Underfloor Heating: Understanding Heat Output

Before you decide to install radiant heat floors in your home, it’s vital to understand how much heat they’re going to put out.






Underfloor heating systems are increasingly popular options for new construction and renovations alike. Not only are they easy to install, but they offer a quiet, unobtrusive alternative to the traditional forced air and baseboard heating systems. However, before you decide to install radiant heat floors in your home, it’s vital to understand how much heat they’re going to put out. After all, you want to make sure your home is comfortable at all times. The radiant heat professionals at Heavenly Heat Inc provide us with the essential knowledge about underfloor heating heat output.







Normal Operating Temperatures

Determining a “normal” operating temperature of a radiant heat floor system is tricky because it largely depends on the size of the room you’re heating. If the floor area that you’re heating is small, your maximum temperature will be lower. Bigger rooms have higher maximum temperatures. So, the floor in your bathroom will never get as warm as the floor in your bedroom or kitchen simply because the bathroom floor is smaller.

The maximum temperature of a radiant heated floor also depends on the type of floor material you have installed above the heated floor system. Hardwood floors have a maximum temperature of 27°C (80.6°F), whereas tile floors have a higher maximum temperature of 29°C (84.2°F). Vinyl and carpeted floors max out at the same temperature as hardwood floors (27°C). As such, if you want the warmest floors possible, choose tile for your flooring material.





Insulation Increases Output

Another way that you can increase the heat output of your underfloor heating system is to insulate the pipes or heating units. In fact, it’s highly recommended that you do insulate your radiant floor heating system because otherwise, the heat moves upward and downward instead of side-to-side. When heat moves side-to-side, you’re keeping the heat directly under your flooring material, and the longer it stays there, the warmer your floor gets.

When the heat moves upward or downward, particularly downward, the heat is actually pulling away from your flooring material, thereby cooling it down. In some cases, the heat can even escape to the ground underneath your house, causing a loss of heat and money. Insulation comes in all sorts of thicknesses and designs to help you attain the desired maximum temperature of your heated floors.


Time to Maximum Temperature

One main reason why people reject radiant floor heating for their home is because they think it takes a long time to reach a comfortable temperature. The fact is that if your underfloor heating system has an ideal power output of 14-20W/m2, your floor will take no longer than 20 minutes to heat up. If your floor is smaller, it will take even less time. Most people don’t keep their heated flooring systems on all the time, so having a 15-20W/f2 power output allows you to program your floor to turn on about 20 minutes before you need it so it will be comfortable for you right away.



There are several variables that go into determining your radiant heated floor’s heat output, but having a professional assess your needs and help you choose the ideal system for you will ensure your heated floor is exactly what you need.







back to top