Your Guide to Radiant Heating

Artisan Construction can install new radiant heat systems, retrofit existing systems, and provide service and repair.


Radiant floor heating, in essence, is like having your floor act like a huge radiator. The old radiator systems of the 1900s placed large heavy radiators in every room to emit heat and make the space comfortable. While many of these old systems are still operating today, they are not a good fit with the demands of modern homeowners. For instance, those old radiators are rather bulky and obtrusive. Plus, due to their design, they are often very hot to the touch while operating, which can be viewed as a safety hazard.

Today, a more common practice is to use the entire exposed floor area as a "radiator." Due to the massive surface area available by using this approach, the floor (radiator) can utilize much lower surface temperatures than their old cast iron radiator counterparts. They create very comfortable living or working spaces, all without the obtrusive radiators to contend with. A wonderful benefit of a radiant floor heating system is cozy, warm floors to enjoy during the cold winter weather. With the "outdoor reset logic" which is used on many modern boilers, the colder the temperature gets outside, the warmer the radiant panel (your floor) will be. That makes your house that much more inviting during bitter cold winter weather.

Another one of the many great benefits of a radiant floor heating system is the ability to use a high efficiency boiler to run the heating system. The high efficiency boilers available today are capable of delivering up to 99% thermal efficiency! What that means to you is that for every dollar you spend to heat your home, 99 cents worth is actually utilized! This is much better than the 80% (80 cents out of every dollar) which is the current federal standard for new home heating systems. Many current and new home heating systems are only 80% efficient due to the lower cost of purchase and installation of these systems. If your heating system is 20 or more years old, it may not even be 80% efficient.

A great accompaniment to a high efficiency boiler is an indirect water heater. An indirect water heater heats the "hot" water which comes out of the faucets in your house. The major difference is that indirect water heaters don't use gas or electric to produce hot water. Instead, they use the hot water produced by the boiler to make the hot water for the faucets. By heating water in this manner, you end up with a water heater which also operates at extremely high efficiency levels and SAVES YOU MONEY. As an added bonus, the indirect water heaters that we prefer to use, made by Ergomax, carry a lifetime warranty. These water heaters actually operate very similarly to the way a tankless water heater operates, but without all of the added expense and hassle of installing a tankless water heater.

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