating comfort. Radiant heating heats the objects in the room, not the air. As a result it eliminates chilly drafts, dry air, and large temperature swings. There’s no need for fans to move air around, or the things that go along with air like dust, allergens, mold, bacteria, and viruses.
A majority of Central and Northern European homes use radiant heating, and that trend is now growing across North America. Green Builders are warming up to the lessons learned in more advanced and energy efficient homes, finding owner satisfaction as the driving force that is moving the heating market. Once radiant home heating comfort is experienced, it is very difficult to give up the superior comfort and health of hot water heating.
Comfortable warm homes start with an accurate Heat Loss/Gain calculation by an Energy Auditor or Heating Professional to determine the actual BTU/hour or Watts/hour amount required. This step is often skipped by Contractors who take the lazy method of “rules-of-thumb” leading to improperly sized heating sources. The common practice is to estimate the heating based on floor area, then add a large factor to overestimate the size. Modern building science has proven that the best efficiency is achieved by accurate sizing, not over-sizing.
Modern hydronic design aims for very large surface area exchange and low temperature differences, the complete opposite of old school beliefs. Comfort is near impossible from a blow torch waved in front of you, but is near perfect when the entire floor surface areas are in the 80’s F or 30-ish C.
If you are considering a new home or major heating upgrade, you may want to consider the advantages and importance of comfort. Homes need to do more than look good, they must be cozy and healthy. A SunPump can be a high efficiency and economical alternative to more expensive renewables and fossil fuel systems worth considering as the source for solar heating your home, Summer and Winter, Day and Night.