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 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is radiant heat expensive to operate? When Hydronic heating is properly designed and install it will be less expensive to operate than conventional heating systems. Since tubing heat loses are lot less then forced air duct heat losses and the ability for it to be zoned is much easier you are able to turn down the heat or just turn zones off thus saving energy cost.

Can radiant heating be installed in my existing house? Yes it really depends on what you are doing but you can add a Staple Up method, Aluminum Based, or go with electric mats.

How much does it cost? There are many factors that determine the cost of a radiant heating system. The best thing to do is to have your system professionally designed so you can get an estimate of cost. This is something that should be done before you start any install.

How long will a radiant heating system last? Depending on the equipment selected and how well it is maintained a radiant heating system can last 25 years or more.

What happens if a pipe breaks in my floor? Depending on what kind of radiant floor heating you have will depend on how you will go about fixing it. Since almost all floor heating systems now days use cross linked polyethylene (PEX) pipe which is very tough and flexible and operates at low pressures you should not have any trouble. If you do have a leak though simple find the leak in the tubing, cut it then properly insert a coupling and recharge your system. If the leak is in a Thermal Mass system such as concrete there are companies around that that can come out and fill your system with helium and with use of a special detector can detect any leaks.

Will radiant heat my entire house? Typically the answer is YES but there are a lot of factors that go into qualifying that Yes like the hydronic heating method used, floor coverings, radiant barrier, insulation, and much more.

Will I need a boiler to run my system? This all depends on the size of your system and what you are going to be doing with it. If it is an open loop system then you will more than like be able to use a good quality hot water heater. If it is a closed loop system and you are going to be doing snow melting as well as heating your home you will probably want to use a boiler.

Can I install any floor covering over radiant floor heating? The answer to this is YES and NO. When you are considering floor coverings you need to be aware of the insulating properties of the floor covering. As part of the design aspect you will find that there are certain carpets and pads that you just should not use.

What is the "R" value of Radiant Barrier? It does not have an R-Value. Radiant Barriers are designed to reflect radiant heat not conductive heat. Since radiant barrier is usually installed on top of insulation some say it has an R-value but it is really the R-value of the insulation not the radiant barrier. It is radiant barriers ability to reflect heat that makes it such a good energy saver.

Can I use Radiant Barrier instead of regular insulation? You can but it is not recommended. You should always use it in conjunction with insulation so you have a complete system. The reason is that they do two very different things, insulation slows down conductive heat but does not stop radiant heat and radiant barrier reflects radiant heat but not conductive heat.

What is PEX? PEX is cross-linked Polyethylene.

Is PEX is a safe product for radiant heating systems? YES PEX is manufactured and tested according to ASTM F 876 and F 877 standards. PEX is also part of most of the major model plumbing codes used in the United States and Canada but you still need to check with your local area codes as some areas are still using old standards and have not yet updated their codes.

Can PEX be used in Thermal Mass radiant heating? Yes. Since PEX comes in rolls of 1000' and some brands have a bend radius of 5" you are able to lay down the tubing in a continuous length without any fittings in the slab. Chemicals in concrete have no effect on PEX but you should put some kind of sleeve on it when you are going into or coming out of the slab.

How long can PEX be left in the sun? PEX must be covered up when outside and not exposed to direct sunlight. The maximum amount of UV exposure can be no more than 60 days.

How are PEX systems tested for leaks? Radiant heating systems using PEX can be pressure tested as soon as the installation is complete and should be tested with air.

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