Is Radiant Heat for My Home?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Premier Realty 40213101

Before the air turns blustery here in the Twin Cities, let’s discuss heat. A lot of research money is being put into developing alternative forms of heat for homes. Most people have either a furnace that uses forced air or electricity for heat, or radiator/steam heat, or some form of a woodburning system. Many have a combination of woodburning and one of the previously mentioned systems.


One form of heating that is getting a lot of attention these days is radiant heat. Radiant heat means that instead of forcing warm air or steam into a space to heat it, the heat is diffused through tubes or electricity into the walls or the floor of a space and the heat radiates throughout. It isn’t a new concept. The ancient Romans who were wealthy used a system known as hypocaust, at considerable expense. 


Many people are in favor of radiant heating systems, because they would arguably reduce not only the expense of heating, but the consumption of energy. Hence one’s carbon footprint would be reduced. Let’s see how feasible it all is.


Radiant heating systems come in two major types. The first is electric, in which loops of electrically charged cable is placed in material under the floor. They generate heat which radiates through the floor into the room. The affordability of this system depends largely on the availability and cost of electricity in any given area. People tend to use it to heat during off hours when electric prices are lowered in some areas. It is more efficient for hard surface floors, like wood or tile. It tends to be less effective with carpeted floors.


The other main system for radiant heating is called hydronic radiant heat, and it involves water, as you may have guessed from the name. Corrosion-resistant polyethylene tubing is used to disperse warmed water from the boiler throughout the space, again under the floors, or in the walls, to either directly warm them, (wet systems) or to warm an insulated air layer under them (dry systems).


This is just a thumbnail sketch of the concept of radiant heat. Space doesn’t permit a full treatment of the pros and cons. At this time, the cost in most cases seems to outweigh the benefits. Human innovation being what it is, however, (especially here in America) don’t be surprised if you see that situation reversed in short order.


We hope that you have found this article informative and helpful. That is what Team Tork is all about: sharing great information and helpful education in the community. If you are looking for a home to buy, or if you want to list your home, please give me a call at (651) 379-4138 or (651) 210-1038. I have the resources and the experience to get you the best deal possible. You may find it more convenient to send me an email to, or browse our website,, for more educational information.


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David Gibson CNE, 719-304-4684 ~ Colorado Springs Relocation
Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Relocation, Luxury & Lifestyle residential



Radiant heat systems are great, until they aren’t. When they need repairs the cost and trouble can be significant. With todays’ gas furnaces being 90 plus percent efficient they are still a good choice for most houses.

Sep 19, 2015 02:35 AM #1
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