Going Green with Radiant Floor Heat

With its energy efficiency and clean draft-free heat, concrete radiant floor heating offers numerous environmental benefits.

Here are some of them:

*Less energy required to achieve better thermal comfort at a lower thermostat setting.
*Water has 3,500 times the energy transport capacity of air.
*Adaptable to various energy-efficient heat sources, such as solar and geothermal.
*Improved indoor air quality.
*Radiant systems that use PEX tubing vs. copper pipe expedite hot water delivery and reduce water waste.

*The walls of PEX tubing provide better insulation than copper.

*Reduces building materials required for concealing ductwork and compensating ceiling heights.

*Provides more usable area, which allows for smaller spaces without sacrificing livability.

In-floor radiant heating can also help contribute to green building points under two recently introduced national programs: LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Homes (see A National Certification Program for Green Homes) and the National Association of Home Builders Green Building Program.

The Radiant Panel Association worked with NAHB in developing its green home building guidelines, which were released in 2005. The RPA Guidelines for the Installation of Radiant Panel Heating and Snow/Ice Systems (available through the RPA bookstore) is included as a recognized design reference for earning green building points. In addition, builders can earn points for using an RPA-certified technician to install the system.

Information Sources:
Sustainability Solutions, a brochure from Uponor
2008 Radiant Flooring Guide, Radiant Panel Association