Unfortunately many people are never exposed to radiant heat so they can see how great it feels compared to the forced air systems in most houses. If you know what the gentle warming of the sun feels like, you know what radiant heat can feel like in your home. It is more expensive to install in houses than forced air though, and that is why builders now usually install it instead.
If you want to have radiant heat as your main heating system throughout your house, it is best to have it installed right from the start as the house is being built. Because it has to be put in under the floors, this is hard to do with a home that is already built. If people still want it in a pre existing home, they usually only choose to have it put in a couple rooms.
When choosing radiant heat to install in your home, you have two basic choices. The first is hydronic radiant floor heat and the second option is electric radiant heat. Hydronic heat involves having pipes underneath the floors that have warm water flowing through them. This system, as you can imagine, is quite difficult to install properly and is best done in a new home just being built. Whenever you have water involved, you need to make sure there is no leakage that would cause big problems down the line.
This is why most people opt for electric radiant heat which is much easier to install and less risky for future problems. Of the two kinds of radiant heat, electric radiant heat is also the cheapest to install. Electric radiant heat works similarly to a toaster in that electricity heats up metal coils and transmits heat. This type of heat is installed in existing homes using pads that carry the wires which are put in under the floor.
Every cold winter is especially hard on a persons skin because the air is very dry. One of the problems is that most homes have forced air heating which contributes greatly to the dryness. All this does is push the dry warm air from room to room, which is terrible for a person’s skin. If your home has radiant floor heat, you know how lucky you are as that heat is not as dry and does not circle from room to room.