Mistakes Every Homeowner Should Avoid When Installing Radiant Floor Heat


When you're looking for a consistent, comfortable heating choice for your home, radiant floor heat is a great option. While the installation process is fairly straightforward, there are some areas where problems could arise. If you're looking to be sure that you are getting the most return on your investment, you'll want to be sure that you mitigate any potential installation risks. Here are some of the common issues that can arise during both the initial building construction and the radiant floor installation itself.

Home Construction Issues That Affect Radiant Floor Heat

Some of the biggest radiant floor issues are the result of errors from miscommunication during the initial construction phase of your home. You'll want to be sure that your construction crew and heating contractors are talking clearly about what's needed to optimize the system. Here are a couple of common issues that you may encounter.

  • No Insulation Under the Foundation – When you install radiant heat flooring during new construction, you can embed it directly into the wet concrete slab. This will radiate heat through the concrete, and the thermal mass of that slab will help to hold and radiate the heat into your home. If the slab is lacking insulation beneath, though, some of that heat will seep into the ground below, reducing the efficiency of the heating system.
  • No Heat Reflection Upstairs – If you're installing radiant heat flooring on more than one floor, you'll have to put the upstairs heating assembly on top of the floor joists. To prevent heat from seeping into the lower level of the home, you'll need reflectors installed under the floor joists to direct all of the heat back upward to the second story floor.
  • Incorrect Flooring Selection – You can opt for a variety of flooring types with radiant floor heating, but some are not as effective as others. Carpet, for example, will block heat from radiating into the room, causing the system to be inefficient and your rooms to be cooler than necessary. Talk with your flooring supplier about your intention to use radiant floor heat so that you can ensure that you select the best flooring for your heating system.

Heating System Issues That Affect Radiant Floor Heat

Once you've addressed the fundamental construction issues, it's time to look at the unique issues that can arise during the installation of the heating system itself. Here are a few things that can occur when the heating system is installed.

  • Poor Plumbing Connections – Since radiant heat flooring typically relies on recirculating heated water, any potential plumbing issues can spell disaster, not just for your heating system but also for your home's structural stability. You'll want to be sure that all of the plumbing connections are tight before you pressurize the system. Then, ensure that everyone working in the area is aware of the pipes running through the floor so that nobody punctures them.
  • Lack of Antifreeze – If you live in an area where the temperatures are sustained below freezing during the winter, you'll want to be attentive to the risk of freezing. Talk with the installation contractors about adding some antifreeze to the water that's cycling through the pipes to help protect your home against frozen radiant heat pipes.

Radiant heat flooring produces comfortable, gentle heat in your home, making it a popular choice for many homeowners. Understanding some of the common mistakes that can occur will help you to ensure that you're getting the heating system that you want without sacrificing reliability or efficiency. Work with your construction crew and radiant heat installation team to make sure that all of these things are addressed. For more tips, contact a company like Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc.


15 January 2016

Cool off Your AC Bill

Every summer, I agonized over energy bills that would shoot into the stratosphere as a result of my efforts to keep cool in the heat. Every time I turned the temperature down, my bills increased. This summer, I decided to take some of the control over my energy bill back. I installed reflective film on my windows that reduced the amount of light and heat coming into the house. I started serving more cold meals or asking my husband to barbecue outside, so that my air conditioner didn't have to compete with the hot stove, and I started doing laundry at night to reduce appliance heat in the house at peak times. I also had ceiling fans installed. So far, the difference in my bill has been tremendous. This blog is a way for me to explore other ways to reduce energy drain during the summer months.