Whether to ensure the comfort and efficiency of workers or protect products and maintain calibration on process machinery, this time of year, most businesses, from retail shops to industrial facilities will need to provide heating in the workspace. If you didn’t know before, take a second to explore the advantages of in-floor radiant heating.

What is in-floor radiant heating?

In-floor heating is nothing new. In fact, according to Building Green, in-floor heating was used by the Romans and then by the Koreans and then by Frank Lloyd Wright himself as he designed many of his buildings to pipe hot water through the floors throughout the 1930s, a practice frequently used in homes today.

According to the United States Department of Energy, there are three types of radiant floor heating including: radiant air floors, electric radiant floors, and hot water radiant floors. The most commonly used however, is the latter, which uses hot water in the place of air to circulate below, turning the floor into a low-temperature radiator that slowly heats the space above. These days, in-floor radiant heating can be designed to accommodate all sorts of different flooring materials, including carpets and floor mats.

How in-floor radiant heating works

When it comes to the ins and outs of how in-floor radiant heating works, we turn to the experts like the Mortgage and Housing Corporation for advice. According to the Corporation, hydronic in-floor radiant heating –where water flows through a system of pipes in the place of air – necessitates the circulation of warm water through plastic tubing embedded in a floor slab or attached to the underside of flooring. Once warm water has circulated throughout the system (specific rooms or zones), the cooler water then returns to the heat source – either a water heater or boiler – and is reheated and sent out again. One of the most popular types of tubing used for in-floor heating is called cross-linked polyethylene (PEX). PEX is durable, leak-resistant, non-toxic, high temperature and flexible, and isn’t affected by aggressive concrete additives or water conditions.

In-floor radiant heating: saving you energy

These systems provide heat where it’s needed most – at the working level. Instead of rising like forced air systems, these systems focus on the floor level, saving you energy.  In-floor radiant heating also provides you with the option to heat specific rooms to different temperatures, meaning you can focus the heat where you need it most!

In addition to even, focused heating, the Concrete Network also points to the following benefits of radiant in-floor heating as reasons to make the switch from traditional heating:

  • Less energy required to achieve better thermal comfort at a lower thermostat setting.
  • Water has 3,500 times the energy transport capacity of air.
  • Adaptable to various energy-efficient heat sources, such as solar and geothermal.
  • Improved indoor air quality.
  • Radiant systems that use PEX tubing vs. copper pipe expedite hot water delivery and reduce water waste. The walls of PEX tubing provide better insulation than copper.
  • Reduces building materials required for concealing ductwork and compensating ceiling heights.
  • Provides more usable area, which allows for smaller spaces without sacrificing room for products.

Do you use in-floor radiant heating? Let us know what you think in the comments section below! Do you want to see how much money you could be saving on energy bills by investing in energy efficient equipment? Visit our interactive energy audit today.

image credit: blmiers2