Wall Radiant Heat vs. Floor Radiant Heat

When considering if wall radiant heat is the best solution to a heating dilemma in your home, there are a number of factors to consider. There are a variety of options when it comes to radiant heat, and radiant heat can offer an ideal solution when extending the existing heating system to a new addition on the home. It is also an option that can be considered for homes that are in remote locations, which are frequently limited in their options for heating in cooling due to a lack of resources, expense of using traditional heating methods, or are simply new construction where an alternate or supplemental method to the more traditional heating is desired. Here you will find information on the benefits and drawbacks of wall radiant heat versus floor radiant heat.

Wall Radiant Heat

Wall radiant heat is a fantastic choice for rooms that need very particular control over the room temperature. Radiant panels can be installed in the wall panels, and each room has it's own thermostat. This is an ideal solutions for rooms that either have no supply from the main heating supply, such as a forced air furnace, or are far removed from the heat source, such as in the case of a freestanding furnace or wood or coal stove.

By each room having it's own thermostat, the heat can be highly customized for each room, or turned off completely. The heat in this type of radiant heating application, is conducted quickly throughout the room, and the temperature change is felt in only moments. Unfortunately, with wall radiant heat, the majority of power supply is going to be from either electric or solar supply, which is expensive and unreliable, respectively. Most contractors consider using hot water radiant heat in walls unappealing due to the potential for leakage.

Floor Radiant Heat

The 2 most common applications for radiant floor heating are either electric or hydronic. With electric radiant floor heating, heat is supplied via a mat of electrical components, and is frequently installed underneath tile. The mat is then connected to a control or thermostat, frequently, for each room in which the electrical mat is installed. This gives the homeowners complete control over the temperature for each room of the home, and can almost completely eliminate heating an unused room. Using electricity to heat a home is typically extremely expensive however, and this method is typically best used for small individual rooms, such as a bathroom.

In hydronic radiant floor heat, hot water is channeled through tubing that is installed in the floor (there are different applications for this type of radiant heat) which is supplied by a boiler. The heat that is supplied to each room is controlled by regulating the hot water that is routed through the tubing to a specific room. These systems can utilize a variety of energy supplies (whatever means can be used to power the boiler), and can be much more cost effective from a utility expense standpoint. However, since most radiant floor heat systems involve heating a concrete subfloor, control over the temperature can be challenging due to the slow response of concrete heating up.