Geothermal radiant floor heating has been around for a very long time. It’s popular in Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe. It’s popularity is even growing in the United States, but is it a realistic option for you? Should you take the time and spend the money to have it installed? Or should you just stick with conventional forced air heating?
Geothermal Radiant Floor Heating
Electric radiant flooring is more common domestically, but there is a lot to recommend the geothermal version. Part of the benefit of using a geothermal heat pump to provide radiant floor heating has to do with a lot of really complicated science. So as not to bore you, we’ll break it down in layman’s terms. Radiant floor heating conditions interior surfaces with ‘long wave radiation.’ Basically, the heated surface of the floor helps reduce body heat loss and makes people more comfortable.
When it comes to installation, geothermal radiant floor heating is something you ideally want to do during construction. Pipes are run underneath the floor and then covered over. When used in conjunction with an energy efficient geothermal heat pump, radiant floor applications have been shown to greatly increase overall efficiency of a building and reduce the carbon footprint without sacrificing comfort. A properly installed radiant floor heating system will last for years. It is a real alternative to a traditional HVAC system.
There is one other big benefit as well. Even though we call it ‘heating’, a radiant floor setup can also be used for cooling and provides some of the same benefits. That’s where the geothermal heat pump advantage comes in. A conventional electric set-up cannot switch to any sort of cooling mode, but a geothermal installation can. You get warm, luxuriant floors in winter, and cool floors in summer. Electric just can’t do that.