Radiant in-floor heating is a comfortable way to experience heat evenly throughout a home. Interestingly, with radiant surfaces everywhere, air temperature in a house can actually be lower than what you think is comfortable, and you will still feel warm.
A well-designed hydronic heating system can be very economical in terms of energy use. This is especially true when a high-efficiency tankless water heater is used as the main hot water source. For even greater savings, it's possible to install a solar thermal system that will allow the sun to do some of the water-heating work.
The system with a tankless water heater will also be much more responsive, have unlimited supply of hot water and clean water running through the floor heating pipes without sediments and other mineral build-ups.
A tankless hot water heater is ideal for this application since there is no water to be kept hot at all times. The water is heated only when needed or requested. Water is fed through a super efficient heat exchanger and then heated. The water temperature is heated to the selected temperature setting precisely by adjusting the gas burner's flame to the desired temperature. Water temperature sensors monitor the water temperature and the tankless water heater's computer modulates the burner. This means that the water is never over heated or under heated.
Regardless of the heat dissipating rate of the pipes the water is heated to the set temperature instantly due to the ability of the tankless water heater to vary its heating flame and power. The result is a very responsive system that can quickly replenish the lost heat in the pipes and therefore quickly heat the floor in case of floor heating application.
This heating system uses the entire finished floor as a giant radiator. Hot water is pumped through plastic tubing installed beneath the finished floor surface. A hydronic radiant floor can be installed beneath tile or wood; it can also be embedded in a poured concrete slab. It's not a wise choice beneath wall-to-wall carpet because the carpet doesn't conduct heat very well.
The traditional tank boiler is not able to do this because it cannot vary its flame intensity. A properly designed and installed system provides then comfortable and efficient floor heating regulated by a standard thermostat inside the home. Other than providing fast heating response the hydronic system enables large continued energy savings for years lowering significantly the operating cost of floor heating.