Unlike copper, this inert plastic won't corrode and can be installed in long runs with just a couple of fittings, reducing the chance of leaks.
What It Costs: to a square foot for installation.
The air in the room becomes uncomfortably stratified: Your head can be bathed in warmth while your toes lie in the frozen zone. "You turn on the furnace, it quickly takes you to 68 or 70, and then shuts off," says Richard.
Its warmth comes from a loop of thin electric wire laid directly under the finish floor.It's also a highly efficient way to heat a house, increasing comfort as it reduces energy costs.In a radiant setup, the warmth is supplied by hot-water tubes or electric wires buried underneath the floor.Outdoor Reset Control: Slowly raises and lowers the amount of hot water flowing through the tubing in response to changing outside temperatures.Pex Tubing: Specially treated polyethylene carries the hot water for hydronic systems.Contrast that with what happens in a conventional forced-air heating system, the kind found in most American homes.Air blows out of the registers at a well-baked 120 degrees, rises to the top of the room where it quickly sheds heat, then drops back down as it cools.And there's no comparison when it comes to comfort. What It Is: An efficient home heating system that turns entire floors into radiators, warming living spaces without uncomfortable hot or cold air pockets.How It Works: Hot water is pumped from a boiler through a loop of flexible tubing embedded in the floor."It's like putting a sweater over a radiator." Hot-water radiant costs more to install than other types of heating systems—from to per square foot depending on the method, whether you're starting from scratch or retrofitting, and where you live.(New builds where the tubes are buried in concrete slab tend to be the least expensive).