Radiant Floor Heating System Maintenance & Repair

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Santa Fe
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505-761-9644

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Radiant Floor Heating Systems in Albuquerque, & Santa Fe

Radiant in-floor heating systems have grown in popularity because of the ability to heat your home from the ground up, providing your home with more comfortable heating. Radiant heating heats the entire room evenly. The system’s heat is provided by hot water through a boiler or by electricity. Radiant heat is usually only an option in a new home because the heating coils are installed in the concrete underneath the flooring.

 

How Radiant Heat Works

Coils are installed underneath flooring in the concrete flooring. The coils are heated by a boiler that heats the water flowing through the coils. Or a less common option is to install coils that are heated by electricity.

Hot-water-radiant-floor-heating-systems

Hot Water Radiant Heat System

These are the most common radiant heat systems for homes. The boiler heats the water that runs through the tubing underneath the flooring to provide the heat. These systems are energy efficient and provide an even temperature. Plus they feel comfortable at lower temperatures.

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electric-radiant-floor-heating-systemsElectric Radiant Floor Heating Systems

Electrical systems are not an ideal primary heating system because of the high energy costs. But you may have these systems as supplemental heating in individual rooms like bathrooms or kitchens. Typically they are installed when making flooring updates or remodels to a home.

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radiant-floor-heating-zone-thermostatZone Heating Thermostats

Unlike furnaces or forced air heating, radiant heating systems will have multiple thermostats spread out through the home. Each zone has its own thermostat for a room or area. You can adjust the temperature in each area with radiant floor heating systems.

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Radiant Floor Heating Maintenance

Some things to consider with in-floor radiant heat are as follows. If you’re having issues with your radiant heat system TLC is always available to repair and maintain your system.

Hot Water Radiant Floor Maintenance

We typically recommend that you get your radiant heat system inspected and maintained by a professional each year, prior to winter. Your hot water (hydronic) radiant heat system is powered by a boiler system. It’s vital to your systems performance to get it regularly maintained.  As part of your maintenance an HVAC company like TLC will inspect and perform the following:

  • Boiler Startup & Maintenance
  • Inspect & Test Ignition System
  • Inspect & Test Zone Valves
  • Check Expansion Tank
  • Check Air Removal Device
  • Check Temperature Rise from Thermostats
  • Carbon Monoxide Test at Boiler
  • Test Pump Operation

 

 

Electric Radiant Heat Maintenance

Electrical radiant heat systems are typically used as supplemental heating for most homes. Often times they are installed in a small area like a bathroom or kitchen.  These types of systems typically don’t require much maintenance since they are used on demand. They are controlled by the thermostat.  There aren’t really any moving parts that need maintenance other than checking the batteries in the thermostat.

What Should I Set My Thermostat To?

This is a very common question we get, especially if homeowners are new to radiant heat. Here are some quick easy tips to maximize your comfort.

  • It typically takes approximately 24-hour for your system to reach the desired temperature.
  • A setting of 68 degrees will heat the room to approximately 70 degrees.
  • Always set the thermostat to a few degrees lower than your desired temperature.
  • Set all your thermostats to a similar setting in all the rooms you are using.
  • If you have a room you don’t use very often set the thermostat to approximately 62 degrees.
  • Once your system has reached the desired temperature leave the thermostat alone.  Because it takes a while for the system to reach the desired temperature you don’t want to constantly be adjusting it.

Technician testing thermostat in a zone during an annual inspection.

Common Radiant Heat Repairs

If you are experiencing problems with your radiant heat system we recommend you call a professional to troubleshoot and evaluate your system. Boilers operate under high pressure and high temperatures we don’t recommend you attempt to troubleshoot on your own. It is always better to err on the side of caution.

Hot & Cold Spots

Hot & cold spots could mean you have air in your lines that is inhibiting water flow to provide adequate heat. You should call an HVAC professional to evaluate. A lot of times this happens because of lack of maintenance.

Radiant Heat Leak

A leak in your system can be a big mess and can involve removing flooring to repair the leak. If you see signs of water or water damage call a professional right away. We always recommend getting your system maintained before each winter to inspect the lines and system.

Boiler Noises

If you hear any gurgling noises in or around your boiler system you should call a professional to take a look at it.  And if you ever see steam coming out of your boiler turn it off immediately and call a professional right away.

Thermostat Problems

Sometimes thermostats can fail or have problems.  Sometimes it is just replacing the batteries in the thermostat.  However, if you continue to have problems after replacing the batteries call a professional to evaluate the problem. There could be some underlying factor causing the radiant heat system to not reach the desired temperature.

Radiant Heat Installation

Radiant heat installation is very easy to install when a home is being built. However, if you would like to convert to radiant heat after your home has been built it can present some challenges. On the other hand it is quite easy to have electric radiant heat installed in small areas like bathrooms and kitchens.  See more about each type of install below.

Hot Water Radiant Heat Installation

Hot water radiant heat systems are designed to be used as the primary heat source for the home. These types of systems are usually installed as part of the building of a new home.  However, it is possible to modify your home for radiant heat but it is a rather involved process.  Here are some things to consider:

  • All flooring will have to be removed in the home to lay the radiant heat system and tubing.
  • Walls will have to be cut open to install the control valves in each zone.
  • You will need to have a boiler system installed to provide hot water through the system.
  • All doors throughout your home will have to be modified since the floor will be slightly raised after the installation is complete. This is usually done by taking an inch or two off the bottom of every door in the home.

Electric Radiant Heat Installation

This type of radiant heat is usually only added to small areas your home as a supplemental heat source. Electric radiant heat doesn’t make sense throughout the home due the the high electrical costs. But perhaps you want a warm tile floor when you enter your bathroom or kitchen during winter, then electric radiant heat is a good choice.  TLC’s remodel team does a lot of radiant heat installation as part of bathroom and kitchen remodels, like the one pictured here. Installation usually happens when the flooring is being replaced in these areas.