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Installing radiant floor heat in an old house

Rich L.
Rich L. Member Posts: 414
Find a reputable radiant heating contractor in your area. Ask for referances. An affaliation with the RPA (Radiant Panel Association) is good but not required.

Radiant heat will work under all of the floor coverings you mentioned, however there are carpets and padding that work better than others. Some have a lower resistance. (Think insulation) You will need insulation underneath of the floor to keep the heat moving in the right direation. Heat does NOT rise, it travels to cool. Hot AIR rises. :)

The contractor should start with a professional heat loss calculation to determine the suitability of radiant for your home. This will help determine if the area can be heated solely with radiant or will need supplimental heat. If you have access underneath I would recommend aluminim heat transfer plates with the tubing. This will give a more efficient heat transfer. If you don't currently have a boiler, I would recommend a modulating condensing boiler with an outdoor reset controller. These are the most efficient boilers.

We not only sell and install radiant systems for all types of facilities, but I have installed it in my own home as well. While not the cheapest, it is, in my opinion, the most comfortable heating system I've ever lived with.

In the end, you're not just buying a heating system, you're buying comfort for you and your family.

Good luck, Rich L


  • Barbara G.
    Barbara G. Member Posts: 1
    Installing radiant floor heat in an old house

    I have a 100-year-old brick house in Salt Lake City that is currently heated (if you can call it that) by three gas space heaters. I would love to install radiant floor heat if that is possible. I need to heat just one floor, which has about 60% hardwood floors, the rest carpet and lineoleum that I wouldn't mind tearing up. There is a full basement where I have access to the floor joists. What are my options, and where would I start?
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083

    good..so far. Listen to Rich's advice.

    Tread with caution. Old homes' infiltration is an invisible enemy of radiant. Whomever you decide to go with needs to VERY carefully analyze the floor loading (heat loss) and know if and where supplemental heat may be needed.

    Radiant panel radiators make a nice supplement.
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