Comfortable Luxury + Smart Design: Radiant Floors in the Creek House
Radiant floor heating essentially turns the floor area of a home into a large radiator, delivering heat directly to the person standing in the room rather than merely heating the air. Besides the obvious comfort, the major benefits of radiant heating are the potentials for energy and cost savings, quiet operation and improved air quality.
How it works:
In the Creek House the gas-fired boiler is connected to a system of pipes which distribute hot water from a single source into 4 different zones throughout the house. These zones allow each room to maintain its own comfortable heating temperature or portions of the house to be turned down to save energy when not in use. Temperatures can also be “tuned” within each of the zones to accommodate varying temperatures within each space such as a section of the room which may get more passive heating from the sun.
The radiant flooring in the Creek House is designed as a “dry-installation” which means the tubing is placed directly under the wood floor, therefore providing relatively immediate heat to the surface. PEX tubing, a non-toxic, flexible polyethylene tubing, is laid out through the home – snapped into the sub-floor system on the ground floor and stapled up with aluminum straps which help spread the heat under the second floor. In both cases, reflective insulation is placed beneath the tubing to reflect the heat up into the floor.
Energy + Cost Savings:
A few of the potential areas for saving energy by using radiant heating include lower thermostat settings in the home and lower temperature boiler settings. Homes with radiant flooring have a higher mean radiant temperature which, along with a lack of air-flow (from forced-air) and the low source for the heat, should allow the homeowner to be comfortable with a lower thermostat setting. In addition, to heat a home, radiant heating requires a much lower water temperature than conventional baseboard heating. This not only reduces energy costs but increases the life of the boiler as well.