March 19, 2018
By Mark Paup

Problems with Uneven Radiant Floor Heating

Updated January 17, 2024

Having Problems with Radiant Floor Heating?

Radiant floor heating is one of the best ways to enjoy warmth in a home. The technology of radiant floor heating isn’t exactly new: it’s based on hydronic heating from a boiler. But instead of the boiler sending heated water to a radiator or a baseboard heater to radiate warmth into a room, with radiant floor heating the boiler sends the water through pipes located in a subfloor underneath rooms. The floorboards heat up and send waves of warmth up into the living spaces. This provides an even spread of heating, delivered fast. Not only are in-floor heating systems like this highly energy efficient, but the heat also they provide feels cozier than that from forced-air systems.

The even spread of heat is one of the huge advantages of these in-floor radiant systems, but that evenness can run into snags requiring professional assistance.

Poor Installation Is the Leading Cause of Radiant Floor Heating Problems

Radiant heating is making its way into more homes each year, but unfortunately, there are still contractors installing the systems with errors and miscalculations. One of the primary problems of improperly installed radiant heat floors is that there isn’t sufficient tubing to provide warmth. A contractor offering suspiciously low prices for the installation work may shortchange you on the amount of tubing laid down in the subfloors, and you’ll find the rooms don’t get warm enough on cold days.

A fixed water temperature is another problem. For more temperate regions that don’t experience intensely cold winters, the fixed water temperature doesn’t cause difficulties. The trouble is that it’s only effective at dealing with a single low outdoor temperature. When it drops lower, the radiant system will struggle to keep up and cold spots will start appearing.

Zoning a house for radiant heating is an essential part of the installation, and if this is also done haphazardly, it can create an imbalance in the heat. Technicians have to account for how the heat spreads through rooms as well as to upper parts of the house to create the right balance of zoning so not only are there no cold spots, but there are also no stuffy hot spots either.

When Good Radiant Heating Goes Bad

There’s also the possibility you have a well-installed system that’s simply run into a malfunction. Some of the issues may be a broken aquastat that’s caused the boiler temperature to lower, trouble with the manifold that distributes water to the zones or leaking along the pipes. Professionals can fix these troubles, and never hesitate to call them: there’s a potential for water damage when a hydronic system malfunctions.

Are you having problems with uneven radiant floor heating? Call Golden Rule today at 515-393-4526 or contact us online to schedule a service call with our team!

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