Hot water in floor heating, also known as hydronic or liquid floor heating, is an innovative home-heating method that warms your house from the floor up rather than from the ceiling down, using hot water that circulates in plastic pipes that are built right into the structure of your floor.
How Does Hot Water In Floor Heating Work?
Hot water in floor heating uses heated water sent into a room from your home’s water heater and through pipes running through the wall and then underneath the flooring. These pipes will typically be made of PEX, a flexible plastic tubing that is both durable an effective at radiating heat. In fact, PEX has an expected lifespan of over 100 years, making it unlikely you will ever need to replace it.
The tubing is built into sub-floor tiles and is arranged in a circulation pattern that both covers the full floor so that heat rises evenly instead of entering the room at one point only. The heat radiates into the surrounding materials and then into the lower-level air in the room. Since the upper-level air need not be heated, the room can be kept quite comfortable while using less energy than top-down methods.
How Is Hot Water In Floor Heating Installed?
On the ground-floor level of a home, the typical installation method begins by excavating the floor and preparing the work-surface. A layer of insulation is then laid down, and the room’s dimensions are measured to calculate the number and dimensions of tiles needed. Next, the panels are cut to size and arranged, and pipes are inserted into the tile-channels with a rubber mallet. A 1/8th-inch gap is left between panels to allow for expansion, adhesive is applied to hold each piece in place, and the panels are securely screwed down. A sensor will be installed in a central position and connected to the thermostat, and two water pipes will be run through the wall to the water heater.
With concrete floors, re-bar is installed before pouring, and the PEX tubes are tied to the re-bar for extras support. On upper stories of a building, the PEX tubing is often suspended underneath the sub-floor between the joists rather than being built into the sub-floor.
What Are the Benefits of Hot Water In Floor Heating?
In Canada especially, where cold winters and high home heating costs are routine, hot water in floor heating has gained great popularity. Some of the benefits it offers that explain why it is frequently opted for over other methods are as follows:
- The number one reason is higher energy efficiency rates, typically besting both gas and electric. Relatively quick, even, and strategically located heat distribution translates into superior cost-effectiveness.
- The inconspicuous and space-saving nature of having your heating device hidden below your floor is another benefit, as is the elimination of unsightly heating pumps/vents.
- Marble, slate, and other natural stone flooring is highly decorative but ice-cold at times on your bare feet, but a heated floor means pleasantly warmed-up feet.
- Because heat slowly radiates upward, drafts are virtually eliminated. This means that allergens and particles affecting asthmatics are left on the floor instead of being lifted up into the air.
Hot water in floor heating is one of the most effective and efficient ways to heat your home, particularly during the cold winter months. It has many benefits that have made it an extremely popular option, and expert installation is available year-round through Climate Experts. You can get a free estimate today online or by calling us at 855-241-7171.