Hydronic Radiant System

What It Is:
An efficient home heating system that turns entire floors into radiators, warming living spaces without uncomfortable hot or cold air pockets.

How It Works:
Hot water is pumped from a boiler through a loop of flexible tubing embedded in the floor.

Why You'd Want One:
Eliminates forever the discomfort of cold floors as it slashes energy bills.

What To Look For:
Multiple heating zones: Makes it easy to fine-tune the amount of heat being delivered to different rooms.

Outdoor Reset Control:
Slowly raises and lowers the amount of hot water flowing through the tubing in response to changing outside temperatures.

Pex Tubing:
Specially treated polyethylene carries the hot water for hydronic systems. Unlike copper, this inert plastic won't corrode and can be installed in long runs with just a couple of fittings, reducing the chance of leaks.

What It Costs:
$6 to $15 a square foot for installation. In general, expect to pay 50 percent more for a hydronic radiant flooring system than for conventional forced-air heat.

Where To Get It:
No one manufacturer supplies all the components for hydronic radiant heating. You'll need a good heating contractor to put a system together. With electric radiant, it's easy to find turnkey systems. See Directory, p. 131, for a list of manufacturers.

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