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When it comes to under floor radiant heating, many people have questions before installing their system. Here are answers to the questions I most commonly hear:

Q - Do I need to worry about the floor coverings that I put over my under floor radiant heating system?

A- Yes. The floor coverings can have an effect on how heat transfers from the radiant heated slab. Flooring materials vary in their resistance values (R values). For example, carpet has a high R value, while tile has a very low R value. While both will work over the top of an under floor radiant heating system, the main difference is that carpet (with its higher R value) will require radiant heat elements to be set to a higher temperature due to the additional insulation it has between the heated element and the area that is being heated. If you are installing radiant heat, it is best to ensure you understand resistance values so that your system is designed in a way that optimizes heat transfer.

Q - I am thinking of installing a gas boiler because I heard it is more efficient than electric. Is this a smart choice?

A- There are many factors involved in figuring out the best solution to this question. The installer will need to consider the following questions: What is the cost of gas? What is the gas type: natural gas or liquid propane? What is the efficiency rating of the gas boilers? What is the electric rate for the electric boiler? This decision needs to be made after these questions are answered and the proper calculations are made.

Q - I am thinking of buying a water heater to heat my under floor radiant heating system rather than buying one of those expensive boilers. Which would be a better system for me to purchase?

A- Purchase the boiler! Boilers have built in controls that will do the work that a regular water heater cannot do. For example, regular water heaters are not designed to lower their temperature output based on return water coming back warmer. In addition, regular water heaters cannot communicate with outdoor temperatures to scale back their output and meet the demands of the under floor radiant heating system.

For more information about radiant heating options, call a representative at (800) 785-8738 or visit our under floor radiant heating webpage.