If you're planning to transform your dark basement into a cozy room where your family can watch movies, play, entertain guests or have friends sleep over, then you need to find the ideal heating solution. An option you might want to consider is radiant floor heating.

While it's common to install this type of heating system at the time the slab is being poured in new construction homes, it's also possible to put radiant heating in an existing basement. Radiant heat makes the space much more comfortable than a forced air system, especially since basements are notoriously chilly spaces. Here are some things to know about this type of heating system.

Why Radiant Heating Is Warmer

A radiant heating system is installed in your basement floor and heats the concrete uniformly across the room. The floor heats up like a big rock sitting in the sun. It then rises off the floor to heat the entire room. This is much different from the way a traditional furnace works.

A furnace blows hot air into a room. This creates air currents with pockets of warm air and drafts of chilly air. The warm air rises to the top and then falls to the floor as it cools, creating more air currents. With a traditional forced air furnace, the floor can be quite chilly even if the air is warm.

How Radiant Heating Is Installed

Your heating contractor has a few options for installing radiant heating on an existing slab. One way to do it without drilling into the slab is to apply the system on top of the slab and then cover it with a thin layer of concrete or flooring.

Radiant heating is installed with a series of tubes or flat panels. These are fairly thin, but when new flooring or a layer of concrete is added, it raises the floor enough that you may need to trim the bottom of the doors in your basement.

Installing the flooring may involve rolling out mesh fabric that contains the tubing or placing sheets of tubes on the floor. Some subflooring materials come with radiant heating already applied to the underside. Once the tubing is secured in place, we connect it to the power source.

The system can be driven by water, electricity, gas or even solar energy. This allows you to create the most energy efficient heating system for your home and your lifestyle.

Types of Flooring That Work With Radiant Heat

One advantage of covering the radiant heating system with a thin layer of concrete is that concrete is excellent at transferring heat to the room. Concrete is also a popular style of flooring that compliments the aesthetics of many homes. The concrete can be stained or stamped so it has an attractive appearance.

If you want another type of flooring, talk to your contractor about the best choice for your home. We can install one of these systems under any type of flooring, including carpet. However, some materials are better at transferring heat than others. Concrete, stone and vinyl flooring are excellent options.

The Benefits of Radiant Heating

Besides keeping you warm on cold winter days, radiant floor heating is also a cleaner type of heat because it doesn’t force air into the room to stir up dust, allergens and pet hair.

This type of heating system is a perfect match for family members with allergies. Radiant heat makes the floor comfortable for kids and pets to play on. It also warms up other surfaces in the room so tables and furniture aren’t chill to the touch.

If radiant floor heating sounds like the right option for your basement makeover, contact Hartman Heating, Air and Fireplaces for skilled installation and service.