(ARA) - Hardwood floors add beauty, warmth and lasting value to any home. Combine that beauty and durability with the comfort, decorating freedom and the lower cost benefits of radiant heat, and you have a great combination. Add the overall environmental benefits and it is win-win all around.
The concept of radiant heating is not new. As early as 60 A.D., the Romans heated bath houses from a heat source below the floor surface and let it radiate upward into the structure. Europeans have long embraced radiant heating, which is used in 50 to 80 percent of new home construction there.
More and more Americans are opting for radiant heat in new construction and retro-fit installations. According to the American Hardwood Information Center and Gil Thurm, executive vice president of the Hardwood Manufacturers Association, "Not so long ago, some home builders would discourage the use of hardwood over radiant heat because of concerns about hardwood's natural expansion and contraction. But newer building materials and installation techniques allow faultless installations of oak, ash, cherry, maple, hickory, walnut and other fine hardwood flooring over radiant heat."
Lower Operating Costs and Decorating Freedom
Instead of warming the air and circulating it throughout the home, radiant heat is embedded under the floor and uses electricity or hot water to warm the floor and to evenly distribute low-temperature heat. Homeowners report lowering their thermostats from 72 degrees to 65 degrees due to the constant 85 to 90 degree temperature of the floor, often cutting energy bills by 20 to 40 percent.
Since the heating source is below the floor, there are no visible heating outlets. Without registers, radiators or baseboard heaters, furniture can be placed anywhere in the room without worrying about blocking the room's source of heat. There are no noisy air blowers and no hissing or popping hot water radiators --just a quiet, comfortable room.
The Healthy Choice with Hardwood Flooring
Unlike forced air heating systems that can blow dirt, dust, bacteria, viruses and pet dander throughout the home, a radiant heating system has no blowing air. Couple that with hardwood floors, which are non-toxic and trap no allergens such as mold spores and dust, and the combination, is a perfect mix of warmth, beauty, character and non-allergenic materials. And maintenance is a breeze. Simple dust mopping, sweeping or vacuuming will keep hardwood floors looking great and allergen-free.
As consumers become more and more "green'" conscious, hardwood flooring and radiant heat systems fit the environmentally friendly criteria. Radiant heat systems are highly efficient, using less fossil fuels than other heating systems. American hardwoods are our nation's greatest renewable and natural resource. And as nature's "greenest" material, American hardwoods are simply the ultimate in "sustainability."
Hardwood flooring and radiant heat is indeed a match made in heaven. Whether it is beauty, comfort, a healthy material, or benefits to the environment, American hardwoods over radiant heating can provide them all. Courtesy of ARAcontent