We have about 800 sq feet on the main level of our house with hardwood flooring throughout and 18 foot cathedral ceilings for about 2/3 of the space. The basement is unfinished and I've casually considered adding radiant floor heating as a supplemental system. We currently have forced air heat from a gas furnace. We live in the Mid-Atlantic with moderate winters and keep the house cool at night and when we are not home. Now I am considering finishing part of the basement. Since finishing would cover up the joist bays for the main living area, I'm wondering if I should consider adding the radiant floor heating first while the bays are still open. My understanding is that radiant floor heating can be cost efficient but I'm wondering if the installation is worth the advantage.
Does anyone have any experience with a similar situation?