by Nicole Stevens
Imagine waking up on a cold winter morning, still comfortable and warm in bed, eventually getting up to start the day and your feet hit an icy cold floor! It shakes the comfort right out of any morning. Sure, you could wear socks, but even they aren’t immune to the sting of a frosty uncarpeted floor. But there is another alternative that gets rid of that annoying cold floor for good, and that alternative is heated flooring. Heated flooring in itself is pretty self-explanatory, but how exactly does it work? And is never having cold tootsies again worth it? Continue reading and find out!
Heated floors are powered by a radiant heating system. Radiant heating is the same kind of effect an open oven has once heat escapes the confines of the oven. According to energy.gov, “The systems depend largely on radiant heat transfer -- the delivery of heat directly from the hot surface to the people and objects in the room via infrared radiation." The report goes on to say “Despite its name, radiant floor heating depends heavily on convection, the natural circulation of heat within a room as the air warmed by the floor rises." There are also three types of heated floor systems; air-heated, electric, and hydronic. The most popular out of the three being hydronic (which means the liquid is circulating) and is also the most cost-effective where available.
So is all the installing and work worth the result? Well, the shelf (or in this case, floor) life of heated flooring can last up to 35 years, so it’s a sound investment. It is also a great add-on feature if the home were to ever be up for sale! Having heated flooring sounds like it would tack on more to utility bills every month, but quite contrary. The heat radiating from the floors, generally warming the feet, keeps the body at a comfortable temperature, making it easier on the thermostat in the winter. Sure, you could get a portable heater, but almost all of them have an odd sort of humming sound that is quite annoying if it’s often run throughout the cold months. A heated flooring system creates no extra noise and lessens the usage of the central air in the home, pushing out allergens that could affect allergy sufferers. Another great benefit is that it doesn’t have to be all over the entire house! With the electrical heating system, mats can be placed under certain areas of the floor to centralize the flow of warmth.
Ultimately, having a heated floor system is a smart and comforting addition to a home in the winter, or anytime there’s a chill in the air. Never start your day on the wrong side of the bed to a cold floor ever again!